Alamo Colleges District

Basic Tools in DesignPLUS

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DesignPLUS content editing tools augment the native Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE), enabling you to easily create, customize, and style content in Canvas. View How to Launch the DesignPLUS Content Editor for instructions on how to access this tool prior to use.

When creating course content with DesignPLUS, it is highly recommended that you use the tool in a Canvas staging shell (or "sandbox"). This will prevent students from receiving notifications for any updates to course content as well as accidental loss/deletion of course content or feedback/grades from a production (or "live") course shell.

Contact your Alamo Colleges Online Instructional Designer or College Instructional Innovation/Distance Learning Center to request a Canvas staging shell for use with DesignPLUS.

Content Blocks

Content Blocks are the foundational building block for the DesignPLUS tools. They break your Canvas pages and assignments into distinct, movable sections where you can add text, images, videos, and more. All other tools should be placed inside a Content Block or they may not function correctly.

To learn how to add or rearrange Content Blocks, visit the Cidilabs User Guide article Add or Rearrange Content Blocks.

Banner Images

Banner Images, especially on the home page of your course, help students immediately identify the course they are in. College-branded banners have been preloaded into DesignPLUS. You can also create and upload a custom course banner. 

To learn how to add or change a Banner Image, visit the DesignPLUS User Guide article Choose a Banner Image.

To upload your own banner:

  • Crop an image to 330x1100 pixels
  • Upload the banner image into your course Files
  • Follow the steps in the DesignPLUS User Guide article Choose a Banner Image.

Teacher/TA Details

Teacher/TA Details allows you to quickly place your image and contact information on a Canvas page.

To learn how to add or change a Banner Image, visit the DesignPLUS User Guide article Add Teacher and TA Details.

Note: This tool will use your Canvas Profile image. To upload or change your Profile Image:

  • Click Account in the Global Navigation Menu
  • Click Profile
  • Hover over the Profile Image area; a pencil icon will appear
  • Select the profile image you wish to use by either clicking Upload a Picture or Take a Picture


Icons can help convey concepts, emphasize important ideas, and provide a visual memory trigger. DesignPLUS offers a wide variety of preloaded, pre-sized icons. 

To learn how to add or change Icons, visit the DesignPLUS User Guide article Insert/Style Icons.

Quick Checks

The Quick Check tool allows you to add an interactive quiz-style question to a Canvas page. Quick Check questions are not graded but can provide instant feedback on why an answer is correct or incorrect. 

To learn how to add or change Icons, visit the DesignPLUS User Guide article Add Quick Check.

Note: The Hide “Next” link until completed button disables the Next button on a module page until the Quick Check questions are answered correctly.

Module Progress Indicator

The Module Progress Indicator allows students to see how far they've progressed in a module. There are a variety of styles to choose from.

To learn how to add a Module Progress Indicator, visit the DesignPLUS User Guide article Module Progress/Navigation.

For a complete overview of how to use all the DesignPLUS tools, visit the DesignPLUS User Guide. Click Pages in the navigation menu for a list of all available content.

If you require personalized assistance, reach out to your Alamo Colleges Online Instructional Designer or Instructional Innovation/Distance Learning Center

For other questions about DesignPLUS, including access to the tool and technical assistance, please contact Alamo Colleges District IT at [email protected].


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