I Have a Homepage Template! Now What?


I Have a Homepage Template! Now What?

Setting up your homepage and beyond

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, Instructure’s Instructional Design team shared two free homepage templates that you can use in your courses! 

Homepage screenshots.png

Now that you have the templates, what do you do from an instructional design perspective?

A homepage provides a visual representation of a course. At a foundational level, it should include a brief course description or introduction, clear instructions for students (e.g., where to begin), and quick and easy navigation to current content. The template also includes four buttons for easy navigation. These buttons were chosen specifically with the Universal Design for Learning framework in mind, but they are editable within Google Drive so that you can customize the text to fit your needs.

Course Overview

The Course Overview button navigation can be as simple as linking to your course syllabus. If you don’t use the Syllabus within Canvas, you can create a new page with information about your class. This should include key learning information such as goals, learning objectives, and/or standards, course materials, supplemental textbooks, and reading lists. You can also provide class expectations such as participation rules, code of conduct, policies for grading, late work and make-up work policies, and technology requirements.

Learning Modules

In most courses, instructional content and assignments are housed in Modules. You can create a hyperlink for this button to navigate directly to your course Modules. Consider keeping the modules easy to navigate by chunking content into manageable pieces (organized by week, unit, topic, or chapter), only publishing current modules, and moving the most relevant module to the top. Course navigation should be clear and consistent, so use a consistent naming convention for your modules and content.

Help & Support

The Help & Support button can take students to your institution’s Help Desk, or to another Canvas page with important resources. To ensure students’ learning is uninterrupted, the help page may include who to contact for questions about the course or for technology support.

About Your Teacher

The last button, About Your Teacher, helps to foster a collaborative community. Create and hyperlink to a new page that includes your contact information, a biography, availability information, communication preferences, response time, and a picture. If you use a website outside of Canvas, you can use this button to navigate there.

Best Practices & Design

To learn more about best practices for course design, check out the Canvas Course Evaluation Checklist v3.0!

Our Design and Curriculum teams offer a variety of services, including course templates, consultation hours, badging and certificate services, course reviews and evaluations, instructional workshops, course authoring, content reconstruction, and much more! If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact your CSM or a Learning Services Manager (Miranda McIntosh at mmcintosh@instructure.com or Lizzy Rodriguez at elizabeth.rodriguez@instructure.com).

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