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The Study Hall

Cause for Celebration: The New Canvas User Interface is Here

The July 4th weekend was all about celebrating our nation’s independence, but this past weekend, Canvas set off some fireworks of its own. The new Canvas user interface (UI) went live for all users on Saturday, July 9. With a restructured dashboard and global navigation menu, the new UI is more than a flashy display; it’s designed to deliver a better, more seamless user experience.

Here are a few of the noteworthy (and loveworthy) updates:


Dare we say love at first sight? The new dashboard provides a high-level overview across all courses, whether you’re on a tablet or a computer.

You can also choose just how you see and control Canvas:

  • Course View - features color-coded course cards to allow for easy management of your courses. Each card can include up to four tabs for quick viewing of course activity in the four main categories: announcements, assignments, discussions, and files. Don’t worry, you have control over which courses get which colors.

canvas interface 1

  • Recent Activity Stream - much like the newsfeed of your favorite social media platform, the activity stream lets you know what your learners have been up to, providing updates categorized by announcements, assignments, discussions, and conversations.

canvas interface 2


Streamline your learning with an intuitive global navigation menu. It’s your shortcut to courses and other information. You can use it from any page within Canvas to quickly jump to the course pages you’re looking for. Want to stay put? You can hide the navigational items on all devices.

You can also customize your learning experience by using the admin link on the global navigation menu to access the theme editor. Here, you can create and modify themes for all users at your institution.

canvas interface 3


This sidebar deserves center stage. Check out these new features to make teaching and learning even easier:

  • To Do - forget those old sticky notes. Simply click the link and go directly to assignments that need to be completed or graded.
  • Coming Up - get a preview of what work is heading your way. The Coming Up feed is your crystal ball for upcoming assignments and events within your courses.
  • View Grades - consider this a self-directed progress report. Users can view grades for any course by clicking the View Grades button.

canvas interface 4

Have questions or want to share your thoughts on the new Canvas UI designed with YOU in mind? Contact your CSM. Otherwise, log in and enjoy the sparkle of the new, clean, and intuitive Canvas UI.

Keep learning,
Hilary Scharton
Director of Product Strategy, K12