How do I use the 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 return to your User Dashboard at any time by clicking the Dashboard link in Global Navigation.

View Dashboard

The Dashboard [1] defaults to the course view, which displays courses that have been starred as a favorite. Courses are ordered alphabetically by original course name and your role in the course; nicknames do not change the display order. Courses with an instructor- or TA-based role are listed first.

The Dashboard also includes a sidebar [2], which helps show upcoming events in your courses.

View Course Cards

View Course Cards

The Dashboard course view includes a course card for each of your favorite courses. Some courses may include an image for the course behind the course color [1].

Each card can include up to four tabs [2], which represent the four main Canvas features for student course activity: Announcements, Assignments, Discussions, and Files. These tabs mimic visibility and order in Course Navigation, so for instance, if an instructor hides the Announcements link, the Announcements tab will not display on the course card.

If the tabs are visible, Discussions and Announcements indicate the number of new activity items published in the course [3].

Change Course Color

Change Course Color

You can also change the color of your course, which is synced with the color shown for the course in the Calendar. To change the color, click the card Settings icon [1], then select a new color. The check mark indicates the selected color [2]. Click the Apply button [3]. 

If you change the color for a course in the Calendar, the Dashboard will also update with the new calendar color.

Add Course Nickname

Add Course Nickname

If one of your courses includes a long or confusing name, you can create a nickname for your course. Learn more about course nicknames.

View Global Announcement

View Global Announcement

The Dashboard may also include global announcements, which are announcements created by your institution. To remove the announcement from your dashboard, click the Remove icon.

View Recent Activity

To help manage Canvas activity, the Dashboard also supports the Recent Activity Stream, which can be toggled at the top of the Dashboard based on user preference. The recent activity stream shows activity for all your Canvas courses. To view Recent Activity, click the Dashboard icon. The icon will switch from the left side to the right, indicating the current Dashboard view.

View Recent Activity Indicators

Recent Activity contains a stream of recent notifications from all of your courses, including announcements, discussions, assignments, and conversations. This activity stream helps you see all recent activity in your courses and easily ask questions and post to discussion forums. Unlike course cards, the activity stream does not the mimic visibility of Course Navigation links.

Activities are indicated by activity type and display an icon [1] for the activity. Each activity also includes the name of its associated course [2].

New activity in your account is indicated by a blue dot [3]. Discussions and Announcements indicate new activity items published in a course, and Conversations indicate a new message received from a user in a course.

Recent Activity items remain for four weeks.

Note: To receive notifications for Discussions, users must actively post in the discussions at least once every two weeks. If a user stops participating in a discussion after two weeks, Canvas will no longer display discussion notifications.

Expand and Collapse Notifications

You can view the details of each activity by hovering in the notification area and clicking the Show More link [1]. To collapse recent activity, click the Show Less link [2].

Manage Recent Activity

You can directly access your recent activities by clicking the course link [1]. To remove a notification, click the remove icon [2].

View Sidebar

View Sidebar

The Sidebar helps you see what you need to do next across all your courses and can contain up to three helpful sections.

The To Do section [1] shows assignments or events that require your attention. Each item in the To Do list displays the assignment name, the number of points, and the due date for the assignment. If you are enrolled in a course as a student, the list shows assignments you need to turn in. If you are enrolled in a course as an instructor, the list shows assignments you need to grade. Items remain in this section for two weeks.

The Coming Up section [2] shows assignments and events coming due in the next seven days. If an assignment in the Coming Up list has already been graded, the assignment includes the assignment score.

If you are enrolled in a course as a student, the Recent Feedback section [3] shows assignments with feedback from your instructor. This section still appears for instructors but does not display content. Recent Feedback shows assignments updated with feedback from your instructor during the last four weeks.

If your Canvas admin has granted you permission to create courses, you may see the Start a New Course button [4], which would allow you to create a new Canvas Course.

Manage Sidebar Items

Manage Sidebar Items

For students, each section item displays an icon [1] to differentiate between assignments and peer review assignments. For instructors, the item indicates how many items need to be graded [2].

If a section contains more items than are listed, a link will appear under the list that you can use to view additional items [3].

If there are more than 25 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 [4].

Note: For instructors, removing an item is only temporary; the item will reappear when a new submission is received for that assignment.

View Grades

View Grades

The sidebar also allows you to view grades. To view grades for your courses, click the View Grades button. This button is available to all user roles. Learn more about Dashboard Grades.

Return to User Dashboard

Return to User Dashboard

You can return to your User Dashboard at any time by clicking the Dashboard link in Global Navigation.