How do I view Modules as an observer?

Some teachers use modules to organize the course. Modules control the entire flow of the course, along with its content.

Note: Your student's teacher may choose to hide the Modules link in Course Navigation. If the Modules link is not available, you can still access Module items through other areas of Canvas, such as the Syllabus or Course Home Page. Alternatively, your student's teacher may choose to hide all Course Navigation links except for Modules. If other Course Navigation links are not available, your student's teacher wants you to navigate the course using Modules.

Open Modules

Open Modules

In Course Navigation, click the Modules link.

View Modules

In Modules, you can view all the modules in your course. Modules are organized by order of progression.

Modules house the content items within each module.

To expand or collapse all modules, click the Expand All/Collapse All button [1].

To expand or collapse individual modules, click the module Expand or Collapse arrows [2].

If you choose to collapse or expand one or more modules, the Modules Index Page retains the state of each module.


  • The Collapse All button displays if one or more modules are expanded. The Expand All button displays if all modules are collapsed.
  • The Modules page supports keyboard shortcuts. To view a window with a list of keyboard navigation shortcuts, press the Shift+Question Mark keys simultaneously on your keyboard.

View Locked Module

Your student's teacher may lock a module until a specified date. Locked modules display an unlock date.

View Module Icons

Modules can be filled with different types of content. Each module item also includes an icon with its type:  

  • Page [1]: a page of content to read
  • Discussion [2]: a course discussion
  • Assignment [3]: a course assignment
  • Quiz [4]: a course quiz
  • Link or External Tool [5]: an external link or tool to view outside of the course
  • File [6]: a file to download or view

View Requirements

If a module includes requirements, the header shows whether the student is supposed to complete all requirements or select one requirement [1].

Next to the module item, you can view the type of requirement necessary to complete the module item [2]. The student must complete all required module items before they can progress to the next module. Some modules may require the student to complete the module items in order.

Depending on the module item type, requirements include up to five options:

  • View: You must view the item.
  • Mark as done: You must mark the module item as done before you can progress to the next item.
  • Contribute: You must post a reply to the discussion topic or contribute content to a page.
  • Submit: You must submit the assignment, graded discussion, or quiz.
  • Score at least X: You must submit the assignment with a minimum of the shown score.

View Progression Icons

View Progression Icons

Module items can also be used to show progression through a module. Modules and/or module items that are not available to you are grayed out.

For any module icon, you can hover over the icon and view the message for the requirement.

Icon meanings may change depending on if your course is using requirements:

  • Orange dash icon [1]: when next to a module item, the module item is overdue. When next to the module heading, the module requirements have not been met.
  • Green check mark [2]: the module item has been completed. For requirements, this icon means the module requirement has been met.
  • Blue info icon [3]: the module item has been submitted, but has not yet been graded.
  • Options label [4]: the module item requires you to choose an assignment path before additional module items can be displayed.
  • White circle [5]: the module item has not been started.
  • Lock icon [6]: the module is locked until a future date. For prerequisites, this icon means the previous module has not been completed so it cannot be viewed.
  • Lock message [7]: the module may contain additional information that cannot be accessed until the name of the assignment in the message is graded.

View Individual Module Item

View Individual Module Item

Each module contains module items. Each item includes the module item name [1]. Items will display the due date (if any) [2], and the number of points the assignment is worth [3]. If a To-Do date was added to a non-graded item, the date will display next to the module item [4].

Note: If your student's teacher has placed an unpublished quiz in the module, you will not be able to see the points possible or the quiz questions until the quiz has been published.

Open Module Item

Open Module Item

To begin a module, click the first item in the module.

You can advance through module items or return to previous modules using the progression bar at the bottom of the page. To advance to the next module item, click the Next button [1]. To return to a previous module item, click the Previous button [2].

You can view the name of the next or previous module item by hovering over the Next or Previous button, respectively.

Note: If your student's teacher has enabled MasteryPaths for your course and an assignment is processing, the Next button in the modules progression bar indicates that you should refresh the page. This change notifies you about progressing to the next module item.