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Canvas: Navigation

Navigating Canvas

This page introduces some of the features within Canvas and how you can start to find your module courses and materials.


Canvas Dashboard

The Dashboard is the first thing you will see when you log into Canvas. The Dashboard helps you see what is happening in all your courses and allows you to figure out what to do next. 

You can control which courses you see on your dashboard by following these instructions:

  • Click Courses on the Canvas navigation panel
  • Click All courses at the bottom
  • Click the star beside the name of a course to add or remove it from your Dashboard

Global Navigation

The Global Navigation Menu is located on the left side of every page in Canvas. Global Navigation links provide quick access to frequently used Canvas features. These links provide access to all your courses collectively. Default links include the Dashboard, Courses, Groups, Calendar, Inbox, User Account, and the Help menu.

  • The Dashboard is the landing page after you log in to Canvas. The Dashboard can be toggled to a course view, list view, or recent activity view and shows notifications for all current Canvas courses.
  • To view your courses, click the Courses link. A menu will expand and display any current courses where you are enrolled. This menu also displays any courses marked as favourites. If no courses are selected as favourites, the course list will display all current courses. If a course includes term dates, the name of the term will appear as part of the course listing.
    To view a course, click the name of the course. To customise your courses list or view all your Canvas courses, click the All Courses link.
  • The Calendar is a great way to view everything you have to do for all your courses in one place. You can view calendar events by day, week, month, or agenda list. A great way to see when your assignments are due!
  • To view your Conversations Inbox, click the Inbox link. Conversations is the Canvas messaging system where you can communicate with other users in your courses. The number of new messages are shown as part of the Inbox icon.
  • To get help with Canvas, click the Help link. Select the help option that is relevant to your needs.
  • Guides and Student Support are gateways to resources to support your studies and wider University life.


Course Navigation

Each Canvas course will look slightly different as academics use different functionality within Canvas. There are, however, some staples that will help you find the resources for each module, assessments and links to reading. As well as giving a brief overview of what you can expect to see, we've also linked to Canvas's help materials if you'd like to explore any of the areas further.

  • Home - Clicking this will return you to the set homepage for that module
  • Announcements - Academics will frequently use announcements to update you on activity relating to your module. 
  • Assignments - Here's where you can find all the information about your assignments including deadlines and how to submit
  • Modules - This is usually where you'll find all of the learning activities and resources for your module
  • Discussions - On some modules you may be asked to take part in online discussions as part of your weekly activities. 
  • Grades - Here you can keep a check on any grades you've received and access your feedback
  • Reading List - This is a direct link to the module's reading list. Many of the resources will be accessible online or via the University Library
  • Panopto Recordings - Here you can find any recordings of teaching sessions or other video material that your academic may have made available.