Designing Your Canvas Course
Create a site with a welcoming Home page and clear navigation for your students.
1. Add and Manage Files and Content
- Upload your syllabus and other files in PDF and Word formats
- Files are organized in alphabetical order. While you can still move files into folders, you cannot rearrange the alphabetized structure of the files and folders.
- Canvas will accept most media files as uploads. However, not all media files can be played within Canvas.
- With Scribd preview you can scroll through the document, zoom in and out, and view the document in full screen.
See also Instructure's video: Files - Add Content
2. Create Pages
Use Pages for providing content and educational resources that don’t necessarily belong in an assignment, or that you want to refer to in multiple assignments.
- Pages may include text, video, and links to files and other pages.
- Pages can also be used as a collaboration tool where you can create class wikis and set specific user access for each page. Canvas keeps the entire history of the page so you can see how it changes over time.
To create a new page:
- Click Pages in the Course Navigation (on left)
- Click View All Pages (blue button in upper left)
- Click + Page (blue button in upper right)
- Enter a title or name for the page.
- Add content using the Rich Content Editor and/or the Content Selector on the right.
See also Instructure's illustrated guides or watch the video below for more instructions:
3. Use Modules to Organize Content
The left sidebar is referred to as the Course Navigation menu. It consists of several tabs which may be made visible to or hidden from students. (Tab names cannot be edited at this time.)
- To avoid confusion or overwhelming students with material access points, provide them with a customized path to your offering's online resources by including only the most necessary tabs.
- For example, if course content (files, videos, etc) is contained within Pages, which are organized by Modules, the only Navigation menu items really necessary are Home and Modules.
- Other features one may include for minimal use are Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and links to external resources or media.
TIP: We recommend hiding the built-in Syllabus tool from Course Navigation, particularly for multi-term offerings, as customization options are limited, and it is not necessary for including the course syllabus on your site.
- From the top menu bar, select your course from the Courses menu
- Click Settings at the bottom of the Navigation menu (on left)
- Click the Navigations tab (in the center)
- Drag any items you wish to hide from students below the Drag items here you wish to hide from students text
- Click Save
Hidden items will appear grayed out in the menu but are accessible to faculty.
5. Create a Home Page
Create a welcoming landing page for your students.
The ‘Homepage’ of your course can be customized as you prefer.
- The default is the ‘Recent Activity Dashboard' which displays the current Announcements to your students.
- Or you can choose to create a custom page (a Page I Design Myself) or the list of Modules as the Homepage.
We recommend selecting "a Page I Design Myself" to create a welcoming and identifying front page for your students.
For a list of recommended components to include on the Home pape, click the show more button below.
Components that should be included on the faculty-designed Home page are:
- title of program/course, and/or a welcome message or brief offering description (2-3 sentences)
- a related image (recommended dimensions: 700 pixels wide by 300 pixels high)
- indicate where students should "start" in the site, such as using text or an icon linked to the Modules List
- meeting day(s)/time(s) and location(s)
- faculty name(s)
- faculty office hours and location (or create a "Faculty Page" to include more information)
See Instructure's illustrated guides for more instructions:
6. Last Steps: Test and Publish
A course is made accessible to students by publishing it. Use Student View before publishing to see the course as students will see it.
See also the Canvas Orientation for Faculty
Use this Canvas course as a step-by-step guide for developing your site.
Sign up for a hands-on workshop! Canvas Basics for Faculty
This will take you to a signup page in the Canvas Orientation for Faculty site.