CTL GuidesCanvas GuidesInstructor GuidesCanvas Quick GuidesCanvas Quick Guide - Creating a Canvas Home Page

Canvas Quick Guide - Creating a Canvas Home Page

In this tutorial you will learn about different options for the Canvas course Home Page and how to go about creating one.

Canvas allows you to choose from the following for the course Home Page:

  • Course Activity Stream
  • Pages Front Page
  • Course Modules
  • Assignments List
  • Syllabus

The most commonly used are Pages Front Page and Course Modules.

Course Activity Stream

The Course Activity Stream displays recent announcements, conversation messages, and assignment notifications.

This option does not require any page creation. Instead it will automatically use your announcement and assignment dates to create a list of recent activity.

Canvas Course Activity Stream as Home Page
Pages Front Page

The "Pages Front Page" is actually the front page for the Pages course menu item. When a user clicks on Pages, they will be directed to the Pages Front Page instead of a list of all course pages.

It can also be used as the course Home Page.

This option requires creating a page or modifying a template from the Canvas Commons. Pages can be edited with the Canvas Rich Content Editor or with the raw HTML editor.

The following example is from the HSU Canvas Template | Detailed 1 Week | Modules Based template available in the Canvas Commons.

To use the Pages Front Page as the course Home Page, you must first create the page and set it as the Pages Front Page.

Canvas Pages Front Page as Home Page -1
Canvas Pages Front Page as Home Page -2
Canvas Pages Front Page as Home Page -3
Course Modules

Modules allow you to organize course content (assignments, quizzes, pages, files, links, etc) into modular sections.

The most common organizational methods are weekly modules or topic-based modules, but you can organize them in any fashion.

Choosing Course Modules as your Home Page requires some additional setup, but no page creation.

Course Modules as Home Page
Assignments List

If your Canvas course is mainly used for online assignments, you may want to use Assignments List as your Home Page.

This option requires no additional setup or page creation.  The list of assignments will include any published assignment or quiz.

For instructors the assignments are displayed by type (assignment group).

For students the default view is assignments by date, but they have the option of displaying them by type.


Assignments List as Home Page - Show by Date
Assignments List as Home Page - Show by Type

Choosing Syllabus as your course Home Page is a good idea if you aren't going to be a heavy Canvas user, but still want to provide your students quick access to the course syllabus.

This option requires no additional setup or page creation, and simply uses the Syllabus Tool (course navigation item) as your Home Page.

Course Syllabus as Home Page -1
Course Syllabus as Home Page -2

Choosing your Home Page

To change your course Home Page:

From the current Home Page, click Choose Home Page on the right side of the window.


Canvas Choose Home Page button

In the pop-out window:

  1. Make a selection
  2. Click Save
Canvas Choose Home Page popout