First Look: Responsive Layout

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You may have noticed today there is a new look in Free-For-Teachers. The new responsive layout is here! This layout ensures that the Canvas website looks great on ALL devices, even on smartphones and tablets! See this link Canvas Release Notes (2020-01-18) for more info.

According to the release notes, Canvas provides a more responsive experience for content scrolling according to web accessibility initiative guidelines. This ensures Canvas continues to meet accessibility guidelines for all Canvas users regarding the vertical and horizontal display of course content.

Local institutions implementing custom JavaScript or CSS through the Theme Editor should review the WAI reflow standards and their current code to ensure no conflicts exist with Canvas pages.

This responsive layout change is enabled by default in the beta environment, but it can also be optionally tested in the production environment until February 2020 with the Responsive Layout feature option in Account Settings.

This feature option is now enabled for Free-For-Teacher accounts at this moment and will be enabled for all other accounts in the production environment by default starting this February.

Here's a sneak peek of what's to come with the Responsive Layout.


The dashboard will look similar to the one in the Canvas mobile apps. Options to start a new course and view your grades are shown at the bottom.

Dashboard RV

Navigating the Menus

The Global Navigation bar (How do I use the Global Navigation Menu as an instructor?) can be accessed from the hamburger menu at the top left. Some items include dropdowns that you can click to expand their menus.

Global Nav RV

The Course Navigation Menu is shown as a down arrow next to the course name.

Course RV

Clicking it will reveal the Course Navigation Menu. Items are clearly marked with their corresponding icons. LTI tools will be denoted by a plug icon.

(We do seem to have issues with the Free-For-Teachers version, where it only shows the first 18 items.)

Course Navigation Menu

Remember, Responsive Layout is available now in the beta environment and will be released to production this February (for all other accounts).

I did not expect the Responsive Layout feature to be released to production that early for Free-For-Teachers, but it makes Canvas more intuitive to use!

What to Work On

Tables still need to adapt to the responsive layout, but we'll get into that later.

We hope you continue to enjoy Canvas as the Winter/Spring 2020 semester begins!

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