IMPORTANT: New Canvas User Interface Coming May 16, 2016

What is the New Canvas User Interface?

The new Canvas User Interface (UI) is an updated interface structure enhanced by a responsive user experience for the User Dashboard and Global Navigation menu. The Course Navigation menu also collapses on smaller screens, allowing for a more content-focused and responsive layout.

For more information please see:

Person jumping with the sun, mountains, and a clear, blue sky in the background.
You’ll jump for joy over the new Canvas UI!

Is any functionality changing in Canvas?

No, but Canvas will look different.

Are there are new features?

Users have the ability to add nicknames and color code their courses:

How do I use the new UI?

The first thing you will see when you log into Canvas is your User Dashboard. The User Dashboard helps you see what is happening in all your courses and allows you to figure out what to do next. To help manage Canvas activity, the User Dashboard also supports the Recent Activity Stream, which can be toggled at the top of the User Dashboard based on user preference. The recent activity stream shows activity for all your Canvas courses. To view Recent Activity, click the User Dashboard icon. The icon will switch from the left side to the right, indicating the current Dashboard view.

You can return to your User Dashboard at any time by clicking the Dashboard link in Global Navigation.

When will this change happen?

We will be making this change on Monday, May 16, 2016. This date was selected since it falls between Spring 2016 and Summer Session I to minimize disruption to Penn users.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for this change?


Where can I learn more?

For more information, please see our video.

You can also download a PDF text-and-image adaptation of the video.

Note: The new Canvas UI will look slightly different when it appears on May 16th from what you’ll see in the video and PDF. None of the features discussed in the video and PDF will be different, however. For your reference, here is how the new Canvas UI will look when you access it on May 16th:

New Canvas UI as it will appear on May 16th.

Please note that the University of Pennsylvania logo you see in the video and PDF:

University of Pennsylvania logo in video and PDF

Will have been changed on May 16th to:

University of Pennsylvania logo in the New Canvas UI as of May 16th.

These logos function like “Home” buttons for your Canvas account. As of May 16th, you can click on the second of these logos to return to your Canvas User Dashboard.

Where can I direct questions?

Please contact Canvas Support at

Last Updated: 7 Apr 2016