Course Home Page

The course Home Page is the first page that students see when they enter a course. It is also the page students see when they click on the Home link in their Course Navigation. As the instructor, and based on your course design and delivery, you decide what you want students to see on the course Home Page.

Here is a list of Home Page options:

Select an option from the list above to view a short description of the selection, a list of benefits and considerations for its use, and a visual sample to assist in your decision.

Note: Keep in mind that instructors can change the Home Page at any time throughout the course.

Once you have decided on your Home Page, review the Webcourses@UCF (Canvas) tutorial for selecting your course Home Page:

http://guides.instructure.com/s/2204/m/4152/l/57075-how-do-i-change-the-course-home-page

Recent Activity Dashboard

The Recent Activity Dashboard shows all of the recent activity for a single course. The dashboard displays the most recent conversations, notifications and interactions for this course. It is very similar to the Webcourses@UCF Dashboard, however, it only shows content specific to this course.

Recent Activity

Benefits:

  • Instructors and students can see what has happened since the last time they logged in.
  • Quick access for instructors and students to the following notifications:
    • Discussions
    • Announcements
    • Assignment Notifications
    • Conversations
    • Invitations
  • Useful for courses that rely heavily on instructor announcements.

Considerations:

  • The information listed in the activity stream can become overwhelming for students.
  • There is no clear direction where to find content or course instructions from the Home Page.
  • You cannot add a course banner or custom graphics to this Home Page option.

Pages Front Page

The Pages Front Page allows instructors to design their own course Home Page that could include links, images or rich media. This selection can be used to distinguish one course from the other.

Benefits:

  • Customizable options:
    • Display a course banner
    • Incorporate your instructor persona
    • Link to:
      • files or Pages
      • images
      • media
      • widgets

Considerations:

  • This selection requires an instructor to create their own content for the Home Page.
  • Adds another click to access course content.
  • Inconsistent labeling. Labeled under Pages as Front Page.

Suggested Pages to Create

Temporary Page Options:

Temporary pages are pages that you would “swap out.” We suggest you display these pages for the first 2 weeks of class and then change them to one of the permanent page options listed below.

  • Welcome Letter/Course Introduction
    canvas_options_clip_image006
  • UCF’s Online@UCF Support Page
    canvas_options_clip_image008
  • Webcourses@UCF Orientation Page
    canvas_options_clip_image010

Permanent Page Option:

Unlike temporary pages, if you select one of the permanent page options, you can display this page for the entire term.

  • Course Banner
    canvas_options_clip_image012
  • Instructor created Syllabus Page.Note: This is NOT the Webcourses@UCF Syllabus tool.
    canvas_options_clip_image014
  • Weekly Announcements (heading stays but message changes weekly)
    canvas_options_clip_image016
  • Bulleted List
    canvas_options_clip_image018

Course Modules

The Course Modules allows instructors to organize the course into modules or sections. The module list is generated as the Home Page.

canvas_options_clip_image020

Benefits:

  • When you select the Modules List, all course content can be added and linked on the Home Page.
  • Prevents students from getting lost while searching for course content.
  • Allows for a sequential method for moving through course.

Considerations:

  • You cannot add a course banner or custom graphics to this Home Page option.
  • If a course uses a lot of modules the page can become overwhelming to students.

Tips:

  • Create a Start Here module, which includes the syllabus, course expectations, and course introduction. A Start Here module can give students direction at the beginning of the course.
  • Newer modules can be manually dragged to the top of the module list to help students find the most recent content.

Assignments List

The Assignment List shows the list of assignments for the course with upcoming, undated, and past due assignments appear on the page.

canvas_options_clip_image022

Benefits:

  • Straightforward way to go to assignments.
  • Students will be able to see a list of Upcoming, Undated, and Past Assignments as soon as they log in to the course.
  • All dates and grade weights will be displayed in one place and will be changed automatically as dates or details are changed on assignments.

Considerations:

  • No clear direction on where to go next.
  • No clear way to access course content.
  • May promote skipping content and going straight to assignments.

Tips:

  • Considering including a note in syllabus or protocols that lets students know how and where to access the course content.

Syllabus

The Syllabus lists the syllabus description and Assignment List in one view. This selection automatically generates the Assignment List at the bottom of the page.

canvas_options_clip_image024

Syllabus

The Syllabus in Webcourses@UCF makes it easy to communicate to your students exactly what will be required of them throughout the course in chronological order.

The syllabus description is where you can post your course description, a brief introduction, class guidelines, weekly reminders, and other important information. You can copy content from Word documents directly into the Rich Content Editor or create original content inside of the Rich Content Editor. You can also link to your Syllabus by uploading it into Files. Webcourses@UCF will automatically create a Scribd preview of your document so that they don’t have to download it before reading it.

Assignment List

Any course assignment or event will be listed in the bottom half of the Syllabus page with the undated items appearing at the bottom. Changes to these dated events can be made in both the Assignments and Calendar features and will be automatically updated in the Syllabus tool.

Benefits:

  • Dynamic list of assignment and calendar
  • All dates and grade weights will be displayed in one place and will be changed automatically as dates or details are changed on assignments.
  • Ability to add information (images, text, widgets, embedded media) to “edit description” area.
  • Link to files, images, and parts of the course
  • The Syllabus Table links directly to assignments
  • Course requirements are easy for the students to find

Considerations:

  • UCF standard syllabus may become rather lengthy with the assignment list generated at the bottom.
  • Course expectations and other related documents can be linked at the top, however, it may be missed by students.
  • No clear direction on where to go next.
  • May promote skipping content and going straight to assignments.
    • Can prevent by using “lock until” option in assignment.
  • If you want to create your own schedule then this may not be the best solution, as the list of assignments appears much like a schedule. Also, only a list of activities created in Webcourses@UCF will appear in the Assignment List. Activities outside the system will not be listed.
  • Once the course is open for a few weeks, the course requirements may not be as important as accessing the course content more easily.

Tips:

  • Having the Assignments with Syllabus as your Home Page option the first week or two makes the information readily available, but after that time period, consider changing the Home Page selection to something that supports your course delivery.
  • There are many ways to deliver the content of a course’s syllabus, e.g. Assignments with Syllabus, Webcourses@UCF Syllabus tool, and a Syllabus created as a Webcourses@UCF Page. We recommend you select one option to avoid confusion.