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Canvas (Instructors) - Course Navigation Menu Item Descriptions

This article contains a description of the items (links) available in the course navigation menu of a UW-Green Bay Canvas course.

The course navigation menu is a list of links that appears along the left side of most pages in a Canvas course. It is found to the right of the global navigation menu.

Screenshot of the course navigation menu in a Canvas course

While viewing a Canvas course you can toggle whether to show or hide the course navigation menu by selecting the "hamburger" menu icon in the top-left corner. If you do not see the course navigation menu in your course, select this icon to reveal it.

Screenshot of the hide or show course navigation menu button in a Canvas course

To make it easier for students to navigate a course, instructors can customize the course navigation menu to hide the links for features and tools that will not be used in the course. For more information, please see the Canvas Instructor Guide page on managing course navigation links. The goal of this guide is to give instructors a basic description of each item in the course navigation menu to help them determine which items to enable in their course's menu.

Enabled by Default

The following items are enabled by default in each new Canvas course. Some enabled navigation items are automatically hidden from students until they contain content. For example, the Announcements course navigation link is automatically hidden from students and will show the "hidden" icon (an eye with a line through it) until the course contains at least one announcement.

Items With a Fixed Order

The following items, when left enabled by the instructor, always appear at the top of the course navigation menu in the order in which they appear in this list. Attempts to rearrange the order of these items from the Navigation tab in the course Settings page will fail; these items will automatically revert to this fixed order.

  • Home - (Cannot be disabled) - Navigates to the course Home page, which for UW-Green Bay Canvas courses always consists of course modules with the most recent announcements on top.
  • Announcements - Shows all course announcements. Instructors can create new announcements from this page.
  • Assignments - Shows all graded items in the course. Includes assignments of all types including graded quizzes and graded discussions. Instructors can create Assignment Groups on this page for organizing assignments and setting up weighted grading. Students can choose to view assignments on this page by due date or by type (assignment group).
  • Discussions - Shows all course discussions. Instructors can pin discussions to have them appear at the top of this page. Settings at the top of this page allow instructors to control whether students can create their own discussion topics, edit and delete their own replies, or attach files to replies.
  • Grades - Course gradebook for viewing and entering grades. Instructors see the full course gradebook; students see a list of their own grades.
  • People - List of all people enrolled in the course. Groups are also accessed and created from this page.
  • Pages - Alphabetical list of all Pages in the course. Instructors can set a “Pages Home Page” to appear upon selecting the Pages course navigation link.
  • Syllabus - Instructors can compose the course syllabus on this page with the Rich Content Editor or insert a link to their syllabus file. Includes a “Course Summary” section which automatically lists all assignments, events, and to-do items in the course by date (can be disabled by instructor). If Course Summary is enabled, the Syllabus page will also show a sidebar with a mini calendar and a table of assignment group weights.
  • Outcomes - Instructors can use the Canvas Outcomes tool to add learning outcomes to their course and align assignments to them via rubrics to help track student mastery and find artifacts for assessment purposes. Students can view the descriptions of each Canvas outcome added to the course.
  • Quizzes - Shows a list of all “classic” quizzes and “New Quizzes” assessments in the course. The Quizzes page includes practice quizzes that do not also appear on the Assignments page. From this page, instructors can access and manage question banks, which are used with “classic” quizzes. (Question banks are not used with “New Quizzes,” which instead use Item Banks).
  • Modules - Shows the list of course modules. This page is somewhat redundant to the course Home page when the Home page is set to course modules (as is the enforced setting in all instructional courses at UW-Green Bay). Course links to modules created with the Rich Content Editor will not work properly if the Modules course navigation item is disabled.
  • Collaborations - Instructors can create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents and control which students or groups can edit them. Uses OneDrive on the backend to save and share the files. Collaborations are OK for light use, but some students have trouble signing in and opening files when using some browser security settings. Creating a class team in Microsoft Teams instead of using Collaborations can be beneficial if your class does a lot of collaborative document editing.

Items Which Can Be Reordered

The following items can be reordered in the Navigation tab of the course Settings page, but cannot be placed above any item in the previous list.

