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The start of the semester is almost upon us! Here is a quick checklist of things to do before the start of the semester:

Overview Video – Transcript

  • If you are teaching two sections with identical content, you can have these sections merged within Desire2Learn (D2L) for easier management. See our resource for Merging your Courses in D2L.
  • We recommend you install your course syllabus into a module with the content area of your course.
    • You can also install it into the “Overview” area within content, but be aware that this will not appear if students choose the Table of Contents view.  
  • In D2L, your course has start and end dates, between which your students can enter the course and access content within.  At least a week before a course begins, you should check these dates, and change them as you see fit.  This tutorial video shows you how.
    • By default, your course in D2L “starts” or opens the Friday before the course begins.
    • For summer sections and J-Term: course dates occasionally change as these courses are organized the semester prior.  Be sure the section start and end dates within D2L correspond with the class meeting time.  
  • Check all links to files, outside websites, and other resources within your course content, to make certain they still work or need to be replaced.
  • If you have start dates, due dates, or end dates attached to course content, be sure that they are updated to reflect the current semester’s calendar, so that content is visible to students when you want it to be, and due dates are properly reported.  
  • Do you want students to see their calculated grade within D2L’s grades area? See this video on Final Grade Release.
  • (Optional) Email your students a quick welcoming message with a brief outline of the course (due dates for important activities, projects, and quizzes should suffice) and expectations (both what you expect from your students and what students can expect from you) one week before courses begin.
  • Your students are responsible for learning to use D2L, their Canisius email, and Google Workspace.  Put this quick link to the ITS Guide for Students into your syllabus, so they know where to go for technical assistance.
    • Quick Message (Feel Free to insert into your Syllabus or as a link in your Syllabus Module):
    • You are responsible for knowing how to use D2L, your Canisius Email, and Google WorkSpace. If you need technical assistance please either go to the ITS Guide for Students or contact the ITS helpdesk by emailing them at