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Surveyor II

Is it possible to hide locked content?

Hi everyone,

I'm setting up a course which is starting on Monday and haven't uploaded all the content yet. I've set up Modules, which I've locked until their start date, but I've noticed that in Student View, it looks strange as some of the modules have content and others (where I haven't uploaded it yet) don't. Is there any way that I can hide the content so that participants can see the module title, but not see whether the content has been added yet or not?

Many thanks and have a great weekend!

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4 Replies


Just a note: adding content after the course is published sends notifications to the student of the new content. In the Canvas dream-world, all content would be present before the course is published. My reality world is not so dreamy. The first time I taught online was problematic. I opened up the course early so I could message them (you cannot message students if the course is not published) and then I kept adding content and they started turning out stuff because of the overflow of information they didn't need to know about.

Also realize that what you see in the student view may not always be exactly what students see. 

What you want to do can be done. I don't think that it's the best solution, but you can decide for yourself based on the information.

Create all of your modules and publish them without any items in them. If you have items in a module, then publishing the module will publish all of the items in the module, so you have to publish it without content.

Then add your content to the module with it unpublished.  Any published content will show up in the module.

When you are ready to show the items in the module, you can selectively publish items. You can also publish everything in the module by unpublishing the module and then publishing the module. The publishing of the module will trigger publishing all of the content within the module.

Note that Canvas will not automatically publish for you, so your locked restrictions don't help here.

Publishing content when you publish a module may work for some people but you need to be careful. My fear is that you would have some content not directly in a module (such as a file or a page linked from an assignment) that wouldn't get published and then students wouldn't be able to view it. You establish a workflow and what you're doing if you create and publish later is creating two workflows -- one for things in a module and one for things not in a module.

I would recommend publishing content as it is created and ready so that you don't forget about it. Make that part of your workflow. I would not find publish modules with no content. A student is going to be less likely to go into a module that has been there and all of a sudden has content (they won't know there's content unless they go into it) than a module that shows up fresh.

Of course, Canvas works best in a dream world.

Thanks for such a thorough and speedy response, James. I'll unpublish the modules then and that way I can just release them as and when is necessary.

Hi, Teresa,

To make sure students don't have access to the Files until you are ready, you may also want to hide the Files link in Course Navigation. Otherwise students can view course files that are published. If you want to learn how to do that, use this lesson: 


Thanks Erin Smiley Happy That's good to know too.