Making Course Logistics Available to Students While Still Working on your Canvas Site

Greetings C-term and Spring semester instructors! During the 1/6/22 Student/Family Town Hall, there were several inquiries from webinar attendees asking when information about individual course delivery intentions for the first two weeks of the term would be made available to enrolled students. I know many instructors are still working on building out their C-term Canvas course sites and are not yet ready to fully publish them to students. In this blog post, I will share information on how you can hide all navigational areas of your Canvas course site while keeping Announcements and the Syllabus area visible. This way, you can post an announcement and message students through Canvas with information on how you intend to start the first 2 weeks of the term, how you intend to support students who may need to isolate during the term, and a draft of your course syllabus and/or course policies.

Step 1: Temporarily Hide Course Navigation Links

Our Canvas experts know that they can individually unpublish modules or files from those navigation links. Stick with that if you are already comfortable doing that! For some of our Canvas novices, it may be easier to just hide all navigation menu links with the exception of Announcements and Syllabus areas. To do this, go to Settings > Navigation tab. Then, click the 3 dots next to each navigation link item — again with the exception of Announcements and Syllabus — and select Disable. Click Save to apply your changes. When you are ready to open that navigation item, you can go back to Settings > Navigation, click the 3 dots, and select Enable to make the item visible to students.

More information on Managing your Course Navigation Links.


A screenshot showing how to disable a course navigation item
Click the 3 dots next to a course navigation item and select Disable to hide it from students.


Step 2: Share your Syllabus and/or Course Logistics in Syllabus

If your final syllabus document is not yet ready to share because you are still working out your course schedule, share what details you can about how you will be delivering the course and supporting students who may need to isolate throughout the term. Will your course be lecture captured? Are you using Zoom from your classroom? How will the course be run during the first 2 weeks of the term and what materials will students need in advance of the course? Many students and families expressed concern during the town hall that they will not have their 2 negative COVID test results received by the first day of classes and what impact that might have as they begin the term. Having this information will help alleviate some student stress. We recommend that you post this information — either using the rich-text editor or attaching a file — in your course Syllabus navigational link area.

More information on Using the Syllabus as an Instructor.


Step 3: Publish Your Canvas Site

Now that you have posted some information, you’ll want to publish your class site so students can see it. You should do this before posting an Announcement as many students subscribe to course announcements via email and those emails will not send unless the course is in a published state.

More information on Publishing a Course Site.


Step 4: Post an Announcement

The last “official” step is to post an announcement to enrolled students. This is where you can welcome students to your course, restate your intentions for the first 2 weeks of classes, how you’ll be supporting students who may need to isolate throughout the term, and when you intend to fully open up the course Canvas site. The default Canvas Notification Setting that users have is to receive an email when a new course announcement is posted. Because your course site is now published, students that have left their notification default settings will receive an email with your course announcement details.

More information on Posting a Course Announcement.


Optional Step 5: If you want to email your students outside of Canvas, you can also follow the Hub instructions to retrieve your student emails from WorkDay (bottom section).


As always, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Wishing you all a safe and healthy start to the term!