Designing Your Canvas Course

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Revision as of 12:03, 9 June 2014 by Irishb (Talk | contribs)


Create a site with a welcoming Home page and clear navigation for your students.

1. Add and Manage Files and Content

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How do I add a file to my course?

  • Upload your syllabus and other files in PDF and Word formats

How do I move and organize my files?

  • 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.

What types of media files can be uploaded into Canvas?

  • Canvas will accept most media files as uploads. However, not all media files can be played within Canvas.

What document types does Canvas convert using the Scribd preview?

  • 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

Pages can contain text, video, and links to your files, and used to provide content and educational resources that don’t necessarily belong in an assignment. You can even make links to other pages. Pages can also be used as a class wikis.

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How do I create a new Page?

How do I use Draft State in Pages?

How do I upload a PDF to a Page?

See also Instructure's video: Pages - Creation and Management

3. Use Modules to Organize Content

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Modules allow you to organize your content to help control the flow of your course.

See also Instructure's video: Modules - Creation and Management

4. Customize the Course Navigation

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.)

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What is Course Navigation?

Course Navigation is a series of links on the left side of your screen that help you get to where you want to go inside of a Canvas course.

How do I reorder and hide Course Navigation links?

5. Create a Home Page

Create a welcoming landing page for your students.

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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 using the "a Page I Design Myself" option - or the list of Modules as the Homepage.

We recommend selecting "a Page I Design Myself" and creating a welcoming and identifying front page for your students.

Information to include on the Home page:
  • 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)

Locate the Course Home Page

  • The Course Home Page is the first page that students see when they click the Home link in their Course Navigation. As an instructor, you decide what you want students to see and interact with on the Course Home Page.

How to set the Course Home Page

  • You can change your Course Home Page to 1) the Recent Activity Dashboard, 2) a Page you can Decide Yourself, 3) the Course Modules/Sections, 4) the Assignment List, or 5) the Syllabus with Assignment List.

Where is the Front Page and how do I edit it?

  • The Front Page is the first page your students will see when they enter your course, if you choose to have the course home page set to the page. Use this page to show a welcome message, links, images, or other information for students.

How do I edit Pages?

  • A Page may be edited even after it has been published.

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 online Canvas course as a step-by-step guide for developing your site.

Sign up for a hands-on workshop! Canvas Basics for Faculty