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Rapidly Prep Your Canvas Lessons in 4 Steps

If you've been teaching virtually (or in a hybrid model), you've probably noticed that it can take a whole weekend to design a single virtual lesson. How many lessons do you teach in a week? I'm betting it is more than one! Take these 5 steps to make lesson planning a bit more efficient, speed up the prep process, and get some of your free time back!

Step 1: Pick a Pattern

Most of our face-to-face lessons follow a pattern or flow. We might start with a bellringer or thought-provoking question, then move into the instruction. Often, we incorporate practice and small-group activities and wrap up with a task or assessment. What's your teaching pattern? How will you start your lessons, what activities will you have students do routinely? Establish a flow - a pattern for your virtual lessons too.

Step 2: Make a Template

After identifying the pattern for your lessons, create a new module in your course, and name it something like, "Lesson Template." Keep it unpublished - it is there just as a resource for you. In this template, create a page or activity shell for each part of your lesson. For now, just give them names, don't worry about putting all the content in place right now. You're just setting up placeholders.

Step 3: Duplicate It

Now that you have your template module & activity shells in place, use the 3-dot menu in the module header to duplicate the whole lesson. No, not with a copy machine, even better! If you don't see the "Duplicate" option, don't worry! Just drag any quizzes out of your module for now, then you'll be able to duplicate the module. Chances are that your quizzes will all be very unique, so just create those as you need them.

Step 4: Customize the Activities

Lastly, edit the activities in your new module to set up next week's learning. Just add the details, media, and directions and you'll be good to go. Don't forget to publish the module so your students will see it too!

Then just repeat for each new lesson!

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