This tutorial will introduce you to the features of the User Dashboard, which is the first page that users see when they log into Canvas.

The User Dashboard consists of three main parts:

1) global navigation

2) course list

3) sidebar

Screenshot of the User Dashboard.

Global Navigation

Use the buttons in the pane on the left to navigate to multiple locations in Canvas.

Select Account to access your personal profile, settings, notifications, files, and ePortofolios. You can also log out in this pane.

Screenshot of the Account button.

Select the arrow at the bottom of the pane to collapse the global navigation.

Screenshot of the arrow.

Select Dashboard to return to the User Dashboard after navigating away from it.

Screenshot of the dashboard.

Select Courses to view a list of your courses for the current semester. Select All Courses to access all of your other Canvas courses from past semesters.

Screenshot of the All Courses button.

If you are a member of a group, you will see the Groups option. The Groups tab will appear once you are added to a group. Select Groups to view the groups of which you are currently a member. Select All Groups to view past groups.

Screenshot of the Groups button.

Select Calendar to navigate to the calendar that organizes all of the events and assignments in all of your courses.

Screenshot of the calendar.

Select Inbox to navigate to the Canvas messaging system.

Screenshot of the inbox.

Course List

1) Select a square to navigate to that course.

2) Select the pencil icon in the top right corner of the square to give the course a nickname and change the color of the square.

3) Select and drag a course to rearrange it.

Screenshot of the courses.

The options at the bottom of the square vary depending on which tools are activated in the course. The following are possible options:

1) Megaphone: view announcements for that course.

2) Paper icon: view assignments for that course.

3) Speech bubble: access the discussions for that course.

4) Folder: access the files for that course.

Screenshot of the megaphone, paper, speech bubble, and folder.

Select the button in the top right corner of the User Dashboard to switch the course list to the Recent Activity list.

Screenshot of the Recent Activity list.

Screenshot of the Recent Activity list.


The Sidebar helps you see what you need to do next across all your courses and can contain up to three helpful sections.

1) The To Do section shows assignments or events that require your attention. If you are enrolled in a course as a student, the list shows assignments you need to turn in online. If you are enrolled in a course as an instructor, the list shows assignments you need to grade. The red number on the instructor view shows how many submissions are ready for grading. Items remain in this section for two weeks.

2) The Coming Up section shows assignments and events coming due in the next seven days (including assignments without an online submission).

3) The Recent Feedback, if you are enrolled in a course as a student, the section shows assignments with feedback from your instructor.

Screenshot of the side bar.

To remove an item from the To Do list, select the X in the top right corner. INSTRUCTORS: The item will reappear once a new submission is available for grading.

Screenshot of the ignore options.

Recent Activity

Recent Activity contains a stream of recent notifications from all of your courses, including announcements, discussions, assignments, and conversations. This activity stream helps you see all recent activity in your courses and easily ask questions and post to discussion forums.

Activities are indicated by activity type and display an icon (1) for the activity. New or unread activities are shown by the red indicator dot (2). Recent Activity items remain for four weeks.

You can view the details of each activity by selecting the (3) Show More link. To collapse recent activity, select the (4) Show Less link.

You can directly access your recent activities by selecting the (5) course link. To remove a notification, select the (6) remove icon.

Screenshot of the Recent Activity.

Information compiled by SUU Online™ © 2016

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