Quick Toggle Student View

Being able to toggle into Student View within my classes in order to double- and triple-check to make sure "everything is as it should seem" is a wonderful feature built into Canvas.


FEATURE IDEA: Have a quick toggle button located at the upper-righthand navigation that allowed me to toggle Student View ON/OFF easily, would improve my workflow and efficiency in setting up new assignment / pages / etc.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For more information, please read through the Canvas Release Notes (2020-12-19) - Canvas Community

Community Participant

Canvas has a lot of great features and was heavily 'marketed' to our faculty. Such a seemingly simple but important fix that has been waiting for years is discouraging.

Community Participant

From conversations with Canvas engineers last spring during Khaki 2.0, and with my son who is involved in software development in another educational arena (planetariums), I've learned that many features I think would be "simple" to implement (i.e. "You just need to make it do xyz!") turn out to be quite complex to do...and vice versa. That knowledge has made me perhaps a tiny bit less impatient with the process of feature development. Smiley Wink

I'm wondering if this feature request is not exactly the low-hanging fruit (engineering-wise) that it would appear to be? Just a thought...

Community Novice

Turns out this feature was pretty easy to implement. I submitted a pull request, it was merged, and a student view button should appear on the course homepage next week.

Community Novice

Fantastic work! It's amazing that someone in the community was able to make this much-needed improvement a reality.

Community Team
Community Team

Greetings!  In the Canvas Beta Release Notes (2018-02-06) there is a new Course Home Page Student View Button.  I know it doesn't apply the button everywhere as originally requested, but it seems like a step in the right direction?

Community Team
Community Team


Did you get a chance to read the beta release?  It's now in the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-14130-canvas-production-release-notes-2018-02-17 

Community Novice

Another good place to put it is on the left side with all of the navigation items. It would be great to quickly see what students see as I am editing a page or module etc.

Community Champion

A keyboard shortcut would be great, for example a ctrl-1 to open student view. 

It’s time consuming to create an assignment or page, go to home, click student view, then find the new document. Worse, I have to publish the page or assignment to check it this way. A keyboard shortcut might avoid this ... hmm. 

Just a thought on this beautiful morning. 

Community Explorer

Hi – I haven't read all the comments above, but I was asked by an administrator to supply a comment here since I submitted a similar proposal with a possible solution. Maybe someone else already has created something similar or better, but here is mine.

I have made a tiny Chrome extension called "Canvas Quick Student View" which adds a Student View link, in the form of the spectacles icon, to the top "crumbs" navigation pane of every page (see image below). It is now posted to Chrome Web Store.

How to install: copy and paste the link


in the address field of Google Chrome and press enter, then click the Add button in Chrome Web Store. NB! this solution only works in Google Chrome. You will need to reload your Canvas page in Chrome for the changes to take effect.


As this extension is not extensively tested, I would very much like to have the feedback of anyone who has tried it. Please also make sure that you know how to disable it in case Canvas starts behaving strangely – this is how to do that: navigate to chrome://extensions and locate the Canvas Quick Student View box. Then flip the tiny switch at the bottom right corner of that box (see image), making it gray out. The extension will then be disabled after reloading your Canvas page.

disabling the Canvas Quick Student View extension

Edit: version 0.4 is now available. Hopefully, this will work on all Canvas versions. If not, please let me know.

Note that v 0.4 does not warn for unsaved edits when the link is clicked. v 0.5 (upcoming) will hide the link when content is being edited.

Community Explorer

This looks promising!  I am definitely interested!