Canvas Course Design

Page Design Model

In the Pages section of the course, it is possible to create a page for each area of content covered in the course. These pages can contain text, embedded media, and links to files and other course tools.


  • Pages are a flexible and visually appealing way to present content (text, files, and media) to students.
  • The Text Editor makes it easy to add and format content within the pages.
  • Students can preview and download files directly from within the page.
  • Pages can link out to the assessment and communication tools within Canvas.


  • Pages are organized alphabetically.
    Note: To present pages sequentially add a number to the beginning of the page name. (Example: 0 – Syllabus/Course Info; 1 – Topics for Quiz 1; etc)
  • Page release can be controlled only by manually hiding or showing them.
    Note: Files linked to within a page can be released by setting lock/unlock dates within the Files area at either the folder or the file level.

Pages Overview

Pages Tutorials

These tutorials cover Page management. For information about building Pages to deliver content to students within the course, proceed to Step 3: Add Content.

Canvas Course Design Content types

Building Content in Pages

Why Use Pages?

You can link to a page from anywhere in Canvas that has a rich content editor. 

Here are some suggestions for using Pages:

  • Create a page for each class meeting or week. Within that page, include links to readings, assignments, and external content.
  • Embed audio and video files. These could be videos from YouTube or TED. You can also link to Relay recordings of you lecturing or demonstrating something.
  • Create a page with instructions and resources for an Assignment.

Add a Page to Module

To add a page to a module:

  1. Select + icon to the right of the module.
  2. From the Module Options, select Add Content.
  3. From the Add Item window, select Content Page from the Add Dropdown list.
  4. Select the Page you wish to add from the Files List.
    Note: If the page has not yet been updated, select the [New Page]option.
  5. If you wish to offset the page in the Module listing, select an Indentation option.
  6. Select Add Item when finished.

Remember, one way to make modules shorter is to link to pages that contain narrative and content instead of creating a long list of files by adding them directly to the module.

Add Pages to Other Tools

To add Pages to a page or other tools:

  1. Click on the Links tab that appears in the Sidebar.
  2. Select Pages.
  3. Select the Page you wish to add.
    Note: If you’d like to create a hyperlink from a word within the page, highlight the word before clicking on the File.
  4. The page you selected will automatically be added to the text area.
  5. Click Save Changes when you are finished editing the page.

Pages Tutorials

Canvas Course Design

Site Design

Step 2 focuses on the course site design models in Canvas. Course site design in Canvas will require instructors to make decisions about how they want to engage students and deliver content within the LMS.

Canvas provides a variety of models for the design and delivery of content within a course. Each of the design models described within Step 2 allow for different levels and modes of student engagement.  Given this fact, It is likely that a combination of models will be employed within a course.

As you consider how you will design your Canvas course site, it might be helpful to be able to visualize how each of the content delivery options connect to each other. Click the links for each model to learn more about the pros and cons of each delivery option.

This diagram illustrates how the models connect to each other. In brief:

  • Files can be used to deliver content if the learners are only expected to retrieve documents from the course.
  • Pages can be used if the learners will be engaged in a narrative that includes images, videos, and files as well as assessment and communication tools.
  • Modules can be used if the learners will be expected to engage with a variety of filespages, and external resources as well as assessment and communication tools.
  • Calendar/Syllabus can be used to focus the students on the course content and assignments based on the class meetings and assessment due dates by directing students to various filespagesmodules and other course tools.

Course building steps

Click on the buttons below to access information on building courses in Canvas.