How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (2024)

If you are enrolled in a course as an instructor, the Course Home Page is the first page students see when they open the course. The Home Page also helps students understand how they can navigate through the course. You can customize the Home Page to create a specific workflow for your students.

To help you learn how to navigate a Canvas course, this lesson uses a course that has already been populated. To learn how to build a new course, visit the create a new course shell lesson.

Note: If your institution has enabled the Course Setup Tutorial, course pages such as Assignments and Discussions are responsive to the full width of the browser and minimize white space in the sidebar. This responsive behavior applies to all users in your institution.

View Course Home Page

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (1)

The Course Home Page involves Course Navigation [1], the content area [2], and the sidebar [3].

To view the course home page as a student, click the Student View button [4].


  • If you view Canvas with a smaller screen, any sidebar content will align with the bottom of the page.
  • If the course navigation link for the page is disabled and hidden from students, the Student View button does not display.

View Course Navigation

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (2)

The Course Home Page is viewed from the Course Navigation Home link.

Course Navigation includes links that help you and your students get to specific locations in the course. As an instructor, you can customize what links are shown in your course. Learn more about the Course Navigation menu.

Collapse Course Navigation Menu

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (3)

To expand or collapse the Course Navigation Menu, click the Menu icon. When you choose to expand or collapse the Global Navigation menu, your preference is applied to all of your courses.

View Content Area

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (4)

Home Page content (and all Canvas content) is displayed in the content area.

The content can be a page, the syllabus, discussions, announcements, quizzes, or imported content as set by your Course Home Page layout [1]. Your Home Page can also be set to display recent announcements at the top of the page [2]. The content can also show the Course Activity Stream.

The Home Page content also defines what sections display in the sidebar.

View Breadcrumbs

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (5)

Breadcrumbs appear above the course content area.

As you view course content from your Home Page, the breadcrumbs leave a trail to show where you are inside the course. You can follow these links backward to visit prior course content.

Note: If you have created a nickname for a course, the breadcrumbs display the nickname to identify the course. Otherwise, the breadcrumbs display the course code.

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (6)

The sidebar functions the same as the Dashboard sidebar but only shows content for the specific course and includes additional options.

The top of the sidebar [1] contains course tools for managing your course.

The bottom of the sidebar [2] includes the To Do list, in addition to other sections depending on the layout you set for the Course Home Page.

View Course Tools

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (7)

In the course tools section of the sidebar, you can manage your Course Home Page in addition to view other helpful buttons for your course.

To change the course home page layout, click the Choose Home Page button [1].

If your course Home Page displays a page other than the Course Activity Stream, view recent activity by clicking the View Course Stream button [2]. Recent activity displays all recent activity and events in the course for assignments, announcements, discussions, and conversations. When the Home Page is set as the Course Activity Stream, this button will not appear.

If your sidebar includes the Course Setup Checklist button [3], you can view a list of checklist items to help populate your course. Note: If you cannot view the Course Setup Checklist link, your institution has enabled the Canvas course setup tutorial instead.

To make a new announcement, click the New Announcement button [4].

Once you have published your course and students have started to participate in the course, you may be able to access analytics for your course with the View Course Analytics button [5]. Viewing course analytics requires permission by your Canvas admin.

To manage course notifications for a single course, click the the View Course Notifications button [6]. Course notification settings only apply to the course in which they are set.

View Sidebar Sections

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (8)

The sidebar always shows the To Do section [1], which shows all items that require grading in Canvas, regardless of due date. Each item in the To Do list displays the assignment name, the number of points, and the due date for the assignment. Some assignments may display multiple due dates. Items remain in this section for four weeks. However, assignments that are not graded or do not require an online submission only display until the due date.

The sidebar can also include a variety of other sections [2], depending on the layout of your Course Home Page. Additional sidebar options include Coming Up or the Assignment list, Calendar and Assignment Groups, and Recent Feedback.

Manage Sidebar Items

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (9)

Each section item indicates how many items need to be graded [1].

If a section contains more items than are listed, a link will appear under the list that you can use to view additional items [2].

If there are more than 100 items in the To Do section, you must remove items before you can view any new items. To remove a To Do item, click the remove icon [3].

Note: When an item is removed, the item can only be restored to the To Do section if a new submission is received for that assignment, or if an existing submission for the assignment still requires grading.

How do I use the Course Home Page as an instructor? (2024)


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