#TechTipThursday: Your Canvas Dashboard

Our first #TechTipThursday this academic year focuses on the Canvas Dashboard. As the first screen users see following a successful login to the learning management system (LMS), the Canvas Dashboard offers a logical starting place. This post will focus on personalizing the Dashboard as it appears on a computer; Canvas is not supported in mobile web browsers. Some functionality will be transferrable to the Canvas apps (Student; Teacher), which will be noted but not shown within this post.

Sorting (drag/drop) course cards:
Cards are arranged on a user’s Dashboard alphabetically, by course name, first then by course role by hierarchy (i.e., instructor > TA > student). The term to which a course is assigned factors into both what, and when, course cards appear on the Dashboard. Course cards are added when the course is in term and removed upon term conclusion; please contact us for assistance with adding a past enrollment to your Dashboard. By following the steps below, in Google Chrome, users can manually rearrange course cards on the Canvas Dashboard.

    1. Install browser add-on Tampermonkey to manage the requisite user script
    2. Install the Dashboard Card Sorter script file
    3. Edit line 5, after the @include, replacing https://*.instructure.com/ with https://canvas.longwood.edu/
    4. Save the updated script

Our screen capture walks you through the steps above. Note that we have provided you with a direct download in step 2. You will not need to visit a separate page, as shown in the video, to download the Dashboard Card Sorter script file.

This personalization involves a user script and does not impact the Dashboard’s appearance on Canvas mobile apps.

Changing the color of a course card:
When the Dashboard is set to “Card view” you will notice that each course card displays a color. You can customize the card’s color directly on Dashboard. Each course card has three vertical dots, often referred to as a hamburger menu, in the top right-hand corner. Click these dots to display a new window in which you can give your course a nickname and/or change the color of the course card. You have the ability to choose from preset colors or enter a hex color code which corresponds to the course’s color in the Canvas Calendar. These steps can be duplicated in Canvas mobile apps. These customizations are personal, impacting only your Dashboard, but will seen anywhere you log into Canvas. 

Adding a picture to a course card
Instructors have the ability to add an image to the course card. Unlike the card’s nickname and color, a card’s image will be seen by others enrolled in the course. First, navigate to the settings menu in the left-hand course navigation.

Open the “Course Details” tab that appears at the top of the screen. The first option, within a course’s details, will allow you to choose an image. Choosing from the options available, instructors can upload a previously saved file or search Flickr for images.

Once you select an image Canvas will automatically redirect you to the “Course Details” page. Be sure you scroll to the bottom of the screen and select “Update Course Details.”

Remove color overlay from all course cards:
If you are using course card images consider removing the color overlay, which is enabled by default. Look to the top right-hand corner of your screen to see the Dashboard’s hamburger menu. A drop down list will appear that allows you to disable to color overlay on all of your course cards.

Canvas offers an in-depth exploration of the Student Dashboard List View, released in the August 4th update, as an alternative to the default card view of the Dashboard discussed in this post. Note that the DEC has no plans, at this time, to override all users’ existing default dashboard preferences. If you have any questions or would like to follow up on the content in this post, please contact the Digital Education Collaborative.

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