Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

Managing Course Settings

There are a variety of tools and settings that an Instructor can access from Settings. When viewing the Settings page, there are two primary areas of action: Center page and Sidebar.

Center Page

In the center of the page are four tabs:

  • Course Details – This tab allows Instructors to set course start and end dates as well as a variety of student permissions within the course.
  • Sections – This tab allows Instructors to create and mange students in Sections. Example: Clerkship 6.1, 6.2, Anatomy SG Section 1, Anatomy SG Section 2, etc
  • Navigation – This tab allows instructors to show, hide, and rearrange navigation links for the course.
  • Apps – This tab allows instructors to add a variety of 3rd party tools, called LTIs or Apps, to a course.


The Sidebar provides instructors with access to:

  • Student View – This feature provides Instructors with a view of the course from the student perspective without needing to login with a separate username/password.
  • Course Statistics – This feature provides instructors with general summaries for recent activity within the course.
  • Course Calendar – This link opens the course calendar. Right click (control + click) on the link to Open in a New Tab.
  • Course Action Options
    • Conclude Course (Not Recommended)
    • Permanently Delete this Course (Avoid at All Costs)
    • Copy this Course
    • Import Content into this Course
    • Export Course Content
    • Reset Course Content (Not Recommended)
  • Current Users Summary

To learn more about Course Settings:

  • view the specific links in Center Page and Sidebar above
  • view Course Settings Overview Video on this page
  • read the Course Settings Tutorials listed on this page

Course Settings Tutorials

Please contact the Geisel Instructional Technology Staff for questions about these tools.

Canvas Course Design

Course Navigation

The first thing you should do before publishing the course is to edit the Course Navigation. Unlike Blackboard, the instructor control of the Canvas Course Navigation is a bit more restrictive.

Course Navigation items include:

  • Home (Required)
  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Attendance (Hidden unless made available)
  • Chat (Hidden unless made available)
  • Collaborations
  • Conferences
  • Discussions
  • Files
  • Grades
  • Modules
  • Outcomes
  • People
  • Pages
  • Quizzes
  • Syllabus
  • Settings (Visible to Instructors and TAs)

Instructors can reorder the tabs and even hide some of them. Tabs cannot be renamed. The purpose of this restriction is to attempt to streamline and simplify the menu options presented to students.

Course Settings Video

Skip to 2:57 to view the section on Editing the Course Navigation.

To learn more about customizing the Course Navigation menu, feel free to view the Navigation Tutorials.

Course Navigation Tutorials

Advaced Features Canvas Course Design

Managing Sections

Courses and sections work together in Canvas. Sections help subdivide students within a course and offer section-specific options such as varied due dates for assignments, discussions, and quizzes. Sections can also be used to create student groups.

Think of the Course as the location where students will:

  • access course content
  • interact with the instructor
  • interact with other students

Sections are groups of students created to manage administrative differences within the course. Each section still has access to the content within the course as well as the instructor and other students. However, the Sections allows the instructor to:

  • Manage different instructional timelines
  • Vary assignment due dates by Section
  • View/Manage grades by Section
  • Assign TAs or Facilitators to specific Sections for grading

At the Geisel School of Medicine, Sections will likely be used to:

  • Manage Clerkship Rotations
  • Manage OnDoctoring Facilitator Groups
  • Manage Small Group discussions

To learn more about Sections, feel free to view the Sections Tutorials on this page.

Sections Tutorials