Designing Your Course with Mobile in Mind


Students use Canvas on their phones. Some instructors do, but many do not. Instructors can make it easier for students to interact with the course via mobile. Here are some tips for making it easier to use your course on mobile devices:

1) Check out your courses using the Canvas apps (both for iPhones and Android).  Check out a past course to see where the problem areas are.

2) As you are building a new course, check out how it looks on phones and a tablet to see how your design choices are affecting the readability on mobile devices.

Word documents might not resize well for a phone's display.

Word documents might not resize well for a phone’s display.

3) Use pages rather than files whenever possible.  Pages are easier to read than files, since they’ll reformat to fit the screen size available to them (this is called responsive design).

4) Use text headers instead of indents. Indents can often be problematic and they don’t appear when using a course site via the mobile app.

5) Warn students about “problem areas.” If you know that quizzes or a video won’t work on phones, then convey that information to students.

If you have additional questions, contact us at

Interested in learning more about designing for mobile? Curious how your courses work on different devices? Request a consultation.




Top photo: By SGT Christopher M. Gaylord [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Comment