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Surveyor

Most Effective Homepage

What have people found to be the most effective way to setup the homepage in Canvas? We are moving from D2L where the Homepage has announcements/news and customizable widgets. We are trying to think of what the best use for the Homepage will be in Canvas. I appreciate any advice!

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Surveyor

ahardesty@ou.edu​, it really depends on the type of course and the teaching style of the teacher, but I strongly encourage our faculty to just use the course modules as their home page. Why? Because in all honestly you can make your home page look pretty and cool and unique, but what the students really want is to easily access their course content - so why not just have the course open right to the course content? Yet, I will say I've seen some faculty do some pretty awesome stuff on their homepage (that they created themselves; not modules) - which does help students find and access their course content - so it might be more of how much Instructors are willing to put into their Homepage. If they aren't really that vested or don't want to manually do a lot themselves, then I'd probably stick with Modules.

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Surveyor

Thanks for the input. That's really helpful. It's good to remember that creating a special homepage, that is actually helpful, will take time. I like your point that what students really want/need is mostly in the modules. I think if we make a customized homepage I need to make the access to the modules a major part of the page and one of the most accessible features of the page.  Thank you!

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Navigator II

ahardesty@ou.edu​, I know this doesn't directly address your question, but if you haven't yet done so, please join the Instructional Designers​ group and have a look at Creating an inviting course home page​, where you'll find all sorts of design ideas that will help you in the brainstorming and creation process.

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Surveyor

The Creating an inviting course home page post has been super helpful! Thank you!

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Navigator

Hi ahardesty@ou.edu​...

In my role at our Technical College, one of my jobs is to build the curriculum into the LMS for our faculty (mainly for online and hybrid/blended courses).  When we design our courses, we try to have the same "look and feel" so that students know where to go to find things in Canvas.  Our "Home" page for online/blended courses is pretty basic.  It consists of a couple paragraphs welcoming students to the course.  It also contains the official course start and end dates, and it also includes a course graphic of some kind (typically something related to the course)...so that there is a visual indicator of the course a student is in.  We haven't really explored other options like a table of buttons for students to click on, for example.  Hope this helps!

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Community Member

This is what I use, people seem to like it: Creating a "button" oriented syllabus page Hopefully it gives some inspiration.

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Community Member

Hi Amy,

Announcements on the course homepage was a huge priority for us as well. Here is an example of one of our course homepages. I added an 'Announcements' widget and custom buttons to make it happen.

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Surveyor

Thanks Jennifer! Did you use the Redirect App to create your custom links in the left navigation (the links to the Weeks)? If so, do you know if there is a way to make those copy over from semester to semester. I've tried that with one course, but when I copied it the links didn't update.

Thanks!

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Community Member

Hi Aimee! I did use the Redirect App and added the custom links to the course masters so they would copy over, but you are correct - the links do not update, unfortunately. I wish there were a better solution because having this feature is really critical to our course layout.

Good luck!

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