Public course and redirect tool, discussions, and quizzes

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Community Participant

A colleague designed a public course hosted on

But course links created with the Redirect Tool, quizzes, and discussions were not accessible in his public course.

Using the Redirect Tool

His course was designed using the Redirect Tool to customize the course navigation. All the links used in the Redirect Tool pointed to various pages in the same course; in other words, they were all internal links.

When viewers are not signed into Instructure, the links via Redirect do not work. They forward to a message saying "Please log in to view this content." The tool works fine if viewers authenticate to Instructure first. But the purpose of the public course was to be publicly viewable without having to register or sign in. 

He found a setting for Redirect to enable "Visibility = Public", but that resulted in each Redirect Tool link landing on the same page--not navigating based on the URL entered in the tool. (I'm not sure where he found this setting; he said it's in the Redirect LTI code.)

Using discussions

The course also included discussions. None of these were visible to viewers unless they authenticated to Instructure first.

Using quizzes

And his course included scored quizzes. These were not visible, either, unless viewers authenticated to Instructure first. He changed them to unscored quizzes, and they appeared, but viewers could not see quiz feedback in the responses or their quiz results after submitting the quiz.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for why these Canvas features don't work as expected in a public course, please share your thoughts.

Thanks very much. Best wishes.


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1 Solution
Coach Emeritus

Hi Colleen

This excerpt is from the guide, How do I customize visibility options for a course?

"Course visibility options can be customized and allow access to different user roles. The visibility setting offers three choices for a course:

  • Course: The course is available to all users associated (enrolled) in the course. This option is the default setting.‬

  • Institution: The course is available to users associated with this institution. This option allows users in your institution to view your course before they enroll in the course. For this option, users can only view the course if course self-enrollment is enabled or the course is included in the Public Course Index. ‬
The course content shown to authenticated users is the same content shown to the public for publicly visible courses.
  • Public: The course is available to anyone with the URL. If a public course is unaccessible to unauthenticated users, your institution may require a login and password to view all courses within their Canvas instance."

Since a Free-for-Teachers account was used to create the course, I strongly suspect that this is because of an admin setting made by Instructure acting as the "institution".  This Free-for-Teachers Account FAQ may help.

You could try reaching out to Instructure for help by clicking the Help menu item.




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