  • Rubrics - (Visible to Instructors Only) - A list of rubrics created in the course. Students cannot view this page but can see rubrics that are attached to assignments.
  • Item Banks - (Visible to Instructors Only) - Instructors can view, create, and manage Item Banks, which are used with “New Quizzes” assessments, on this page. (Item Banks are not used with “classic” quizzes, which instead use Question Banks).
  • Office 365 - A shortcut for viewing a list of files on your UWGB OneDrive. Each user sees a list of their own files on this page. It is not a repository of shared course files.
  • New Analytics - (Visible to Instructors Only) - View data related to student access, participation, and grade progress. New Analytics data refreshes once every 24 hours.
  • Zoom - Schedule Zoom meetings that get added to the course calendar. Instructors can publish cloud recordings from those meetings to share them with students through this page.
  • Grade Sync - (Visible to Instructors Only) - View the status of final grade sync requests from Canvas to SIS. Instructors can start sync requests from the Grades page. 
  • Course accessibility checker (UDOIT) - (Visible to Instructors Only) - Scan all course content for potential accessibility issues. Many issues can be fixed directly from this tool.
  • Search - Atomic Search tool which can be used by students and instructors to find course content by keyword search.
  • UWGB Course Evaluation - Students can access their end-of-term course evaluation tasks through this link. Instructors can view class response rates for active evaluations.
  • Online Tutoring - Provides access to NetTutor online tutoring services for students. NetTutor is provided through a partnership with UWGB’s The Learning Center. Students can only access NetTutor through Canvas, so please do not disable this link in your courses.

Always at the Bottom of the Navigation Menu

  • Settings - (Visible to Instructors Only; Always on the Bottom) - Access course settings. You can enable and disable individual course navigation menu items from the Navigation tab.

Disabled by Default

Because they are not likely to be used in a majority of courses, the following items are disabled by default in new Canvas courses. Except for the items that are categorized below as always disabled, instructors may enable these items to make them visible in he course.

Always Disabled

The following items are always disabled. These items will automatically revert to disabled after any attempt to enable the item from the Navigation tab in the course Settings page.

  • Files - (Visible to Instructors Only / Cannot be Enabled for Students) - Directory of all files uploaded to the course. Instructors can bulk upload and download files from this page. Students cannot view the Files page, so instructors must share files by inserting a link to the file in another content item or by adding the file to a module as a module item
  • BigBlueButton (Cannot be Enabled) - Canvas-partnered videoconference software that is not supported or licensed at UW-Green Bay. Please use Zoom for integrated videoconferencing instead.

Can be Enabled

Instructors may enable these course navigation menu items and position them anywhere in the order of enabled items that is beneath the “fixed order” items.

  • Attendance - (Visible to Instructors Only) - “Roll Call Attendance” tool which can be used to track daily attendance and give a percentage-based grade for class attendance. Accessing this tool automatically creates a “Roll Call Attendance” assignment in the course. Students can view their attendance report through the assignment.
  • SCORM - Used to import SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) files as course assignments or module items. SCORM files are typically provided by publishers or training providers.
  • Chat - Access a live (text-based) chatroom for the course.
  • My Media - A shortcut for viewing your personal Kaltura My Media library. Each user sees their own personal library. Equivalent to accessing Account > My Media from the global navigation menu.
  • Media Gallery - A shared course gallery for Kaltura media. Both instructors and students can contribute media from their personal My Media library to the gallery. Instructors can enable gallery moderation, which will require the instructor’s approval before new student contributions get added to the gallery.
  • Cengage - Third-party Publisher Integration used with Cengage e-textbooks and courseware.
  • Access Pearson - Third-party Publisher Integration used with Pearson e-textbooks and courseware.
  • ALEKS - Third-party Publisher integration used with McGraw-Hill ALEKS courseware.

Adding Another Publisher Integration

Instructors using a third-party publisher external tool integration that is not available by default in Canvas can submit a request for Canvas administrators to install the integration through the “External Tool Integration Request” form available in the stack of links on the right side of the UW-Green Bay Canvas login page.

Adding Your Own Custom Link

Instructors can use the Redirect App to create new course navigation links. For more information, please see "Part 2" of the Universities of Wisconsin Digital Learning Environment KnowledgeBase article Canvas - Setting Up a New Course.

Keywordsnav enable disable hide unhide customize description order reorder legend key settings setting home announcements assignments discussions grades people syllabus outcomes quizzes modules collaborations rubrics item banks office 365 new analytics zoom grade sync course accessibility checker (UDOIT) online tutoring files bigbluebutton attendance SCORM chat my media gallery cengage access pearson aleks   Doc ID135733
OwnerScott B.GroupUW Green Bay
Created2024-02-27 15:41:02Updated2024-03-01 09:56:53
SitesUW Green Bay
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