Notification icons/badges for Course Navigation Menu


I am proposing this idea to have notification icons or badges in Canvas on the left side panel where we see access to the announcement, inbox, assignments, grades, and more, NOT in the Canvas app on the phone, because it already has that. 

I am talking about the Canvas we use through our School's website on a laptop/computer. 

Adding the icons or badges next to the announcement, inbox, chat, discussion board, and any means of communication.

This will help the students and instructors know there are messages, comments, or new posts that need to be read. So often, students may think there is no announcement or anything, Because, in this world of technology, we rely on notifications to help us know there is something that we need to see and read.

It would be much appreciated if we have that!

I have attached a photo as an example.


Community Novice

It would be very helpful to be able to see which tabs have new information posted in it without having to click it. For example, I am posting an announcement and a student posted in discussions. Let's say I clicked the homepage. Instead of having to click through my tabs, it would be nice if there was an indicator on the discussions tab to let me know that I need to check and read the discussions that were posted. This would be much more helpful than having to go to my email, open it, read that I have a new discussion, go back to canvas, and open discussions. The indicator could be much like the one we receive for the account tab when someone shares information with us. I think the most helpful tabs to create this feature for would be the calendar when a student has set up an appointment, discussion tab, announcements tab, and any other feature that allows student interaction/comments. This would also be helpful for most of the settings you already have in place for email, just switch it to within Canvas since I would already be there or leave it as an option. Please consider this. It would make navigating the website so much more effective and user friendly. Smiley Happy

Community Member

It would be very helpful to have a notification badge show up next to the word Announcements when you are in a Canvas course.  Notification badges for announcements only show up in the dashboard, and our students often don't use the dashboard.  

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
Community Member


Yes! Students don't often use the dashboard. They have too many classes to look at. 

I constantly reminded the students to check the announcement because my answers are already there when students inbox me a message with questions. Having this notification badge for each communication settings would definitely be helpful and reducing the constant reminders. 

Community Member


Exactly, it is crazy to have to go back and forth. I do not check my email every day. I go into Canvas and check everything. It isn't very pleasurable to click open each tab to see anything new when I read and comment on them. 

I hope this feature will be added as it is not fair that the Canvas app on phones or tablets has these notification badges. 

I think it should work both ways for Students and Instructors on what they view in Canvas and what is good for them to be notified. 

For instructors:

announcements, inbox message, Discussion Board, Chat, and what others...

For Students:

Announcements, inbox message, discussion board, chat, calendar, assignments (based on what is due that week. Modules (if a new one is added), same goes for new add under modules. And more. 

What ya think?


Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thanks to everyone commenting on this idea. Please note that an idea requesting a badge next to the Announcements course navigation item is already the topic of conversation at  Unread badge for new announcements in Course Navig....

Canvas has a unified inbox for all courses, so the badge for unread messages displays in the Global Navigation icon for the Inbox.

Also, please note that the screenshot in the idea description is from a teacher perspective; if a teacher chooses to disable the Discussions navigation item in the course navigation, as is the case in this example, students would not be able to see a badge indicator for that item.

Community Member


Yes, I understand, but the topic of conversation you mentioned with the link only asked for the announcements. And only one person commented in that conversation. So I do not see how that is helping with this current conversation.

Anyway, I am asking for ALL communication-related such as announcements, inbox, chat, and discussion to have a notification badge in the Course navigation. Having a notification badge in the Global navigation is not helping for BOTH teachers and students because we do not really pay attention to those.

We have too many sandboxes (courses) to look at. When opening one course and seeing all the notifications in the course navigation, it is much easier to notice it is specifically connected to the course itself. Not just one notification for all courses. It isn't apparent. I felt like I had to go into each course to check the announcement, discussion board, chat, and more to check any new comments or posts. It is tiring to do that every day to keep checking especially if we teach online courses. 

My screenshot shows how a notification badge would look and where to put it in each Course navigation, not the Global navigation.

I am not asking to have disabled or enabled options for teachers only. I am asking to make it permanent for BOTH teachers and students. It is easier to have that because we teachers and students do not pay much attention to Global navigation at all, and it is to help us recognize the notification.

I do not see any help when using the Global notification because it is only generally for all courses. What I would like to see that would be helpful for BOTH teachers and students is to open the course itself and see the notification related to the course itself only, not in general.

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.