Are you looking at some kind of e-textbook? Canvas doesn't really have "chapters", so I'm guessing that this is something your instructor has linked to from your Canvas class?
This question about bookmarks and bookmarking is a good one. Krysandra may have been asking about bookmarking a "module page". (A little history - the word "Chapter" was widely used years ago for divisions in a written work. After this, the term "Unit" became popular (oftentimes used as larger sections while at other times used in place of the word "chapter". Lately the word "Module" has been adopted by many publishers).
Canvas is designed to help students work in a linear fashion through a course, and very much of the content on these linear module pages involves reading. In addition to a linear course set-up and linear module pages, Canvas is also designed to be used in a non-linear fashion: By attending to a discussion, re-reading an announcement, checking a grade, using the in-box feature, and THEN returning to the last Module page read.
(1) So how does a student quickly return to the module page he/she left off at two days ago? This seems to be the nature of Krysandra's question. And also,
(2) How does a student quickly return to the module page just read moments ago - after he or she has attended to one of the other Canvas features like discussions, announcements, etc...?
Now the work-around I use is what most people probably do: Open up another instance of Canvas in another tab. This, however, addresses only issue #2 above, and not issue #1, and it is a work-around (requiring additional computer skills and management/conscientiousness); it is not a simple Canvas feature - which it should be (think "Kindle").
How difficult could it possibly be to create a Bookmarking feature? Call it Pinning, Starring, Favoriting, Flagging if you want - the technology has been in wide use for years.
Don't we want students to quickly be able to return where they have left off?
I don't know how common opening another tab is. Most of my students just live by the To Do list and don't look at anything unless and until it shows there as due today. Getting them to go into the course itself, where things are laid out in modules, is difficult. This is despite me reminding them that's where the actual content is. I've gone to not putting instructions in the assignment itself, but putting a link to the instructions in the assignment. I wish we didn't have to work so hard to get students to more effectively study because that is really a futile attempt. It seems some work harder at doing the bare minimum than what it would take if they would just do what was asked of them.
As for what we can do to help them pick up where they left off, I've seen instructors add every item in a module as a requirements to completion of the module. Then the student can see the last thing that they have completed.
Another thing that students can do is to minimize a module once they have completed it. When you open the modules page in the browser, then it will automatically scroll to the first open module. I personally dislike this because it scrolls my course menu off the screen unless I leave a module open at the very top. I've gone to adding a "course resources" module that I permanently leave open to avoid this.
Thanks, James, those are a couple good work-arounds that can help students discover which modules they have or haven't completed. I think I will suggest to the Canvas team, though, the idea of a single, "hard" bookmark: They activate it on a page, and when they read ahead and activate it again, the previous bookmark is automatically removed. That way if students are in the midst of a module, they can return to the page that they marked, presumably where they left off from.
That is interesting that your experience is that many students simply head for the graded activities, and don't typically follow the module pages. I don't have much experience with Canvas and hadn't thought of that.
Excellent point you make regarding how students (all of us to some degree?) will expend vast resources pursuing a short-cut. Ironic, but I suppose that there are some admirable aspects to that strategy as well.