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birdmentorcours
New Member

How to change navigational link titles

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Hi there,

I am not sure I am using the correct terminology... but I'm wondering if anyone knows if it is possible to change the name of one of the menu titles on the left side of the screen: Modules, Quizzes, Settings, etc??

2 Solutions
kona
Coach Emeritus

 @birdmentorcours ​, those are the course navigation links - How do I use the Course Navigation Menu? - and without some back end programming (I believe CSS & javascript) by someone with Canvas admin privileges the names on those links can't be changed.

For more information on this topic here is the link to a great discussion about the pros and cons of changing the names of things in Canvas - Re: Changing Canvas terminology with Javascript?

View solution in original post

micciclr, after you've created and published the page in your course, copy its URL and follow the instructions provided in the resources here to create the navigation link for that page.

View solution in original post

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20 Replies
kona
Coach Emeritus

 @birdmentorcours ​, those are the course navigation links - How do I use the Course Navigation Menu? - and without some back end programming (I believe CSS & javascript) by someone with Canvas admin privileges the names on those links can't be changed.

For more information on this topic here is the link to a great discussion about the pros and cons of changing the names of things in Canvas - Re: Changing Canvas terminology with Javascript?

Thanks Kona!!  I'll take a look at the resources you offered. 

I appreciate your response!!

Students do not know what Modules are. And syllabus (as prepopulated with a list of deadlines) is not what they think of as syllabus. Please allow users to customize those if you aren't going to create better titles. 

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micciclr
New Member

Some ability to customize the menu in Canvas would be a great added feature. I don't use most of the defaults in the course navigation and would like to make my own so that they are readily available to students instead of buried in pages, modules, etc. Can someone add this to a wishlist?

micciclr‌, instructors can add their own custom navigation links to the course menu with the Redirect Tool (How do I use the Canvas App Center in a course?)

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Thanks, Stefanie. The problem with redirect, as I understand it, is that the pages appear when using a computer but not when using a mobile device. Since students use both, this doesn't seem a great solution.

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micciclr, I asked one of our resident mobile experts,  @rseilham , about this, and he created this video (for iOS):

 

This video is currently being processed. Please try again in a few minutes.
(view in My Videos)

Ryan also notes that if LTI is set to force a new tab, the students see the exact same thing on mobile and web.

So mobile doesn't present a barrier for use of the Redirect tool.

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micciclr
New Member

Ok, what's shown on mobile is "redirect tool" rather than, in this case, Apple. The name of the page, which looks like it would be Apple (the video is super-fast, so I'm not sure I followed), is NOT shown on the mobile app. The generic "redirect tool" is shown--is that correct? If so, again, not great.

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micciclr‌, I'd need to verify this with Ryan, but I suspect he simply called it "Redirect Tool" so that it would be obvious in the screencast.

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Circling back. Can the redirect tool be used to add custom navigation to the menu that does NOT take users to an external website? That is, I want to create a menu item called Resources. I don't want to create a page because then the resources are buried in a page instead of being readily available in the navigation menu. Is there a way to do this? 

micciclr, the redirect link has to direct to something, but it doesn't have to link to an external website; it can direct to a "Resources" page within the course if that's how you'd like to set it up.

Ok, thanks. How can I set that up?

micciclr, after you've created and published the page in your course, copy its URL and follow the instructions provided in the resources here to create the navigation link for that page.

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Hello! This link is no longer working. Would you mind please re-posting?

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micciclr
New Member

Alright--thanks!

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SusanNiemeyer
Community Contributor

The term "Module" is really quite problematic. When we all made the transition to remote, online learning in 2020, I became an active participant in the FB group "Teachers Using Canvas." I have written dozens and dozens of replies to teachers explaining to them that a "Module" simply means "Unit." If instructors find the term "Module" confusing, then our students will too. I teach ESL, and this is not a word in my students' active vocabulary.

Overall, I wish the Canvas developers would pay a lot more attention to terminology and wording. 

@SusanNiemeyer ...

Something to maybe consider, though, is the documentation available here in the Community.  If schools want to rename the "Modules" course navigation button to something else such as "Unit" or "Chapter", then that could add an extra layer of confusion for people because they are looking for help documentation here in the Community related to "Unit" or "Chapter" ... but the "official" terminology is still "Modules".  I've seen where some schools have created their own documentation to publish on the school's website, so maybe that would solve the issue.  But, I would recommend that a school has conversations about this before making any significant changes like this.

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SusanNiemeyer
Community Contributor

@Chris_Hofer It's not going to happen, I know, but I think the entire Canvas platform should chuck the term "Modules" and replace it with "Units."  It should be done globally, not at the institution level. And, the word should be "Unit" and not "Chapter." 

You've spent enough time over at "Teachers Using Canvas" to have seen the confusion that teachers new to Canvas have wrapping their minds around the concept of a "Module."

I hear you on this one, too.  I think the challenge would be to come up with something new that everyone would agree with.  Or, just make it more customizable for each school?  Not really sure.  I found a couple other links for you:

Take care...be well.

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DoubleDebbieDow
New Member

The LMS we used previously (Sakai) simply allows instructors to change these titles on a per course basis. The default titles are just as bad (for instance, I always change Resources to Handouts). Their default is "lessons" which, for a college professor, also doesn't describe how we arrange and talk about our teaching. (I think of it as courses with individual classes that are arranged into units, personally). It's fine to keep Modules as the default if that's what matches with the community help, but it would also be good to tell allow people to adjust those titles based on the structure and organization of their own class. 

For instance, some college courses have labs. Others are organized as studios, others have workshops. Seems arbitrary to force everyone to stick with modules, a term nobody I know of ever uses in a US college setting. 

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