My district started to move over the Canvas LMS last year and we are really embracing it this year. I really like the LMS overall, it has power, customization, and flexibility on how to do almost anything that you could want.
As part of that flexibility and customization, you can set your course’s homepage to look the way that you want. There are several default options, but I am in search of the one that best works for my students. My goals are as follows:
- Students should be easily able to access course content
- Students should be able to get anywhere in the course within 3 clicks
- Students should be able to see their assignments easily
- Should be visually appealing
- Contains all extra course information (syllabus, contact info, etc)
I started my Canvas conversion last year and I went through two major variations of my homepage design. The first was to just use modules and have everything viewable from there. Students could access everything quickly and see their assignments, but it was not very visually attractive. I would love if Canvas would allow you to include images in the module list so that you can give some visual separation between each of the modules.
After rolling with the module view as my homepage for two marking period I decided to switch things up a bit. I went over to a page which allowed me to add images and directly link assignments and other course content. I think it visually looks much nicer, but there are a few issues. The first is that I have to manually add the assignments into the links as well as the due dates. It’s not a big deal, but it is a bit of a time suck. The other thing that I didn’t like was that students couldn’t easily see all of their work from the marking period. How I had it setup allowed the students to only see that unit’s worth of content. If they wanted to view other units, they would have to click the links at the bottom.
Now that I am really embracing Canvas and using it for all of my classes, I am trying to find the optimal homepage design. I always organize my content into modules but I don’t like the way that they display. I also want to include an image as a unit logo of some type.
What I am playing with right now is using a page as my homepage, but only using the unit logo/image. From there I am linking the image to the module for that particular unit.
While it’s not perfect, and there are some things that I want to change, I am much happier with the overall layout. The newest unit is always at the top and students can easily move from one to the next. The module that each unit is linked to clearly shows the assignments. In addition, I have linked each of the assignments below the images and put them into a list that has a hierarchy so that students can easily see what they need to, and see it in a variety of ways.
I’m still looking for a better layout but for now I’m happy. Does anyone has a better or more proven design? I’ve been looking for research but I have not been able to find any thus far.