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Stop Canvas Modules from Auto-Publishing All Content Inside a Module When a Module is Published

Stop Canvas Modules from Auto-Publishing All Content Inside a Module When a Module is Published


My university is finding the fact that publishing a module auto-publishes all the content in it quite annoying.

I would like to be able to just publish a module and then choose what features of it that I wish to publish.

I know that I can set a limiter on when a student can actually see and interact with materials-but if a professor is uncertain about publishing certain content all at once, they have no options.

This has been asked about several times in the community-I snagged two of the best examples below.

Thank you all for your time and your vote! Smiley Happy

Community Participant

I find it tedious and annoying that when I publish a module all items in that module are published.  As a result, I need to go to each individual item and unpublish the items I do not want published.  My modules might contain my lecture notes for the semester - say 10 to 15 files - that I do not want students to see until after lecture.  Or the module might contain quizzes that I do want students to see, yet when published they are notified then I 'hide them' and they ask about the quiz that was recently assigned but not found. 

Since I often teach the same course or courses, I copy a course from one semester to the next.  A simple fix would be to allow users the option to publish "all" or "none" of the items in a module.  By having "none" I can then publish as needed the items I want students to see.

New Member

When we publish a module right now, everything within that module is also published. We would like to be able to publish a module without having all of the items publish automatically.

New Member

Please add an option to "publish all" or "none" of the subcontent when publishing a module.  It is so time-consuming to unpublish content that I want to wait to use with my learners.  

New Member

Is there any way we can publish a module without every item publishing in it?  I build my entire unit beforehand and when I am ready to publish the module, every item in it publishes and I have to go back through and unpublish everything right away.

New Member

This thread has been open for 2 years.. when does it get put up for voting?


Community Champion


Up/down voting was the way the old community software worked. With the new software, it is star system for indicating how important you think the idea is. You will find the stars at the top under the title and can provide your level of support for this idea.

New Member

Publish a Module WITHOUT automatically publishing everything in that Module!

This topic has been requested from Instructure for many years yet they continue to ignore this likely simple option.

I am unsure what us end-users must do for them take this poor design decision seriously and make it a simple option to... Publish a Module WITHOUT automatically publishing everything in that Module!

New Member

I don't know how to vote for this idea, but I fully support it!  At the start of the course, I want to publish all of the modules, but none of the content in the modules.  That way the overall structure of the course is apparent, and I can publish things as they become relevant, without having to remember to publish the module as well as the individual items when I decide to publish them.

New Member

Yeah, this is hella irritating. I also find that copying materials from previous semesters automatically publishes as well.

Does Canvas remotely have any plans to address this?

New Member

When Publishing a module all of the assignments and pages in that module automatically publish. I do not want everything in the module to publish when I publish the module. I would prefer to have to publish the module and then go and select everything in that module that I want published for students to see.

Community Contributor

I just found and upvoted this idea, was reading some replies, and only then realized that this idea was posted over 2 years ago. What could POSSIBLY be the upside to NOT fixing this?? As others noted, if I have an assignment/page/quiz/other content in a module marked as UNPUBLISHED, then I want it UNPUBLISHED. I publish a module and then gradually publish content in the module as I am ready for it to be visible. I can't tell you how many times I've published the module and then frantically had to click through and unpublish all of the newly-published content. It is very NOT-user-friendly.

New Member

@dmg34 I too have been posting year after year regarding the lack of this option and it is continually ignored. It is feeling like Instructure has grown too big.

New Member

It will be great and effective to publish only the Unit title, without it triggering publish on all of the unit elements at the same time. At the moment, when staffs hit publish on the unit title, all contents under the unit gets published. Most times staffs are not ready for all of the content to be live and then have to un-publish each of the subsequent elements individually which is time consuming. 

New Member

Terrible design flaw to have the publication of a module override the publish/non-publish status of items within a module.  If an instructor identified an item as "not-publish" they did so for a reason. If the modules are set up in advance on time release and the instructor assumed that the non-publish item(s) would remain non-published, one can imagine the problems that would ensue.  I had no idea this is what publishing a module would do until another instructor in my university alerted us all to the problem.  I nearly released pre-prepared feedback on an assignment that I had designated to be non-published, but turned to "published" when I published the module.  Because the instructor had warned us, I immediately went back to unpublish it.  However, now I will have to do that for all subsequent modules.  Most modules have material that I do not want published right away, or might not publish at all. I create material knowing I might need it, but might not. So I want it in the module, so it's there if/when I need it, but I don't want it published at the start of the module.