Pages - link indicator


When on the /pages screen of a course, as well as seeing the list of pages that exist and whether they are published or not, could there be a link icon to show whether a page has actually been linked to elsewhere on the course or whether it is currently 'orphaned'? 

The link could also ideally be clickable to direct you to the page, quiz, discussion etc that is linking to that page.  

This would help teachers on a course, especially courses with multiple teachers, to quickly identify if a page is being used or not and in terms of fault finding or fault prevention be able to visually show if an unpublished page is currently linked to or not.

I have included below a mocked up image showing where and how the link icon might appear on the /pages screen.

Mock up of potential link icon indicatorMock up of potential link icon indicator

Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open
Community Contributor

I use Modules to organize my content, and I'd suggest a similar, but slightly different approach.

In the list of Pages, I would suggest adding a line to show the Module(s) in which individual Pages reside. This would be similar to the list of Assignments. (See attached screenshot).

2022-01-07 (3).png

Community Champion

Interesting and useful concept.

For speed purposes, there would need to be new data structure added to the database. The locations where the pages are linked aren't stored in a database table, it would require searching through every asset to find them. This can be done with the database, but it involves searching all discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other pages, so it takes a while. It would also fail for New Quizzes, where data is stored elsewhere. This is also related to the issue where people want a page name change to be propagated throughout the system and all existing links to be updated. All of the content would have to be searched to find those locations.

Linking directly to the location of the link is really linking to a list of locations and then letting people pick one. Pages can be linked from multiple locations.

Showing the module that a page is linked from could be done without changing the database, but it only works for pages that are actually listed as a module item. Not all pages are in a module. In my statistics class, I tried that, but it got so slow because there was so much content to find that it took 5+ seconds to load the home page. Now, each week has a resource page and I put all of the content for that week in that page. With the second technique, only a tiny portion of my pages would show as being linked. By the way, the same is true for assignments today -- if you don't put an assignment in a module, it cannot show module information on the assignments page. If you link to your assignments from content pages (as I do in my calculus courses), they don't show module information on the assignments page.

Community Coach
Community Coach

I don't know if this would be in your school's budget or not, but Cidi Labs has a product called TidyUP.  It's essentially a tool that integrates with Canvas which allows you to scan your course for files, folders, and content pages...and it identifies if it is being used in your course or not.  If it is not being used, it's probably safe to delete it.  One of the features of TidyUP is that it identifies where content pages are being used in Modules.  Here's a screenshot from my own sandbox course with some random content pages...some of which are in modules...and some are not.

Screenshot 2022-01-09 171013.jpg

Here's a link to the product: TidyUP for Canvas File and Page Cleanup - Cidi Labs

Hope this will help a bit!

Community Explorer

Many thanks for all your replies so far.

We tend not to use the modules view due to it ending up like a very long and uninteresting list like view.  When we were migrating VLEs to Canvas we polled our students and teachers about the various ways content could be listed and viewed and hands down, an image and text (grid) navigation method using pages was the most popular.  We provide a common template with starter pages that all courses need then the teacher can add their own icons to link to their own specific course resources.  Some have tried to use the modules method and it has quickly become unwieldy.

I did think at the time of writing that the same visual link idea could be applied to Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions etc. but as the new ideas guidance said to keep to one idea I decided to focus on page management but ideally the same idea could/would be applied to any internally developed resource that can be linked (or not) and also published (or not)

I have heard Cidi labs via various channels but I'm a little confused as to if they can do this, why cannot Canvas directly? 

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.