Course structure and content

This page will discuss how to structure your WebCampus homepage, modules, syllabus, pages, files, etc. 

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For tips on effective course site design see:


Course homepage

The Course Home Page is the first view your students will see when they enter your course. For the Course Home Page, you can customize a page from your course Pages and have it display as the Course Home Page.

If you want to change the Course Home Page to a custom page, you must first set the page as the Front Page. The Front Page is a designation that shows Canvas which page can be used for the Course Home Page. Use this page to show a welcome message, links, images, or other information for students.

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information



By using modules, you control the flow by which your students interact with your course content. Once you create modules, you can add content items, set prerequisites, and add requirements.

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information

Module settings

The following are settings that you may choose to select for your modules:

  • Lock until: You can set modules to be locked until a given date. Students will be able to see the module titles and module item names, but they will not be able to access the module items until after the lock date has passed.
  • Requirements: When you add requirements to a module, students must complete the defined requirements within the module before the module will be marked complete. You can require students to complete all requirements in the module, or choose one item to fulfill a specific requirement.
  • Prerequisites: You can also set prerequisites, or items that a student must complete before accessing a module (for example, completing the requirements for the week 1 module would be the prerequisite to access the week 2 module).

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information

Adding items to modules

You can add new or existing content items to a Module, including Pages, Files, Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, or links to external tools.

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information



The Syllabus tool in WebCampus allows you to post your course description, a brief introduction, class guidelines, weekly reminders, or just upload a copy of your syllabus. The Syllabus page also displays a calendar and automatically generates a chronological list of links to all the events and assignments that you've created in WebCampus.

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information

There are two ways to set up the top portion of the syllabus page (syllabus description):

  1. Upload a file of your current syllabus (in .pdf file format) and put a link to it on the syllabus page.
  2. Copy and paste your current syllabus into the Rich Content Editor. Then fine-tune the formatting to make it look the way you want.

Here are some pros and cons of each method:

  • Uploading a file of your current syllabus is fast and simple, but it requires students to click on the file and open it to view the syllabus.
  • Copy and paste your current syllabus is not as fast as the file upload, but it allows students to view the syllabus without having to download and open a separate file.

Note: The Office of the Provost releases a recommended syllabus template for each semester. This template will include up-to-date policies and regulations, as well as some sample wording. You can access the University of Nevada, Reno syllabus template on the Office of the Provost Syllabus Requirements page.



Pages provide instructors the opportunity to author course content directly in their classes in WebCampus. The advantage of using pages, rather than uploading computer files, is that pages can be interactive, can include rich media like video and audio, and can link to other pages, assignments, discussions, and other course activities in WebCampus.

Please see the following video for more information on pages:

View a video on Pages in WebCampus

Rich Content Editor

WebCampus employs a Rich Content Editor for creating and embedding content in your course. The Rich Content Editor is available anywhere you’re allowed to edit content in WebCampus, including Pages, Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, and the Syllabus. You can embed images, formulas, or content from other external tools such as YouTube or Kaltura, using the Rich Text Editor. You can also link to files that you have already uploaded into the class, or upload new files to link to. Please see the following video for more information on the Rich Content Editor:

View a video on the Rich Content Editor in WebCampus

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information



In your class in WebCampus, you may want to provide lecture notes, PDFs of articles, worksheets, or any other type of externally-created file. In order to do so, you can upload files into your course, and deploy them in different areas.

Uploading and deploying files

As an instructor, Files allows you to store content (documents, images, media, etc.) within WebCampus. There’s more than one way to upload content to WebCampus, but regardless of how you upload your content, you will always be able to find it again in Files. Once content is uploaded to WebCampus, you can put it anywhere in your course. You can upload one or multiple files, view all details about your files, preview files, publish and unpublish files, set usage rights, and restrict access to files.

The Files tool is designed for instructors to organize files which will be presented in other course tools. It is not designed to be the location where students access files. Most instructors choose to remove the Files link from the course navigation menu and use the Modules tool to create links to files they wish students to access.

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information


Course Reserves

Course materials may be placed on reserve by submitting an online request via our reserves system. This is most easily accessed through the "Course Reserves" link in WebCampus courses.

Please see the University Libraries Course Reserves page for more information on requesting Course Reserves.

In order to access Course Reserves from your WebCampus class, you will need to add the Course Reserves link to your course navigation menu. Please see the following guide for help editing your course navigation menu: How do I manage Course Navigation links?


Publisher content integration

Many academic publishers have partnered with Canvas to integrate their resources and services. Each vendor deploys content differently, but the results are similar. In most cases, users will have access to digital materials and curriculum tools along with grade center integration and automatic sign-on.

If you are interested in learning more about published content available for your class, please contact your publisher representative directly.

Step-by-step tutorials and additional information


Accessibility and course materials

The University of Nevada, Reno is committed to diversity and to ensuring that our programs, services and activities are accessible to all. "Accessible" means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same time frame as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use. It is both the right thing to do and a legal requirement.

Accessibility recommendations

General accessibility recommendations for building content are to

  • use a clean and uncluttered layout
  • promote clear and consistent navigation
  • organize content into well-organized chunks of information
  • use section headings to structure content

If you use any images or graphics, you’ll need to embed alternative text that will read a description of that image or graphic to any student using a screen reader.

When using hyperlinks, use words to describe the link instead of the long and confusing url.

Use the ordered or unordered lists tools instead of creating your own lists, and use the Paragraph drop down menu to format heading and text styles.

WebCampus Ally accessibility checker

Ally is an application that interfaces with WebCampus (Canvas) to provide two important accessibility services:

  1. Checks course file accessibility and provides remediation guidance for instructors.
  2. Automatically makes more-accessible versions of course files.

Please see the Accessibility in WebCampus page for more information on the Ally tool.

More information on creating accessible content in WebCampus can be found under Accessibility Resources on the Office of Digital Learning webpage. If you have any questions about accessibility, or would like additional information, please contact ODL.