Canvas Student Support: Course Navigation

Standard Navigation Menu Options

The following sections explain the parts of Methodist University’s Online Course Template and what you can expect to find in each location.

Home

This is the course home page. Most courses have a course landing page that welcomes you to the course and directs you to important areas of the course. Your instructor is provided a template that they can customize to meet the needs of their course.

Announcements

Announcements keep students informed of changes and important notifications as the course progresses.  When the course contains Announcements, you will see a left hand navigation menu option in your course, and an Announcements icon will appear on your course card on the Dashboard. Courses that do not contain any announcements do not have these options visible.

Syllabus

This includes most of the traditional syllabus content: course description, goals, objectives, textbooks, grading criteria, disability and instructional technology statements, etc. It may also include polices and procedures, such as  late work, honor code, online course etiquette, etc. Your instructor may also explain how you are to be evaluated.

Modules

Modules are where you will find your course content, in the sequence in which your instructor means to present it to you. Modules may contain content Pages, links to Assignments and Quizzes, and links to external learning resources, such as those provided by the publisher of your course textbook.

Assignments

This area lists the Assignments in the course, including Quizzes (which have a separate section also). Assignments may be accessed here or through the Modules where they are assigned. These are often grouped into Assignment Categories, if your instructor has set them up.

Discussions

Discussion gives you an opportunity to participate in virtual conversations at any time and any location. Threaded discussions refer to online postings on a specific topic. In an online course, your instructor will have regular discussion assignments. In each discussion assignment, there is a prompt, or a question or questions for students to answer. Students are asked to post their answer on the Discussion Forum. Students can read the messages and respond to them. This group of messages, containing the initial message and responses, is called a thread. You are usually graded on both your responses to your instructor (primary posts) and your responses to your classmates (secondary posts).

Grades

Follow this link to view your grades in the course.

Conferences

This button launches Big Blue Button for a real-time class session online. Big Blue Button is comparable to commercial online meeting software, such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams. If your instructor does not use real-time Conferences, this menu option may not be visible to students.

Collaborations

This link contains any collaborative work your instructor has assigned. If your instructor does not use Collaborations, this menu option may not be visible to students.

Attendance

Faculty will use Roll Call to keep track of attendance in traditional courses. If this is navigation option is visible, you can track your course attendance here. Courses that are delivered exclusively in an online format may have this menu option hidden.

Academic Policies

An external link to a page on the Methodist University Web site that lists policies for the Methodist University Online program.

Course Calendar

Not to be confused with the Calendar option in the main Canvas navigation (the far left menu), this is a link to a page within the course on which the instructor can provide a schedule of course tasks, assignments, and any other information pertaining to the sequence and pace of the course.

Academic Support

An external link to a page on the Methodist University Web site that provides information and a link to Davis Memorial Library, the Writing Center, the Monarch Tutoring Center, and Accessibility & Disability Services.

Follett Discover

An external link to the Follett Discover app, where students can shop for textbooks from the Methodist University Bookstore based on their schedules.


Hidden Course Navigation Options

The following menu options are usually not visible to students. However, the following information is provided because your instructor may have made these visible.

Pages

This area lists the Pages (A-Z) in the course. This area is normally confusing for students because it presents course content alphabetically (or in the order it was added to Canvas) instead of in a particular instructional sequence or context. Pages are normally accessed through Modules, where the proper sequence and context.

Files

Like Pages, this area lists the files your instructor has uploaded to the course, without respect to any logical sequence or educational context. Files normally are seen in their proper context, placed within Pages or other content that appear within Modules.

People

This area lists the faculty, teaching assistants, students, and guests who have been added to a course.

Quizzes

This area lists the Quizzes in the course. Quizzes may be accessed here or through the Modules where they are assigned. Because Quizzes also appear under Assignments, this area is often hidden due to redundancy.


Other Menu Options

Learning Tool Integrations from Textbook Publishers

Your instructor may use external online educational materials provided by the publisher of your course textbook. These are called LTIs, and they are apps that integrate Canvas with the external content. Your instructor may be using these integrations, and if so, one of the following navigation options will appear in your course:

  • Cengage
  • Hawkes
  • Macmillan Learning
  • McGraw Hill Connect
  • Pearson