[Modules] Hide locked Module title/contents from students before release date

Currently in Canvas, when a module is locked until a specific date/time, students can see the module title and contents (although they cannot access them). Some faculty would like the option to hide the title of unreleased modules and materials altogether. This could be accomplished either by not displaying upcoming modules at all, or substituting names such as "Locked Module" for the titles of upcoming material. Although this can currently be accomplished by manually publishing modules on a designated date, the preferred approach would be to allow titles to be obscured as an option for locked material.


This will support faculty who want to stage their entire course at the beginning of the term, and have students move through content that builds on previous weeks, with key concepts being highlighted in later weeks that would provide hints for students completing activities in earlier weeks.

Community Team
Community Team


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Community Team

This idea is one of the lucky ones that was selected to get a little more time for voting as part of our evolution of the feature idea process.   It was selected because of it's vote count and/or comment thread.  

*Selection criteria: Most (not all) ideas that received 70+ votes in their initial voting round.

Community Novice

I would love to have locked modules be a little more locked. Currently, students can see the titles of all content and even view links if they are external URLs. By right-clicking a link and selecting "Copy Link," they can visit external sites I have locked before they open. I do wish there was a little bit more substance to locking modules, and that it was a little more obvious to students when a module is locked.   

Community Novice

The problem is that I can't schedule the module to be published at a later date. That means that if I want to hide things from my students until a certain date, I have to remember to open Canvas and publish the content on the desired date.

Community Contributor

The ability to 'close' module access on a specific date & time would be nice too.

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Community Participant

I agree. It's confusing to students and frustrating if they can see upcoming Modules but don't have access. This also causes issues with students emailing faculty because they want to jump ahead even though the faculty has a pace they want to keep. 

What's the pedagogical benefit of showing the module, but having it locked? They have a syllabus. Let them use that to know what's coming up in future weeks. 

It makes more sense to have a "Publish on this date _____" option so faculty don't forget to publish a module and its contents. 

Community Novice

I think this would be useful in this case:

Say i have 2 groups of students (Group A focused on Project A (lets call it Creating Dogs) and Group B focused on Project B ( lets call it creating Cats)). I would like the students who choose to focus on creating Dogs to only see the modules and assignments pertaining to dogs and not cats and vice versa. This way they wont see the clutter of all the modules that are  not related what they chose to focus on creating.

Community Novice

While I see your point, I'm not sure that a simple "Hide content from students until unlocked" flag added to the lock until date options would add a lot of complexity, especially if it defaulted to 'no', which is the current situation.

Community Member

This is a basic and essential functionality. My university switched to Canvas as its LMS this year, and I was flabbergasted that it was not possible to do this on Canvas: have files that are invisible to students become visible and accessible at a predetermined time.

My students' displays should not have to be cluttered up with a list of a zillion files that they don't have permission to view yet. I should be able to add, delete, or rename files that relate to material we haven't gotten to in class yet without my students' displays changing; they don't need to know every time I upload a file that's not going to be relevant until three weeks from now. If something new appears in a student's list of modules, it should be because the student has access to a new file.

Currently in Canvas the only way to do this is by making all changes in unpublished modules, and waiting to publish the module until the files are relevant. But there is no way to pre-set a module to be published at a specified time. That means that if I forget to publish a module, or if I happen to be unavailable to click the button at the appropriate time, students' access to course files will be delayed.

There are two solutions to this problem: either make it possible to set modules to be published at a predetermined time; or hide file names in locked modules.

I am astonished to see that the latter remedy was proposed six years ago in this thread and not immediately implemented. Again, this is an extremely basic functionality. Its absence is going to entirely screw up my teaching this semester. Meaning no disrespect to @kmeeusen above, who said "Canvas is not intended to provide options for every faculty's workflow," but... my university has not given me a choice; it's Canvas or nothing. Canvas may not be intended to provide options for every faculty member's workflow, but every faculty member at my university is stuck with it. If I had the option to go back to Blackboard—perhaps the second most user-unfriendly interface I've ever used—I would, as long as Canvas makes it impossible for me to teach my classes in the way I choose. But I don't have that option.

I just can't emphasize enough how absurd it is that Canvas has been missing this functionality for six whole years.

Community Explorer

Delaying the release of modules to appear when they are relevant improves the experience for the students, and makes the academics' (and any support staff's) jobs easier. 

PLEASE introduce a release date option for modules