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Canvas - How do I create a Blueprint course?

This article describes the process of converting a Canvas sandbox or blank course into a blueprint course. This document is intended for support staff. Instructors should fill out the special course request form.

What is a Blueprint course?

Blueprint courses are Sandbox courses that are associated with multiple courses. Once information is placed in a Blank or Sandbox course, the information may be "pushed" or "sideloaded" from the Blueprint course to the associated courses. Students cannot be enrolled into Blueprint courses. Blueprint courses are typically converted from existing Sandbox or Blank courses.

Part 1: Enabling a sandbox or blank course as a Blueprint course

Once the course has been setup as intended, the course can then be enabled to be a Blueprint course.

To enable the Blueprint course option: 

  1. Login to Canvas.
  2. Select the sandbox or blank course that contains the Blueprint content.
  3. In the designated course, select "Settings" in the navigation bar on the left side of the screen.
  4. In the "Course Details" tab, select the check box called "Enable course as a Blueprint Course."
  5. Once the Blueprint box is checked, this will prompt 4 options for "General Locked Objects" within the course.
    1. Locked objects are course settings and content that cannot be edited in the courses associated with the Blueprint course.
    2. A Blueprint course can lock "Content, Points, Due Dates, and Availability Dates."
    3. Select "Update Course Details" at the bottom of the page when the Blueprint has been configured.

      THis image shows the enable blueprint checkbox in the settings of a blank canvas course.

Part 2: Switching the Blueprint course's sub-account

UWM Support professionals and instructors, contact CETL to switch the Blueprint course sub-account.

  • Contact CETL at 414-229-4319 or email
  • Provide the department name and number for the courses that need to be associated with the Blueprint course (e.g. BIO SCI 102 SECTIONS 801-812)
    • This will make sure every section of your course receives the content from your Blueprint course.

CETL admins, follow these steps to switch the Blueprint course sub-account.

  1. In the Blueprint course, go to Settings.
  2. In "Settings", under the Course Details tab, go to the "Subaccount" drop-down menu. The current sub-account will likely show "Any UWM department (Sandbox)." but may look different on the Continuing Education or Training and Development instances of Canvas.
  3. In the drop-down, navigate to to the top of the list of sub-accounts and select the top-most sub-account for the instance. For SIS courses, look for "UW-Milwaukee - Instructional Top Level."
    1. Note: A Blueprint course must be located above the courses it is associated with in the hierarchy of sub-accounts. Sandbox courses can not be in the "SIS Courses" sub-account.
  4. Respond to the request to move the blueprint course.

Part 3: Associating the Blueprint course with SIS courses

  1. Once the course has been enabled as a Blueprint, a blue tab will appear on the right side of the screen.

    This image shows the blue tab that appears on a course screen once it has been enabled as a blueprint course.

    1. This tab will appear on the right side of the course regardless of where you are within the course.
  2. Select the blueprint tab.
  3. In the blueprint tab, select "Associations."

    This image shows what associations looks like in a blueprint course in order to link the blueprint to other courses.

  4. Associations will allow a blueprint course to be associated with as many courses as you choose.
    1. Note: A course can only receive one blueprint association.
  5. Search courses by title, class code, or semester.
  6. Select the checkbox for each course that needs to be associated to the Blueprint and click "Save."

Keywords:canvas instructure blueprint course sandbox blank admin   Doc ID:88847
Owner:Benjamin G.Group:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Created:2019-01-04 13:48 CDTUpdated:2021-06-28 11:52 CDT
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
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