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Community Contributor

Gallery of sample Canvas courses?

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I keep having faculty ask if they could see some sample Canvas courses... just so they can see what it might look like, and start thinking how they may want to lay our their course.

Is there anything like that in the Canvas Community?

And, to anticipate one response: Our university has elected NOT to engage the Canvas Commons. So, that doesn't help me... unless there is some component of the Commons webspace that is free-to-all.

Would appreciate any input or re-direction.

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Laura! Thank you so much for this information. (sorry for the delayed response)

This is great. I'm building a little library of courses for faculty to peruse. And, in truth, if you "don't really use a lot of Canvas features"... that could be perfect for many faculty to see, as well.


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Thank you, Kristin. This is a nice addition to my info page.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @cliff_cunningha and welcome to the wonderful Canvas Community. I appreciate the challenge you have with no access to Commons. However I'm sure you will find some great examples in the Community.

For starters there are some beauties here. @   

And a few more K-12 examples here Primary/Elementary Home Pages – examples please  

And some good ideas here: Creating an inviting course home page 

And in case that's not enough here's some more treasure 

Community Contributor

Bobby... thank you. These links will serve me well.

I suppose it's too much to ask (?) to get a crash-course on all this HTML and CSS development I am hearing referenced.

Many of the samples that I see (in all these links, above)... show tiles... or, images used as click-able icons... But, since they're only .jpgs, or .pngs, I can't see the code behind it.

So, I'm struggling at the very early stage: How do I go from a simple, standard, default Canvas page... to one of these neat, formatted, image-based pages? Can a single instructor do this on their own, on a course-by-course basis? Or, does it need to be set up at some sub-account admin level?



Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @cliff_cunningha , I totally understand how overwhelming it can be. And how much you want things to look great and flow well.

My new mantra is 'Done is better than perfect'. It's working quite nicely for me lately.

 MICHELLE CICCARIELLO shared this doc Canvas Jazz - Google Docs  from her blog New To Canvas? Share Ideas for Jazzing up Your Courses! Some handy, and simple, button making places to use without dipping into HTML - for now.

Powerpoint is also great for creating buttons. Love it!  @kate_spencer is the Powerpoint button making queen if you have questions.

Community Coach
Community Coach
Community Contributor

Thank you for all this input, Bobby. Very helpful. Have a nice week.

Community Champion

Hi  @cliff_cunningha ‌! I just saw your query (I've been out of town)... and I have to say that being able to make Canvas courses OPEN is one of my favorite things about Canvas. Our old system, D2L, did not allow for anything open.

So, I always keep my Canvas courses open for anyone to see; I teach two courses:

Myth-Folklore at

Indian Epics at

(I use those custom URLs so that I can redirect the URL to each new semester... it drives me crazy that Canvas and every other LMS insists on me copying a course over from semester to semester; the way I see it, the course abides and students come and go!)

I also have come Canvas resource courses that I keep open, like this one about Twitter in Canvas:

Twitter4Canvas Home: Twitter4Canvas 

I don't really use a lot of Canvas features, but I have documented the features I do use in my blog posts here at the Community, and if there is anything you see in those course spaces that you are curious about, let me know and I will fill in details. 🙂

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @cliff_cunningha ‌ -

Template for Canvas Homepage is yet another great resource available in the Canvas Community! There are so many wonderful ideas around here! Smiley Happy

Due to the nature of this question, I switched this to a discussion. I hope more people stumble upon this topic and share their ideas. 

Community Participant

Hi  @cliff_cunningha 

I know it is not quite an answer to what you asked for but maybe it helps. 

We went live on Canvas at Reykjavik University last fall with around 450 teachers. As we were moving from a bespoke system that was mostly an upload/download file repository our teachers were not at all used to all that freedom in course content design.

In order to limit the confusion for our teachers we set up a template course (you can view it here based on a template from Canvas. In our integration with our SIS we copy the content of that course to all courses created by the integration. That way teachers have a starting point to build on and don't have to start from scratch. We also did short video tutorials demonstrating how teachers should work with the template - . 

What we learned was that the students really like the unified design and complained when teachers went for a different  design. 

I think it really helped us to get started with a new system and made the transition a lot easier.

The only thing is that now when teachers want to copy their course from last fall to the same course next fall (that already has the template) they will have to do some housekeeping to clean up what gets left of the template. 

Community Contributor

Thank you so much, Rebekka.

I am starting to collect a nice little catalog of all these examples.

Have a nice weekend.