Join Oliver Schinkten for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting course homepage options, part of Up and Running with Canvas 2015.
- In Canvas, we do not have much control over the look or layout of the course. One area we do have control over, however, is the course home page. On the course home page, on the right-hand side, you will notice a button titled, Choose Home Page. If I click on this, several options arise. We can set our home page as the Course Activity Stream. The Course Activity Stream allows students to see assignments due, announcements, and other communication. The second option, titled Pages Front Page, allows you to customize your own course home page.
In this case, you will notice that this option is not available to select, because we have not yet set up a front page. The other options available include: Course Modules, Assignment List, or Syllabus, all topics we'll cover in future videos. I would like to create my own home page. So I will need to click on the link to the right which says, front page must be set first. A screen pops up, which says, no pages have been created yet. If I click on Add one, a text editor pops up that will allow me to create my page.
This will allow us to enter texts and images, and manipulate them in several ways. We'll have the option to make text bold, italics, or underlined. We can change the color of our text. We can highlight text, change the alignment, and several other features. I do not recommend spending too much time on the design of the course home page, as the purpose of Canvas, is to offer a simple and easy to understand platform to create, organize, and share valuable resources with students. I would like to get started creating my own home page. First, I am going to name it Life Science Home Page.
Inside of the text editor, the first thing I want to do is add an image. On the right, you will notice a sidebar titled Insert Content into the Page. We can insert links, files, and images. In this case, I want to insert an image. Click on images. I'm going to upload a new image. Choose a file. And in the exercise files, in chapter 2, there will be an image titled Canvas Home Page Header. If I double-click on that, it loads it here, and then I need to press upload.
The image now for OrangeValley Middle School, has been entered into the text editor. The next thing I would like to do, is to enter in some text. I am going to paste some text that I've copied from a Microsoft Word document. As you can see, I list my room number, the classroom expectations, and homework policy. Now I can use the text editor to make this look a little bit more attractive. For instance, right away I want to draw extra attention to my classroom expectations. So I'm going to make those bold and I'm going to increase the font size to 18 font.
Nah I'm gonna go with 14 font. Next, the homework policy is something that I really want to feature. All homework assignments are due by 11:59 pm on the date in which they are due, and I want to make sure that students understand that. I'm going to copy and paste this up at the top. I am going to make this bold. I'm going to make it 18 font, and I'm going to center it.
I really want students to understand that so they don't come later and say that they didn't understand the homework policy. So as you can see, I used the text editor to highlight some of the things that I thought were important. Down below under options, it asks whether you want only teachers, teachers and students, or anyone to edit the home page. In this case, I only want teachers to. When I am done, I'm going to click save. After I've saved this, there are a couple steps I still need to do. First, I want to publish this page. After doing that, I want to go on the left sidebar and click on Pages, and we can see that I've created the Life Science Home Page.
On the far right, there's a gear icon. On the gear icon, I want to click on that, and select Use as Front Page. Now I have selected that as my front page. If we return to the Life Science Home Page, you will see that it still does not appear. I'm going to go back, choose home page, and now I can select the Pages Front Page. I'll click on that. Click save. And there it is. You can still see that our course is unpublished.
This is a good thing. Eventually we will publish our course, but we still have a couple things to do yet. In the meantime, I'm going to switch back to the default home screen, the Course Activity Stream, as there are many things I would like to add to that page before officially making it my home page.
- Setting up a teacher account and profile
- Creating the course and syllabus
- Adding a grading profile
- Creating student groups
- Setting up conferences
- Creating assignments and quizzes
- Building test question banks
- Exploring the grading tools (including SpeedGrader)
- Adding co-teachers
- Duplicating a course
- Working with modules
- Publishing a course