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kcool
Community Member

Hiding/Removing Course Sidebar

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Hi!

Does anyone know how to disable or hide sidebar items (e.g. coming up & recent feedback) from student view? One of my Physics courses is using a LTI to sync grades to the Canvas grade book and it is duplicating tasks for students. After syncing grades, students' To Do list in the sidebar is enormous. It is causing a lot of confusion and unwarranted anxiety. At this point, I would just like to remove this feature. I've read elsewhere that this can be done in the Global CSS. Since I do not have access to the global CSS, I was wondering if this could be done using JS? I've read in another post that JS can be used to hide buttons.

Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

Best,

Kathleen

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
James
Navigator

 @kcool ​,

You would need access to the global CSS or the global JavaScript to do this, you can't include it at the course level. The To Do list is global -- it's available on their dashboard, it's available within their courses, the assignments may also show up on the calendar. And you wouldn't be hiding the To Do list for just your course (except within your course), you'd be hiding it for all of the courses and other instructors probably won't appreciate it.

The best thing to do is remove the duplicate entries that the LTI created.

View solution in original post

7 Replies
James
Navigator

 @kcool ​,

You would need access to the global CSS or the global JavaScript to do this, you can't include it at the course level. The To Do list is global -- it's available on their dashboard, it's available within their courses, the assignments may also show up on the calendar. And you wouldn't be hiding the To Do list for just your course (except within your course), you'd be hiding it for all of the courses and other instructors probably won't appreciate it.

The best thing to do is remove the duplicate entries that the LTI created.

View solution in original post

mjevins
Community Member

James,

How would one go about doing this? I'm the global admin and we really don't utilize this function in any of the courses we have in Canvas. 

Thanks!

Matt

 @mjevins ,

Your request was ambiguous to me. The original question was about an LTI that added duplicate assignments, but you've said you don't utilize this function, and if you're not using the LTI function, then it's unclear why you are seeing duplicates.

The answer I gave here involved the instructor manually going in to the assignments page and deleting the duplicates. I'm not sure if you're asking if there's an easy way to do this, to which the answer is that it's probably to clean them up manually as the other would require programming and take longer unless you have a lot of them spread across multiple courses.

On the other hand, it sounds like you might be asking about removing the global To Do list, which is what the person originally thought they wanted to do, but it wasn't really a feasible, reasonable, plausible, or acceptable answer.

Your use of "this function" is what was ambiguous to me. The antecedent is not clear, and even now (I'm writing this part after finishing the rest of the message and trying to make sure I get your question answered), I still don't know if you mean you don't use LTIs like this so you don't know who items got duplicated or that you don't use the To Do list and want it removed.

If you're asking about duplicated items without using an LTI, then I don't know how the items got removed, but the quickest / easiest way to get rid of them is to go into each course where it happened and remove them.

If you are picking up that I keep skirting around the issue of removing the To Do list, you might be onto something.

There was a lengthy discussion here once upon a time about getting rid of the To Do list. Generally, I came down on the "removing it is a bad idea" for a multitude of reason. Back then, I might not have told someone how to remove it, but I'm more mellow now that I'm older and I recognize that people have use-cases that go beyond what I can fathom. Most of the people asking that question are teachers frustrated by students going straight to the quiz and bypassing all the reading (or something else). But you can also get straight to the assignments via the calendar, so are you going to get rid of the Calendar too?

It really doesn't matter since the solution doesn't work for them since it involves the global CSS or JavaScript files. Since you say you're the global admin, so I'm going to assume that if you're person asking and, if this is really what you're asking about and not just going through and getting rid of duplicate entries, you're not just responding to a request by a faculty member, but you've given serious ramifications to the effect removing it will have. If you haven't given it serious thought, please do. The To Do list not only shows students when things need done (which incorrectly creates a false sense of that's all they need to do), but instructors also use it as a reminder of what they need to grade.

It's also a global change if you do it through CSS or JavaScript, although it can be loaded at the sub-account level so you could hide it for courses in one area but not for others. However, that's not totally correct, because it also appears on the Dashboard, which is outside of the context of an account or sub-account. Adding things to the global CSS also means you'll need to stay on top of the changes that happen every three weeks and make sure something doesn't break.

