Nursing – Innovation Grant

Canvas Course Page Templates

Faculty Lead: Joy Pine-Thomas

Dr. Joy Pine-Thomas in UNCG’s School of Nursing is currently undertaking a project designed to ease the workloads of students and staff as they navigate digital aspects of their academic roles. Students and staff rely heavily on digital communication and online platforms to upload or access course materials and complete or grade assignments. At UNCG, Canvas is the standard site platform used for digital learning – in both in-person and online courses. Dr. Pine-Thomas is currently developing course templates for these Canvas sites in hopes of easing the academic strain placed on students and instructors.

As online learning has taken on a bigger role, even in traditional lecture style courses, the development and maintenance of these Canvas sites has become an additional responsibility for instructors. Alongside generating crucial course content, professors must now dedicate time to ensuring students can effectively navigate their course page. For many, this creates an obstacle to focusing on their course content and is a source of stress or worry. The use of Canvas templates will ensure that instructors have the ability to seamlessly organize and upload the necessary components of their course – giving them the time they need to dedicate to academics and instruction rather than having to focus on website building and maintenance.

Despite the efforts of instructors to create Canvas sites that facilitate student learning, a common piece of feedback instructors receive is that students are having trouble finding content. This demonstrates that although many of them are more familiar with online learning settings, students are still struggling to navigate Canvas sites and readily identify important course materials without assistance. The use of consistent Canvas templates throughout the School of Nursing will allow students to become familiar with the organizational systems of these sites in their introductory courses and be well-equipped to find content and complete assignments in the rest of their courses. This saves students time and stress as they undertake difficult coursework and can help them to succeed academically as a result.

These templates are currently under evaluation by students and staff, with the hope that they will be fully available to all instructors in the School of Nursing by the Spring of 2023. Ultimately, the aim of the use of Canvas templates is to create a cohesive and stress-free experience for students and staff as they navigate digital learning. Dr. Pine-Thomas hopes to expand this project by working with faculty across UNCG to create similar templates for other academic schools, and to help all of UNCG’s students and staff to succeed through a clear digital support structure.

Want to Learn More?
Visit the School of Nursing’s website or contact Joy Pine-Thomas (