A list of general tasks when updating course site for a new semester (go to tutorial video):

Click on a link on the left to jump to the respective topic.
(See also DOE Instructor Resources.)

Combine Multiple Sections

If your course has several sections that use the same content, you can combine them into one site using the Course Combiner via the MAUI in ICON tool in your ICON site.

Import Course Content

Be sure to start from the new (blank) ICON site when importing content. During import process, save time by using the Adjust Event and Due Dates option to move due dates forward automatically (based on old and new session start/end dates).

Update Dates

Update due dates and/or availability dates in all Assignment items, including no submission (external) assignments or file upload assignments, discussions, and quizzes. (See also What is the difference between assignment due dates and availability dates?)

Tips: unpublish anything that is not yet ready for students to access until updates have been made (e.g. proctored online exams).

2) Check and update any outdated semester/date reference (including Spring Break vs. Thanksgiving) in Modules or assignment description.

3) You can use the Syllabus tool in ICON to see all assignment due dates in a glance. This tool can be accessed via the course navigation without being activated for students.

Note: check course start/end date (Settings-->Course Details) and adjust the date range, for example, to allow students to post to a discussion topic before the first day or class.

Enable Turnitin Feedback Studio for Assignments

If you wish to use Turnitin (plagiarism detection tool) for written assignments, be sure to enable it before students submit their assignments. Note:

1) There are two ways to utilize Turnitin in ICON - see Turnitin Getting Started for more information about Turnitin External Tool and Turnitin Framework.

2) Turitin enabled assignments (via the external tool) copied into a new ICON site will need to initiate each assignment folder before students can submit their assignments. Check out Turnitin (External Tool) Tutorial Video for more info.

Proctored Exams

1) If your online course has proctored exams administered by DOE Exam Services, our staff will update the Exam Information page in your ICON site once exam dates have been finalized.

2) Unpublish (proctored) online exams copied into the new site. Exam Services will check and update each exam before publishing them. .


Remove any old/outdated announcements copied from previous course. Tip: you can reuse some of the imported announcements by scheduling them to appear on a later date using the "Delay Posting" option. (See this page for more info.)


Unpinned topics are organized by due dates. Pin first discussion topic(s) if you wish. Be sure to check availability start/end dates and modify as needed.

Setup Groups for Group Assignments/Discussions

Groups sets do not copy from course to course so you must re-create the groups and link them to the respective assignment/discussion topics . (Go to tutorial video.)

IMPORTANT: if you re-created the groups before add/drop period has ended, be sure to check for students who added late who are not assigned to a group during the add/drop window. ICON does not do that automatically.

Upload Syllabus

Upload new course syllabus and update links to the new syllabus in Modules and any other areas (e.g. Homepage or Syllabus section). Be sure to check document header/footer for old semester reference.

Files/Pages - Clean Up and Organize

Check Files and Pages area for old/outdated files and pages that are no longer used in the course and delete them. Pages not used should be unpublished. Consider organizing files into folders (make a folder call "Syllabus" to keep all versions of syllabus files) so they are easier to locate when updating.


Review info on course homepage and update instructions or details if needed. Be sure to check all imported links or thumbnails on the page to make sure they are still valid.

Final Steps

1) Use Student View to walk through the course and make sure students can access everything they need ((See this page for more info.)

2) Review items on the Setup Checklist, then publish course for students to access. (See this page for more info.)

3) Send students a welcome note when course site is open. (See this page for more information about "Conversations", Canvas' communication tool.)Note: you can also send email to students before the course site is published using MAUI's email tool on the Class List page, which can be accessed via MAUI in ICON found in the Course Navigation.