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Community Member

Too many Modules | Options for resorting/structuring content

Hello Everyone,

I'm moving this post over from another page as it was suggested that one of the Instructional Designers might be able to help.

I'm currently using Canvas as the platform for a resource development project for some of the staff at our university. In essence, what we've done is taking an traditional training manual and moved all this information into Canvas so that the information can be continually updated as need be.

Given that this isn't the traditional functionality of Canvas, we're running into a few challenges and one of these is that there is A LOT of content within our course. For example, we currently have 21 modules (and this number will continue to grow) and within these modules, there are anywhere from 15-50 sub-tabs. In other words, a lot of content, which is great as a repository for our users, but becoming a bit overwhelming for users. I'm looking for suggestions or reaching out to Instructure to consider re-structuring or re-ordering the modules page to aid with navigation.

Lastly, let me tell you a few things we've considered and why they haven't worked:

  • Splitting the modules into individual courses. Seems like an easy solution however, there are currently +275 users in my course which would mean I would need to add each person to 21 different courses which they would need to accept individually, not very user friendly AND we want the one course to act as one Hub for information rather than 21 different courses.
  • Reducing our content. Not an option. What we have in our course is only a small portion of what our staff need to do their jobs.
  • Look at Bridge (also built by Instructure). We looked at Bridge and weren't pleased with the content at this time.

To help you better understand, here is a screenshot of only some of our content...


I appreciate everyone's comments/feedback and am open to suggestions!

27 Replies

Our is organized in a similar way. We have modules and pages within the modules and tabbed content within the pages. I agree that 5 is good, they can extend to a second row if the titles are too long though. Not a big deal, unless you find it aesthetically unappealing.


 @caitlin_stiles ​, while a Canvas course can have only one front page, it can have as many pages as you like (although I'm not sure what the limit is, I've seen courses with over 100 pages and have heard of courses with over 200).

For example, we run a training course that has eight modules in it. The first item in each module is a page that incorporates a tab interface with five or six tabs of content. So that's 40-48 resources in eight pages. (Each module also contains links to discussions, assignments, and quizzes.)

If you were to use a combination of modules and tabbed content, you needn't limit yourself (as we did) to one tabbed page in each module. You could organize the content into large categories, and then sub-categories with tabs. The tabbed interface can certainly get unwieldy if there are too many tabs, but five tabs per page is quite manageable. So, within your 21 modules, you could organize the relevant content in 8-12 pages for each module (I haven't done the math, so that might not be quite the right number).

But doing the math on the hypothetical max, I get 21 modules X 12 pages X 5 tabs per page = 1260 pieces of content (on 252 pages)--which is more than the higher end of what you've described.

Might this work for you?

Hi Caitlin,

I personally have only ever seen people using one set of tabs, for what that is worth.



Hi Stephanie- thank you for the suggestion. I'd previosuly watched that video within the link and had posted a question (which I have yet to recieve a response on). My question was:

From what I can see, you can only have one page with additional tabs, is this correct? In otherwords, you can't have multiple pages with multiple tabs, is this right? From what I can see Canvas only provides the option to have on 'page'.

Do you know if this is the case? Thank you very much.

Thank you Heather. I appreciate your suggestions however, we're already utilizing the suggestions you've made. Unfortunately, we just have so much content that we're hoping for an alternative layout/format. Thanks again!

Community Member

Can you chunk some material into tabs? You will have to do some coding, but it does reduce the number of modules. Be consistent and bold with headers and visual indicators. I have included a link on how to build them. Hope that helps!

Using Tabs in Your Canvas Course

Community Member

Hi Caitlin, when dealing with a course that has a lot of content that can't be reduced, my recommendation is always to focus on creating clear, intuitive, and consistent navigation. You might consider adding a table of contents or outline, either to the top of your modules or even to your homepage. Then, you can easily link to specific pages or modules, and the users can click to go to the topic or module they are interested in. I also recommend using text headers and indenting in modules to visually indicate topics and subtopics. Good luck!