When you make use of DesignPLUS to create a homepage, you can go beyond text and images. Check out the DesignPLUS showcase to see how other institutions have made use of the sidebar for their online courses. For examples from UIS faculty and staff, see the Sample Canvas Course Designs by Dr. Brian Chen, Public Health.
According to Ghai & Tandon, "visually pleasing designs can enhance usability, credibility, user satisfaction, and trustworthiness . . ." (2022). Learn more about the research that supports the use of course design and home pages to improve student learning outcomes.
Enabling DesignPLUS in Canvas
- Go to a page and click the "Edit" button.
- Open the DesignPLUS toolbar with the keyboard shortcut:
- Windows: Alt + Shift + D
- Mac: Option + Shift + D
- If you do not want to use the keyboard shortcut every time, you can click on the kebab menu on the DesignPLUS toolbar and choose "User Settings."
- Choose whether you want the DesignPLUS toolbar to always launch (first option) or whether you want the button to appear when editing a page (second option).
View the DesignPLUS training videos to get started. The DesignPLUS User Guide also provides step-by-step instructions for creating content. Contact COLRS to set up a Canvas course sandbox for you to practice in.
Examples of Content with DesignPLUS
On the home page, DesignPLUS allows you to add icons and images that will break up content and make your online course warm and welcoming.
The formatting features in Canvas without DesignPLUS are somewhat limited. DesignPLUS allows you to break up your content while still making use of accessibility features.
Depending on how much content you have on a page in Canvas, it can be really overwhelming for students and harder to keep track of where they are in the lesson.
With DesignPLUS Accordion
With DesignPLUS Tabs
How COLRS Can Help
- COLRS has designed templates for you to use, which can be downloaded from the Canvas Commons. These templates come with instructions to help you guide you through the editing process.
- You can also access templates directly in the DesignPLUS toolbar by following the instructions for inserting template content in the DesignPLUS user guide.
- Join us on Zoom for office hours.
- Schedule a one-on-one appointment with one of our eLearning Specialists (Emily Boles, Carrie Levin, or Taylor Lester).
- Email us at email@example.com to request help with page design.