Canvas has three kinds of publishing:
1) publishing individual items
2) publishing modules
3) publishing the course
Publishing Individual Items
Draft State is a feature that allows content to exist in your course in an unpublished or draft state. An unpublished item is marked with a gray cloud, and a published item has a green cloud. With this feature, you can create quizzes, assignment, pages, discussions, modules, etc. without worrying about your students coming across the content before it is finished.
By default, any quiz, page, assignment, discussion, or module you create will be unpublished until you deliberately publish it. Unpublished content is invisible to students and does not appear in your grade book. To publish an item, select Save and Publish after you create or edit the item or select the gray cloud icon. The icon will turn green to signify that the item is published.
To publish a file, select the gray cloud just as you would with other items. However, unlike other items, a window will open that gives you the options to publish, unpublish, or restrict access to the file.
1) To publish the file so that all students can access it, select Publish.
2) To hide the file from all students, select Unpublish.
3) To make the file available only to those to whom you give the link, select Restricted Access and then select the first option.
4) To allow all students to access the file but only between certain dates, select Schedule Student Availability and type in the availability dates.
5) Select Update to save your changes.
Publishing a module is the same process as publishing individual items; simply select the gray cloud. However, unpublishing a module will hide all of the content inside the module, whether the individual items are published or not. Publishing a module will publish all of the items within the module as well.
Publishing the Course
Students cannot access any part of your course until you publish it. To do so, select the Home tool and then select Publish in the top right corner. Keep in mind that publishing the course does not publish all of the content within it-- only the items with the green cloud will be accessible.
Information compiled by SUU Online™ © 2016