How do I view Modules as an observer?

Some teachers use modules to organize the course. Modules control the entire flow of the course, along with its content.

Note: Your student's teacher may choose to hide the Modules link in Course Navigation. If the Modules link is not available, you can still access Module items through other areas of Canvas, such as the Syllabus or Course Home Page. Alternatively, your student's teacher may choose to hide all Course Navigation links except for Modules. If other Course Navigation links are not available, your student's teacher wants you to navigate the course using Modules.

Open Modules

Open Modules

In Course Navigation, click the Modules link.

View Modules

In Modules, you can view all the modules in your course. Modules are organized by order of progression.

Modules house the content items within each module.

To expand or collapse all modules, click the Expand All/Collapse All button [1].

To expand or collapse individual modules, click the module Expand or Collapse arrows [2].

If you choose to collapse or expand one or more modules, the Modules Index Page retains the state of each module.


  • The Collapse All button displays if one or more modules are expanded. The Expand All button displays if all modules are collapsed.
  • The Modules page supports keyboard shortcuts. To view a window with a list of keyboard navigation shortcuts, press the Shift+Question Mark keys simultaneously on your keyboard.

View Module Icons

Modules can be filled with different types of content. Each module item also includes an icon with its type:  

  • Page [1]: a page of content to read
  • Discussion [2]: a course discussion
  • Assignment [3]: a course assignment
  • Quiz [4]: a course quiz
  • Link or External Tool [5]: an external link or tool to view outside of the course
  • File [6]: a file to download or view

View Requirements

If a module includes requirements, the header shows whether the student is supposed to complete all requirements or select one requirement [1].

Next to the module item, you can view the type of requirement necessary to complete the module item [2]. The student must complete all required module items before they can progress to the next module. Some modules may require the student to complete the module items in order.

Depending on the module item type, requirements include up to five options:

  • View: The student must view the item.
  • Mark as done: The student must mark the module item as done before you can progress to the next item.
  • Contribute: The student must post a reply to the discussion topic or contribute content to a page.
  • Submit: The student must submit the assignment, graded discussion, or quiz.
  • Score at least X: The student must submit the assignment with a minimum of the shown score.

View Individual Module Item

View Individual Module Item

Each module contains module items. Each item includes the module item name [1]. Items will display the due date (if any) [2], and the number of points the assignment is worth [3]. If a To-Do date was added to a non-graded item, the date will display next to the module item [4].

Note: If your student's teacher has placed an unpublished quiz in the module, you will not be able to see the points possible or the quiz questions until the quiz has been published.

Open Module Item

Open Module Item

To begin a module, click the first item in the module.