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Student App - Course Homepage Concerns

Creating innovative course homepages has allowed us to do some really cool things with our professional development and training shells in Canvas. For our most current endeavour, we wanted to make our course homepage and LTI URL Redirects a part of our navigation.

A little background: this new course is going to be our own institutional Canvas community hub for faculty and students and the homepage would have four buttons that directed users to their desired destination. This all worked great in our browser but when we tested it on the Student App (both IOS and Android) it all fell apart.

The LTI URL Redirect tool that we were using to link students to four Canvas pages actually takes the users out of the app and into the web-browser. This one is an easy fix - we go back to Modules and add the pages there. Just one extra click.

The course homepage being a button you have to click instead of the default landing page when you access a course really negates the concept of the homepage. We have a dozen courses that depend on the homepage to allow users to navigate through courses. I'm not sure what to do at this point because it seems that using the homepage for a creative landing page is going to be entirely lost if you have to ask your users to click on the Homepage when they enter the course through the mobile app.

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Any workarounds or suggestions to overcome losing direct navigation to the homepage from the Student Mobile App?

I know one solution would be to tell the users to click on the homepage if they're using a mobile device, but we the roster for this course will always be rotating, so that would be tedious. 

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Rebecca Helmer‌, 

Could you hide all the menu items for the course, so the only thing they see is the box at the top for the homepage? You could then work in any course items directly into a module so the course menu wouldn't be necessary.

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I don't know enough about the course to know if that would work. Besides that, I can't think of any other workarounds because the app is designed for smaller screens which makes the menu get more visibility. Although, if you are using a tablet, you will see the homepage open on the right side with the menu on the left. 

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Unfortunately, I have discovered that hiding things in the computer version does not seem to transfer to the Mobile App! Not only is my course home page not the default landing site for mobile, but my entire navigation is available for students! Maybe I am just seeing it wrong, but it is so difficult to see my course the way a student does and the app is even harder. 

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HI davidh@cos.edu‌, 

Not only is my course home page not the default landing site for mobile

That is correct. It basically comes down to screen size. The app used to show the correct home page, but then the students could never find the course menu, which caused more issues, so Canvas reverted to what you see today. On a tablet though, the student will see your home page selection because of the larger screen size. 

Maybe I am just seeing it wrong, but it is so difficult to see my course the way a student does and the app is even harder. 

This is true. There is no "true" student view for the Student app. Your students should not be able to see the hidden menu items. You can see them in the Student app because you are the teacher. Anything grayed out on the web is not available to students on the web and mobile. You can also check what's hidden in the Canvas Teacher app. When you look at your course menu in the Teacher app you will see an icon with an eye and slash to show hidden menu items. 

I know this isn't a fix, but thought I'd clarify that students aren't seeing more than what they should see. 

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