A course template is the navigation, layout, structure and default settings within a Canvas course offering.  As an instructor or course designer, you can configure which options appear on the Course Navigation Menu by adjusting links in course settings.  However, the University of Wisconsin has configured Canvas so that some options must be included in the Course Navigation Menu, some cannot be added, and some can be added or removed based on a course’s needs.  Those that must be included are called fixed, and those that can be added or removed are called flexible.  This fixed/flexible model has been implemented:

  • To provide students with a consistent experience across courses.
  • To speed up course creation by focusing on those menu items that are most useful for students and instructors.
  • To ensure no user accidentally adds any tools that the University of Wisconsin does not support.

The UW System course template is fluid and will be changed based on feedback from the instructor and student experience. There is a change request process used to evaluate all requests for changes to the UW System course template. For more information, contact your Institution DLE Implementation Project Manager.

Examples of Consistent Course Navigation Menus

For courses that include online discussions, this is a useful navigation menu:

  • Home
  • Syllabus
  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Collaborations
  • Office 365
  • Grades

Courses that include both discussions and self-enrollment in groups can add the People page:

  • Home
  • Syllabus
  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Discussions
  • Collaborations
  • Office 365
  • Grades
  • People

Courses that do not include discussions can be configured like this:

  • Home
  • Syllabus
  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Collaborations
  • Office 365
  • Grades

Even if you disable the Discussions page, it becomes hidden from students' view but not truly disabled.  If you want to ensure students don't accidentally create discussions, go to course Settings and clear the option allowing students to create discussion topics.