Online Course Essentials (ONCE)

Online Course Essentials (ONCE)

ONCE is a simple ISU Course Template in Canvas and a straightforward process to aid instructors in including the must-have elements in their online courses. Whether a course is taught entirely online or as a combination of face-to-face lecture with online instructional materials, activities, and assessments, it can benefit from including these essential components.

Both the ISU course template and the Plan Your Course Worksheet contain a reference to the following online course essentials:

  • A direct relationship between the course’s learning objectives, assessments, learning activities, instructional materials, and technologies
  • A user-friendly, consistent, and accessible course navigation using a course module structure
  • Transparent learner expectations
  • Technical and academic support resources
  • ISU-branded course elements (this is not an essential element but a nice touch)

Built around the Essential 3-point Standards of the Quality Matters rubric, ONCE gives you all the online course essentials. Use ONCE so you can focus less on the technicalities of building an online course in Canvas and more on what matters the most – student learning.

Review different instructional strategies and ways to engage students for creating an equitable and inclusive, cohesive, and compelling online learning environment for your students. CELT offers a variety of course design programs to assist you with a variety ways to effectively teach with technology. 

ISU Course Template

The ISU course template was developed as part of the ONCE process and includes:

  • An Orientation: Begin Here module.
  • An example of a module organization.
  • Transparent assignment instructions.
  • Clear instructor guidance.
  • Accessible and easy-to-modify page to adapt to your teaching needs.

Plan Your Course Worksheet

The Plan Your Course worksheet helps to ensure your students see the relationship between the course’s learning objectives and the coursework they are expected to complete.

The worksheet is a way to scaffold instructor thinking about ways in which the course’s learning activities and assessments are supported by the learning objectives.

Prepare to Teach in Canvas

The Prepare to Teach tool inside of Global Course Administration is where you can:

  • Create course shells for Registrar sections, enabling automatic enrollment updates
  • Group multiple Registrar sections into a single course shell
  • Publish your course for release to students
  • Conclude courses from past semesters to remove clutter from Canvas

Need Assistance?

Contact the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching by emailing and including “ISU Template” in the subject line.