Blueprint Course

A blueprint course allows you to create content, assignments, announcements, etc. and push it out to a number of associated courses through course syncing. This is most useful in courses with shared content across many different sections taught by multiple instructors.


  • All the functionality of a regular Canvas course
  • Only accessible by designated person(s)
  • No student access

Getting Started

Blueprint courses must be created by a member of the CELT team.

Instructor Resources

Requesting a Blueprint Canvas course

  1. Submit the “Request a blueprint course” form with these settings:
    1. Would you like a 1:1 Consultation? Please provide your contact information.* Choose yes or no to request an appointment with CELT staff.
    2. Course Name:* Catalog Identifier + Blueprint (e.g., ENGL 150 Blueprint)
    3. Semester Offered:* (Spring 2021)
    4. Department Offering Course:* (ENGL)
    5. Course Number:* 150
    6. Locked Content: (Define general settings for locked objects in this course. Locked objects cannot be edited in associated courses.) Choose all that apply. If you are unsure what this means, request a consultation with CELT staff.
      1. Content
      2. Points
      3. Due Dates
      4. Availability Dates

    CELT staff will create the empty blueprint course, add the requestor to the course, and communicate that this step is complete via the ServiceNow ticketing system.

  2. Add other collaborators as needed.
  3. Develop the course content in the blueprint course. Do not PUBLISH the course yet.
  4. Use Prepare to Teach or Request a New Course Shell to create the associated courses.
  5. Respond to the ServiceNow ticket when the courses are ready to be connected. Provide the Course ID or URL for ALL connected courses. Be advised:
    1. This step should only be completed when you are ready to push data from the Blueprint for the first time.
    2. The person responsible for managing content must be enrolled in each connected course and the blueprint as a Co-Teacher.
    3. Course IDs may be provided via Excel.

    CELT staff will associate the courses, initiating the first sync which will push all content to the connected courses, then communicate that it is complete.

  6. Use Prepare to Teach to publish the courses and give students access to the Canvas courses.

Using a Blueprint Canvas course

Creating content in a blueprint Canvas course is exactly like creating content in a regular Canvas course. Use the Canvas tutorials listed in the Online Documentation section below to learn more about using a blueprint course.

Syncing Blueprint Updates to Associated Courses

Note: All course content is copied in the sync, regardless of whether objects are locked. Course Settings are the only exception to this. To push changes made in the Blueprint course to all the associated sections:
  1. Open the blueprint sidebar by clicking on the blue Blueprint tab in the upper right corner.
  2. If you’ve made changes to the Blueprint course, the sidebar will display the number of unsynced changes.
  3. Click Unsynced Changes to view details about the specific content that has been updated and is available to sync.
  4. Choose whether to sync changes to Course Settings. 
  5. Determine whether you wish to create a notification about the sync. If you choose to send a notification, you will have the option to create a personalized message.
  6. Click Sync to push the updates to the associated courses. This may take some time to process. Leaving the page will not disrupt the sync.

Syllabus Statement

There is no need to include information about the Blueprint course in your syllabus.

Student Resources

Students are unable to distinguish between a course created via blueprint and a standard Canvas course. Students will interact with the course as usual.


The Canvas Commons tool is supported by Instructure. Use one of the following channels to connect with their 24/7 support:

    • live chat — open the ?Help menu in Canvas and click ‘Chat with Canvas Support’
    • ticket support — open the ?Help menu in Canvas and click ‘Report a Problem
    • phone support — call 515-294-4000, then follow the prompts for Canvas support