Warnings aside ...

You need to figure out exactly what you want to get rid of. On the Dashboard, the To Do list is part of an aside that also includes Coming Up and Recent Feedback and the buttons to create a new course and view grades.

225414_pastedImage_3.png

Within a course, that right side also includes course commands and the Coming Up list.

225429_pastedImage_2.png

To make sure that we get rid of just the To Do list and not everything, we need to be careful in our selectors.

Pressing F12 in your browser to open the Developer Tools will hopefully allow you to inspect the code. Looking at the Document Object Model (DOM), we see that there's more than one element in the To Do list.

225415_pastedImage_4.png

Within the course, the wrapping divs are a little different.

225430_pastedImage_3.png

However, both the dashboard To Do list and the course To Do list are always in an aside with an id="right-side". That also includes everything on the right side, not just the To Do list. There are actually two different pieces we need to get rid of. There's a header (h2) and an unordered list (ul). Luckily, they both have classes that can be used to identify them, so we don't have to rely on finding parents, or looking for text (which is great for English, but doesn't support internationalization), or counting that it's the 7th div and then using something like the :nth-child() pseudo-class as a selector (good thing because that's extremely susceptible to breaking when the order breaks).

If you set up your CSS selectors correctly, you can use one rule (or two) to remove it in both places. The classes you would need to use are #right-side .todo-list-header and #right-side .to-do-list. You might be able to use just the class selector .todo-list-header and .to-do-list, but I haven't checked to see if those appear anywhere else, so I tend to be over cautious with my selectors.

Once you know the selectors, you can hide them by setting the display to none.

Here's code that removes both at the same time (this could be on a single line).

#right-side .todo-list-header, #right-side .to-do-list {
  display: none;
}

Now my right side looks like this.

225428_pastedImage_1.png

And in my course it looks like this.

225431_pastedImage_8.png

If you want to get rid of the To Do list, you probably also want to get rid of the Coming Up list. You can look at the DOM screen shots I posted and see that they have their own classes that control them.

You then add this to your global CSS, or make it your global CSS if you don't already have one, and upload it through the Theme Editor. There are a set of warnings and instructions provided in the document How do I upload custom JavaScript and CSS files to an account or sub-account? 

Did I mention that for most people, the consensus is that it's a really bad idea to remove the To Do list?

mjevins
Community Member

James,

Thank you for the information. I used the DOM inspector to find that what I wanted was :

.with-right-side #right-side-wrapper {
display: none;
}

I uploaded this as custom CSS on my sub account and it works just as I'd like, and it doesn't impact other courses that are not part of that sub account.

Thanks,

Matthew

kcool
Community Member

Thanks so much for the quick reply, James! Is there any way for the instructor and/or admin to remove the duplicate entries created by the LTI? Or would students need to do this on an individual basis?

Thanks again!

Best,

Kathleen

The instructor, instructional designer, or admin needs to remove the assignments. Having duplicate entries in there can (depending on how they're set up) mess with the gradebook. The course needs fixed -- this is not something the students can do.

Now, how the instructor removes the duplicates depends on how and why they're getting duplicated. I would begin by going to the assignment page and deleting the duplicates, but be careful that you don't accidentally delete something you want to keep.

I know that LTI gradeback can be painful. I taught using My Labs & Mastering (MyMathLab) in Summer 2015 and luckily did enough testing before the course began to realize that the grade passback was severely limited and flawed. MyLabs created the assignments for me, but each one had weird codes in them. If I edited the assignment to have something useful in the description for the students, then it MyLabs didn't recognize it anymore and created another one (at least I think it did). I quickly gave up on trying to pass back the grades into Canvas and manually entered a score for each chapter rather than trying to pass back grades for each assignment.

This reinforced something I already knew -- just because it is possible to do something doesn't mean that you should.

kcool
Community Member

Thanks so much, James!!! Your feedback has been very helpful. We have been using MyMathLab as a Canvas LTI to sync grades and it has been an absolute nightmare. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one to have experienced this!

Best,

Kathleen