Even in these early days, I can see how the breadcrumbs in Canvas can cause real problems. They not only don’t get you out of the woods – they can lead you the wrong way into them.
Let’s say you have created your own navigation in Canvas, by creating an interactive syllabus on a Page or Google Doc, and hidden many of the standard navigation items so students won’t use them.
It turns out this will work for important pages like Quizzes. When you disable the navigation item called Quizzes, you can still create and deploy a quiz via the Modules or the link to a module. Then a student taking a quiz will see the Quizzes breadcrumb, but when they click on it, it will tell them that page is disabled.
However, you cannot disable the Discussions or People breadcrumbs. If a student is in a Discussion you’ve listed on your syllabus page, they can still click the breadcrumb “Discussions” and see a list of all the discussions. This list is often in poor order, and the student can choose the order in which to see them. All this could lead to confusion. It is necessary then to “pin” all the Discussions and put them in order. If you don’t, it could even lead to anger if you’re using the Requirements feature in each Module that forces students to complete one task before moving on to another. Then they could use the breadcrumb to see links to Discussions they cannot view.
Workflow for breadcrumbs if using your own navigation:
1. Disable all pages that can be disabled (Home, Quizzes, Assignments, Syllabus, etc.)
2. Clean up pages that can’t be disabled:
a. Discussions should be pinned and put in order
b. Grades should be organized by assignment groups for clear viewing
3. To change the names of any items in the menu:
a. Copy the URL for the page you want to change the name of (such as “People”)
b. Use the Redirect Tool to create a course navigation item using that URL, titled as you wish (such as “Colleagues”)