Learning Technology@LJMU

Staff Guide: Blueprinting Courses in Canvas


If you currently deliver content to several cohorts, aggregated into one Canvas pseudo course, then you may wish to consider using the Canvas Blueprinting tool, as an alternative method for managing the delivery of content, across several separate modules. Blueprinting negates the requirement for cross-listing (the manual intervention by which enrolments are moved from SIS-generated courses, into manually created non-courses).

What is Blueprinting?

Blueprint Courses makes it easy for academics to deploy, update, and maintain course content across any number of courses from a single master course, allowing staff to create content and announcements, lock specific settings or content items, and push updates to all associated courses through course syncing.

Any items that are not locked can be managed locally, allowing additional items to be added or edits to the distributed content. Content that can be managed locally by a staff member is not overwritten when the Blueprint Course is synced to associated courses, and new content created in any associated course is also not affected.


If you have similar content that needs to be distributed across a number of Canvas courses then Blueprinting could help you. Rather than updating each course individually, you can have one source for all distributed content. Any localised content, pertaining to only one course, could be added to that individual course without disrupting the distribution process.


The use of Blueprinting is probably not worthwhile if there is only very little similar content, in a course. The process does take some time to understand before it can be confidently used and could lead to mistakes if only employed a few times, during each semester.


  • It has to be set up at the beginning of the year, prior to the commencement of teaching.
  • It should not be used for Assignments.  If you have aggregated cohorts, for assessment purposes, then you should continue to use pseudo courses.
  • Ensure anyone involved in the course delivery is aware that Blueprinting is being used and they are enroled on the Master and taught courses.

What to do next?

Please contact TEL team if you are interested in moving from a pseudo course, to Blueprinting. Further information about the tool is available in the Canvas Help links, below.