Canvas: Navigation Basics

How to navigate your Canvas dashboard and view all of your courses


The Canvas Dashboard is the first page you will see when you log into Canvas. It lists the courses that you are currently enrolled in as a student or instructor. You can toggle between view options for your Dashboard using the button with the three dots in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen.

In Card View, you will see blocks with the name of each course that you are in, with quick links to Announcements, Assignments, and Discussions in the course:

A screenshot of Canvas Card View

In List View, you will see assignments with upcoming due dates, recently posted announcements, and other upcoming items in the course. All material will be grouped by course:

A screenshot of Canvas List View

Recent Activity is similar to List View, but all material is grouped by type, rather than by course. You can view all your Announcements, Conversation Messages, Assignment Updates, and Discussions together. A blue circle next to the message type indicates new content that you have not yet viewed:

A screenshot of Canvas recent activity

Managing Courses

Your Dashboard will only show courses that you have favorited. If you would like to view all courses you are currently enrolled in or change your favorited courses, click Courses in the menu on the left side of your screen, then select All Courses:

A screenshot of where to find All Courses in Canvas

The All Courses page shows all courses you are currently enrolled in, your role in the course, and its term. (If you are an instructor or designer on a course page that has not yet been published, the term will be listed as DEV.) 

Courses with a filled-in star to the left of the course name are the ones that will appear on your Dashboard. 

Courses with only the outline of a star can only be accessed from the All Courses page. 

You can add or remove a course to your Dashboard by clicking the star next to the course name.

A screenshot of the star icon next to add and remove Canvas courses in your dashboard

Course Design

Instructors looking for more information on structuring the navigational layout of their Canvas sites can view this video explaining page-based and module-based course navigation.

Keywordscanvas, navigation, dashboard, courses   Doc ID124836
OwnerChristina S.GroupSchool of Information Sciences
Created2023-03-14 13:27:48Updated2024-06-03 09:57:17
SitesUniversity of Illinois School of Information Sciences
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