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How do I use the Global Navigation Menu as a student?

How do I use the Global Navigation Menu as a student?

The Global Navigation Menu is located on the left side of every page in Canvas. Global Navigation links provide quick access to frequently used Canvas features. These links provide access to all your courses collectively. Default links include the Dashboard, Courses, Groups, Calendar, Inbox, User Account, and the Help menu.

Depending on your institution account settings, other links may appear in the Global Navigation Menu.  

Note: Your instructor may choose to display a different font for one or more of your courses. When viewing those courses, the Global Navigation Menu displays in the same font.

View Account

View Account

To view your user information, click the Account link. A menu will expand and display links to access your user settings, notification preferences, personal files, and ePortfolios (if enabled). If your institution has enabled Profiles, you can access your profile.

You can also use the Account link to log out of Canvas.

View Dashboard

The Dashboard is the landing page after you log in to Canvas. The Dashboard can be toggled to a course view, list view, or recent activity view and shows notifications for all current Canvas courses.

View Courses

View Courses

To view your courses, click the Courses link [1]. A menu will expand and display any current courses where you are enrolled [2]. This menu also displays any courses marked as favorites. If no courses are selected as favorites, the course list will display all current courses. If a course includes term dates, the name of the term will appear as part of the course listing.

To view a course, click the name of the course [3]. To customize your courses list or view all your Canvas courses, click the All Courses link [4].  

View Groups

View Groups

If you are enrolled in Groups, view your groups in the Groups link [1]. A menu will expand and display all groups in current courses where you are enrolled.

To view a group, click the name of the group [2]. To view all your groups, click the All Groups link [3].

Note: Groups cannot be customized in the drop-down menu.

View Calendar

To view your Calendar, click the Calendar link.

View Inbox

To view your Conversations Inbox, click the Inbox link. Conversations is the Canvas messaging system where you can communicate with other users in your courses. The number of new messages are shown as part of the Inbox icon.

View Help

View Help

To get help with Canvas, click the Help link [1]. Select the help option that is relevant to your needs [2].

Note: Depending on your institution settings, the Help menu may display different options.

Collapse Global Navigation Menu

Collapse Global Navigation Menu

To expand or collapse the Global Navigation menu, click the arrow icon.

The Global Navigation Menu will be automatically collapsed for tablet screens.


I am looking for something like this but for lower elementary students.  We are using Canvas in K-3 this year and I can not find ANYTHING that I can share with my students and parents that can easily help them understand what the icons mean or how to get started.

Hi @ccole518,

I'd recommend joining the K-12 Canvas Community user group. There, you can search for previously asked questions and shared content that's specific to using Canvas for a younger user base. When searching within the user group, I'd recommend searching "K-5" as many posts and lessons either have a K-5 label or mention K-5 in the question or title. You can also collaborate with other users and post new questions within the group. It's possible that someone there has created a resource similar to this one. 

We also have quite a few overview and how-to videos in our Canvas Video guide. Perhaps those would help? If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to reach out.


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Last update:
‎07-30-2020 08:07 PM
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