Canvas Page Layout

The Canvas Style Guide is a collection of recommendations based on feedback from students and faculty in our Foundations courses.  It’s meant to be a quick reference for setting up your course site.

Page Structure

Typical structure for a daily page could include breaking the page up by sessions for that day or by using before class, during class, and after class sections. Use consistent headings and structure on your daily pages and in general, only changing font size, effects (bold, italics, color), or indents when you are creating a new section.

Click on the image below to see an example of a page structured by session/hour.

An example of a page structure based on sessions in a day.

Click on the image below to see an example of a page structured by activity.

An example of a daily page structured by activity.

Page Formatting

Use headings, indents, and lists in a consistent way to give readers quick visual cues that are useful in navigating the page. In general, it’s best to avoid unnecessary text effects like colors, bold, italics or changes in font.

For details on how to format a modern, clean page, click on the link below.

An annotated page format example.


It’s typically not advisable to link files on a daily page (or elsewhere) without providing at least a brief text description on the page that gives some context to what the files are and why they should be downloaded. In general text on daily pages and around the Canvas course should help to provide clear instructions to students, and should clearly define the purpose of any links to files, other websites, or multimedia.

Click on the image below to see the detail.

(Click to see detail) An example of providing clear context for materials and session information in Canvas.

Clear and Consistent Labeling

It’s important that pages and files have meaningful names that are helpful to students navigating the course site or locating files once downloaded to their computer. For daily pages, it’s important to identify the date and major topics in the page name. For files, some abbreviation of the course title and major topics works best. See examples below:

Clearly labeled files on a Canvas page.

Clearly and consistently labeled pages in a homepage module.

Library Resources

Specify the library resource(s) students should read before or during class. Include the resource name, section (if applicable), chapter number, and page numbers (if applicable) in plain text under the appropriate heading. The librarian will then configure a picture of the book with a link to the resource in Canvas. For examples of how this looks, please see the “Page Formatting” section below.

The online library resources may have different chapter and page numbers than print textbooks you may have. Please double check the online resource for accuracy.

An example of a library resource embedded on a Canvas page.

More on using electronic library resources.


Video Content

For all linked video media the UWSOM goes through a portal called Mediasite, that hosts and links all our video content. This also helps us keep track of permissions on videos so student see the appropriate video materials at the right times.

To link your video content through Mediasite o Canvas, please click the link below for our How-To-Video walkthrough:

Adding Mediasite content to a Canvas Page