How do I use Draft State in Modules?

Draft State allows content in Modules to exist in an unpublished (draft) state. Unpublished modules are invisible to students.

Modules control the entire flow of your course and its content. When you add items to a Module, please be aware that the status of the Module overrides the state of the individual module items. You may want to consider leaving all Module items in an unpublished state until you are ready to publish the entire Module.

For instance, if you add a published Discussion to an unpublished Module, students cannot view the Discussion on the Modules page. However, they will still be able to see the Discussion in other areas of Canvas, such as the Discussions Index Page, the Syllabus, and the Calendar, but they will not be able to open or participate in the Discussion. Please be aware of these potential scenarios when adding course content to a Module.

Note: Files imported into a module cannot be unpublished at this time.

Open Modules

Open Modules

In Course Navigation, click the Modules link.

View Modules Index Page

The Modules Index Page is designed with global settings at the top of the page [1] followed by individual modules [2]. Course content items are nested within each module [3].

View Modules Global Settings

View Modules Global Settings

Global settings include viewing a student’s progress in a module and adding new modules.

View Modules

Modules house the content items within each module. Modules can be expanded and collapsed by clicking the arrow next to the module name.

Manage Modules Settings

Manage Modules Settings

The icons on the right side of the module name control the entire module. You can publish or unpublish an entire module and add a new item to the module. In the Settings drop-down menu, you can edit or delete the module.

Manage Individual Module Items

For each individual module content item, you can use the settings drop-down menu to indent the item up to 5 levels (or remove an indent), edit the content item, or remove the content item from the module.

View Status of All Modules

On the Index page, you can view the state of each module. Green cloud icons with a white checkmark [1] indicate the module is published. Solid gray cloud icons [2] indicate unpublished modules. You can change the status of a module by toggling the published or unpublished icons.

Publish a Module

To publish a module, click the module's unpublished icon. The hover text will confirm you want to publish the module.

Note: Publishing a module will automatically publish any unpublished content items within the module.

Unpublish a Module

To unpublish a module, hover over the published icon. The hover text will confirm you want to unpublish the module, and the icon will change from gray to red. Click the icon to confirm.

Change Status of Module Content Items

Change Status of Module Content Items

You can view and change the status of individual module content items as well. Although publishing a module will also publish all module items, you can manually unpublish individual module items later. Students cannot view unpublished module items as part of a published module.  

Files imported into a module cannot be unpublished at this time. However, locked files added to a module appear as unpublished and must be unlocked before they will appear to students.

Learn more about managing individual assignment, quiz, discussion, and page content.

Note: Please be aware that the status of the Module overrides the state of module items. If an item is published within an unpublished module, students cannot view the item on the Modules page but they can still view the published items in other areas of Canvas. However, they will not be able to interact with the item until the module is published.

Modules Student View

Students cannot see any of the actions involved with Draft State, such as published and unpublished icons and setting icons. Students will only see published modules and module content items, which are displayed in gray text.

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