Semester Preparation Best Practices

Course preparation is one of the most crucial responsibilities for instructors because it forms the bedrock of a successful and effective learning experience. It provides a roadmap for the entire academic term, ensuring that learning objectives are clear, assessments are purposeful, and instructional materials are relevant. In support of these efforts, we have prepared a list of best practices and resources below for effective course and semester preparation at IECC.

Please read all of the information below from the CETL and IT.


New to Canvas or Canvas Questions?

Please check out your Canvas dashboard and look for the *NEW* WELCOME TO CANVAS tutorial course - there are many "how-to" modules for you to review. You are also encouraged to reach out to the IECC CETL for help and make an appointment with our Instructional Designer, Ken Anderson, by clicking here or visiting

Additional Canvas INSTRUCTOR Resource: Instructor's Guide

Additional Canvas STUDENT Resource: Canvas Student Guide

Copying Canvas Courses: Ready to copy course material from your development areas or from one Canvas course to another? Click here


Syllabus: Course syllabi should be posted in Entrata for all courses, prior to the start of the new semester. To access the syllabus checklist, and a syllabus template, go to Intranet>Forms>Faculty>(scroll down to) Syllabus Checklist and Template. For more info, watch this tutorial video: How to upload your syllabus for Dean approval


Course Redirects | 10 Day Roster | Credit Hour Calculator and other Entrata Course Tool Videos: If you redirect one or more courses to another this should still be completed in Entrata, as in the past. Redirects will not take place immediately. Please note in Canvas you MUST REDIRECT course(s) prior to any course work being completed by students. How to redirect a course in Entrata. On this linked page, look for other how-to videos to assist you in using Entrata Course Tools.


Interested in creating video content for your courses? (Overview videos, instructional videos, summary videos, etc.) Consider making a trip to the FCC Recording Studio and making an appointment with Derek Dunn, Educational Technology Specialist -, who runs the studio and can assist you. More and more faculty are taking advantage of this resource and are enhancing their courses by doing so. Or contact Ken Anderson for additional options.


Canvas Courses are “Published” (Accessible to students by default) * All courses are “Published” by default. * Note: Students will not be able to access your course(s) until the start date of the course.


Studio Screen and Webcam Capture/Video storage, tracking, and inline quiz: You can screen and webcam capture directly into Canvas, along with a variety of other features. Click Studio Guides for details.


Microsoft Office 365 Teams Meetings in Canvas: Teams should be used instead of the conferences tool within the Canvas LMS. With Teams Meetings, there are no limits on meeting length and recordings are retained indefinitely. You can insert a teams meeting anywhere the Canvas editor shows, so you are no longer limited to meeting in conferences only. We recommend you use Teams Meetings instead of Canvas Conferences and Zoom (if you have a Zoom account). Learn More…


Need more assistance? Please contact the IECC Help Desk. If you need more assistance or have questions, please reach out to the CETL and/or Jeff Gumbel, Manager of Web, Online, and Integration Systems at IECC, at or 618-879-9404/5504.