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Community Member

Module Madness

We all know that Canvas has an awesome Modules feature, but few instructors take advantage of all its capabilities (e.g., setting sequential order, using text headers, sharing Modules with fellow teachers, etc.). From guiding access to improving visual appeal, this session is for anyone who wants to know everything about Modules.

Presenter: Tracey DeLillo​ - Alamo Colleges

Session recording: Video Link : 1558

  Location Map & Room: ARCHES

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9 Replies
Community Member

Will the information presented be shared in Community?  The room was TOO small and I couldn't hear anything in the hallway. Smiley Sad

Community Member

Most of my session was a live demo, not slides, but I will definitely put together a synopsis as soon as I can. Also, don't forget that the session was recorded and will eventually be available (technical difficulties and all Smiley Wink)​

Community Member

I promised during the session to share a couple of the sites I found useful for unicode symbols and ascii art. Sorry it took me a few days to get to it ("Post InstructureCon Fatigue" should be a recognized medical disorder Smiley Happy).

Unicode: Miscellaneous Symbols — Unicode Character Table (Note the drop-down menu on the upper right, which will lead you to more symbols than what you see in the "miscellaneous" list)

Ascii art: 1 Line Art | ASCII art in one line

As mentioned, I just copy them from those sites and paste them into my text headers (or wherever Smiley Wink).

Enjoy! Share other sites if you find good ones...


This is awesome! Thank you for sharing!

I'm already playing with a couple of these ideas with a summer course I'm working on!


Community Member

Yay! Thank you for the feedback. I'd love to know what your students think, and how it works out.

Community Member

Okay, so here's a general overview of my session (since I didn't do PowerPoint). I picked three topics to go into a little detail about, since there was no way to actually cover "everything about Modules" in 30 minutes or less. I will make sure to link to the session video when it's available.

1. Module Settings:

If you want students to do everything in the modules in perfect sequential order, the settings should look something like this:


  • The previous module must be set as a pre-requisite
  • Requirements for completion must be added
  • "Students must move through requirements..." checkbox must be selected


Checking the "Students must move through requirements..." checkbox without adding any requirements will do nothing. This is the main takeaway, because people do it all. the. time. Very understandably. Please see the ​ feature request if you'd like to see this work better.

Other general tips:

  • Don't forget to publish your modules
  • Don't forget to look at your modules from the Student View to make sure you've published everything you meant to, and to make sure the sequential order is set up correctly

2. Sharing modules with other instructors (or with yourself, from course to course)

I demo'd two ways to do it. I had cute little sped-up videos showing the process, but I'll just link to the perfectly wonderful Canvas guides.

3. Module design tips

Since the Modules page cannot be tweaked - no colors, fonts, HTML - and people seem to want to do some customization (see ​), here are a few ways to create visual interest.

"Super headers" - Create a new module and use the Module Name field to add anything you'd put in a regular text header...


Blank text headers to set things apart...


Unicode symbols or ascii characters to draw the eye...


  • Mobile: Yes, unicode and ascii display in the mobile app
  • Accessibilty: Screen readers like JAWS seem to ignore unicode symbols, but will read ascii characters (thanks to jraible​ and Nancy Swenson at UCF for helping me test this)

And then there was a text header panda (which I tried to get trending on Twitter, but textheaderpanda​ just didn't catch fire...)


Hope this helps somewhat!

Community Member

Thank you Traci for taking the time to post this summary!

Community Member

There is a feature idea regarding clarifying the "Students must move through requirements in sequential order" setting - ​ - it's currently open for voting. Please vote it up if you find the current option confusing!

Explorer III

The session video is now available at: