A gold course is a special type of course site that is used for developing, updating, and sharing content. Gold courses can be used to develop and update course content for a single instructor or with multiple instructors teaching the same course. Gold courses allow content standardization across multiple sections, which may be useful for accreditation and assessment purposes. The content can be copied into course shells for each term.

Students are never enrolled in gold courses. Gold courses enable instructors to share content with colleagues in a way that adheres to FERPA requirements, as they do not contain student data.

Tips for Using Gold Courses

Gold courses commonly include the following items: 

  • Syllabus
  • Home page
  • About your instructor page
  • Complete modules with:
    • Overview and learning objectives for the module
    • Readings, Lecture Videos
    • Assignments and Quizzes with due dates using the Canvas tool
  • Announcements to preview each module with date restrictions to release by date.

Due dates allow students to get reminders from Canvas about assignments that are due, as well as see a to-do list on the homepage of the course. By setting up all the due dates in the gold course for a term, instructors can use the “adjust due dates” tool when importing the gold course content into a course shell to match the dates of the current term.

For department and program gold courses, which may be taught by different instructors, personalized content should not be included on syllabi, about the instructor pages, announcements, or other materials.

Gold courses should not contain Zoom meetings, which must be set up in the teaching course each term.

Requesting a Gold Course

Contact COLRS to request gold courses. One gold course may be requested for each course format taught. Please include the following information with gold course requests: 

  • Department
  • Course Number
  • Course Name
  • Course Format: 8-week, 16-week, online (OL), blended (BL), HyFlex (HF), or classroom (CL)
  • Instructor(s)/Owner of gold Course: instructor(s), department, or Academic Partnerships (AP)

GOLD courses are named in this format: 

GOLD - {DEPT###} - {Course Format Code} - {Course Name} - {NetID or DEPT or AP}

To copy an existing course into a new gold course, please let COLRS know the semester and section of the originating course. 

Copying Content into Course Shells

Course content is protected as intellectual property under Article III University General Rules. The following procedures should be considered when copying intellectual property on Canvas:

Owner of Intellectual PropertyApprovals Needed
Instructor solely owns the intellectual propertyNone. The instructor can request a copy of course content without seeking approvals.
Instructor co-owns the intellectual property with other instructor(s) and/or universityThe instructor requesting the copy must obtain the permission of other co-owners of the intellectual property, including faculty co-owners and their respective department chair(s) or school director(s). The college dean(s) may also be contacted.
Instructor does not own the intellectual property.The instructor must have written permission from the intellectual property owner(s), their respective college dean(s), and the Director of COLRS.

When an instructor owns a course (gold or other), they can copy content from their course to an empty course shell without seeking approvals.

When an instructor is requesting a copy of another instructor’s course content (gold or other), COLRS will ask the permission of the faculty member who owns it before copying. 

When a gold course site has DEPT or AP designation, COLRS will copy the content for any faculty member teaching that course.

A gold course will not be deleted unless all instructors enrolled in the course request/approve the deletion.

Exporting Course Content from Canvas

As with course copies, export of course content is protected as intellectual property under Article III University General Rules. An export of a course creates compressed file that can be imported into any instance of Canvas, including one at another institution. When an instructor requests an export of course materials from a Canvas course, COLRS will request approval from the department chair or school director. The college dean may also be contacted.

Last Updated: 6/13/2024