How do I navigate a Canvas course as an instructor?

A Canvas course is divided into six main sections.

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.

Canvas Course Navigation Overview

There are six main sections in a Canvas course:

  1. Course Navigation
  2. Global Navigation
  3. Breadcrumb Navigation
  4. Content Area
  5. Sidebar
  6. Help Corner

Course Navigation

Course Navigation

The Course Navigation links help you get to where you want to go within a Canvas course. As an instructor, you can customize what links are shown in your course.

Global Navigation Menu

The Global Navigation menu helps you get to where you want to go across all of the Canvas courses you are enrolled in.

Help Corner

Help Corner

The Help Corner is where users can access their personal settings and where students can contact the instructor or Canvas Support. It also provides places for user feedback and user ideas.


The Breadcrumbs appear above the main body of the page. Breadcrumbs leave a trail that help you see where you have navigated to inside a Canvas course. Follow these links backward to visit parent pages. Click the house icon at the far left of the Breadcrumbs to move all the way back to the User Dashboard.

Content Area

The content of the course will be displayed in the Content Area. The content can be a page, the syllabus, discussions, announcements, quizzes, or imported content.


The Sidebar provides the tools available for the Canvas feature you are currently using. The Sidebar will change dynamically as you use different tools in a feature as well as when you move from feature to feature.

(Optional) Lesson Feedback (0)

Please let us know if any information in this lesson appears to be incorrect in terms of Canvas functionality only (please do not submit feature requests here). This is not a help site, and submitted comments cannot be answered. If your Canvas course/account is having trouble completing any of the tasks outlined in this lesson, please contact Canvas Support by submitting a HELP TICKET via the Help Link within Canvas or emailing Thank you.

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