1.8 Home Page

Create a welcoming home page; do not overwhelm students with a cluttered home page. Provide only essential information that allows students to begin the course. Include the course prefix, number, and title.

Points: 2 (Very Important)
QM Alignment: 1.1


Questions to consider when designing your course home page:

  • What information should be found on the course home page?​
  • What does your home page communicate about your course?​
  • What details do you provide?​
  • What are the learning goals?​
  • How do students get started?​
  • How do students contact you?
Consider including the following information on your course homepage:
  • Welcome Section
  • Course Details Section
  • Course Learning Goals
  • Getting Started Instructions
  • Instructor Contact Information


  • Feature a “Start Here” or “Read Me First” button or link on your course home page to guide students to starting information they need to review.
  • Include introductory text and/or a welcome video to provide directions and instructions for students.
  • You can also use Canvas functionality (module requirements and prerequisites) to require students to access starting materials prior to moving forward into discipline specific content.


Here are some sample home pages that have a Start Here button or similar indicator:

Common Issues

  • Not clear to students how to start the course.
    • Missing home page, no ‘Start Here’ button or “Read Me First”, etc.
  • No guidance on what to do at the start of the course.
    • Put instructions in an orientation module or on the home page and/or in a welcome video (see Standard 1.2). It is also recommended to email these instructions or a link to these instructions to the students via the Announcement tool.
  • The home page is a dead end
    • No links or buttons to get started and move forward in the course

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Am I required to have a home page?
    • This standard is not an essential, 3-point, required standard, however, it is worth 2 points. Technically, you can still meet the 85% point value threshold for achieving the High Quality course designation without a home page, but creating a home page is strongly recommended to give your students a starting point and set the tone for your course.

Further Help & Tutorials


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HCC Online Course High Quality Standards by Hillsborough Community College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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