Faculty: Navigating Your Course


Instructors familiar with Kannu/Learn/Access will quickly notice that navigation in Canvas is quite different. In moving from left to right, navigate Canvas via the Global Navigation Menu via the toolbar on the left side of your screen or use Course Navigation Menu to display content. 

A note on landing pages:

  • The Global Navigation > Dashboard is the page one sees upon logging in to Canvas.
  • The Course Navigation > Home page is the page one sees upon logging in to a Canvas Course.
Course homepage. From left to right, Global Navigation Menu, Course Navigation Menu, and Home page content.

Course Home Page View: From left to right, [1] Global Navigation Menu, [2] Course Navigation Menu, and [3] Home page content.

Course Navigation Features

The Course Navigation Menu on the left side of your course helps you and your students access different course areas.

Key tips on the Course Navigation:

  • Instructors can hide and reorder Course Navigation links. However, the Course Navigation Menu is always visible on respective course pages.
  • The Visibility icon indicates links hidden to students.
  • The Home page is part of Course Navigation and serves as the landing page for students each time they access the course. 
  • The Home page defaults to Modules. Faculty can change the course home page to one of five layout options: the Recent Activity Dashboard, Pages Front Page, the Course Modules, the Assignment List, or the Syllabus.

How do I use the Course Navigation Menu as an instructor?

How do I change the Course Home Page?


New courses may show links leading to the index pages for the following areas:

Announcements Share important information with all TAs and students within your course or sections of a course.
Assignments Quizzes, graded discussions, and many types of online submissions (files, images, text, URLs, and media).
Discussions Communicate about course topics at any time.
Enter and distribute grades.
People Shows the list of users in your course.
Pages Create content directly in Canvas and include text, multimedia, or links to files.
Upload and store course files. Insert directly into modules, assignments, discussions, or pages.
Clarify course objectives, list preferred contact methods, or upload a PDF.
Assess student comprehension with Classic Quizzes.
Organize content by weeks, units, or a different structure to create a linear flow or to create adaptive content.
Create collaborative documents and save them in real-time.
Chat with enrolled users.
Manage course details, sections, navigation, and external apps.
Home Page
Set the home page to be one of the following: the Recent Activity Dashboard, a custom Pages Front Page, the Course Modules, the Assignment List, or the Syllabus.

External Apps

Configured external apps or LTI tools create additional Course Navigation links. For example, when faculty enable Office 365, Google Drive, or Zoom in a course, these tools will appear in the Course Navigation. Instructors can disable Course Navigation links for external apps in course settings, and the link will no longer display in the Course Navigation menu for you or your students.

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