How do I change the name of my Canvas course?

Tags course canvas

Quick Links: | Background | Solution | Root Cause |

At Chico State, instructors are unable to directly change the name of their courses in Canvas.


This limitation is due to a permissions restriction placed on instructors. The inability to change course names is implemented to maintain uniformity with the course listings in the official course catalog and PeopleSoft.


To mitigate this limitation, instructors can set a nickname for their Canvas courses. This nickname is a personal customization that appears only in the instructor's view and does not alter the official course name for other users. The steps to set a nickname are as follows:

  1. Access the Canvas Dashboard: Log in to your Canvas account and navigate to the Canvas dashboard. The dashboard is the default landing page upon logging in.
  2. Locate the Course Card: On the dashboard, locate the course card for which you want to set a nickname. The course cards are typically displayed as rectangular boxes and contain information about each course.
  3. Expand Course Options: In the top-right corner of the course card, you will find three dots (ellipsis) representing additional options. Click on these dots to expand the menu of course options.
  4. Set the Nickname: Once the menu is expanded, you will see various options. Look for the "Nickname" option and select it. In the text field, type the desired nickname for your course. This nickname can be anything you find convenient or memorable. It can be a shorter version of the course name or any label that helps you differentiate the course from others.
  5. Apply the Nickname: After entering the nickname, select the "Apply" button to save the changes. The Canvas course card should now display the new nickname instead of the original course name.

Applying a nickname to a Canvas course.

By setting a nickname for your Canvas course, you can easily identify and manage your courses in the Canvas dashboard without directly changing the official course name.

Note: The nickname feature in Canvas allows you to personalize the display of your course within your account. However, please remember that the nickname is specific to your view and does not affect the course name for other users or participants.

Root Cause

The root cause of the issue is the policy that restricts instructors from changing official course names to ensure consistency with the course catalog and PeopleSoft. This policy is in place to maintain a standardized representation of course names across university systems. For specific needs like cross-listed courses, faculty can request an update to the course name in Canvas by contacting Learning Technology Services.

If you have any further questions or encounter issues with setting a nickname for your Canvas course, please reach out to the Technology & Learning Program. For requests related to updating names of cross-listed courses, faculty can reach out to Learning Technology Services.


Article ID: 113574
Tue 6/6/23 2:18 PM
Fri 1/19/24 1:46 PM