There are many things I like about the Canvas learning management system. The inability to sort courses into folders is not one of them. In this blog post, we’ll use a built-in Canvas feature and a James Jones Tampermonkey script to do the next best thing. We’ll use course nicknames as a stand-in for folder names, and we’ll use the All Courses Sort Tampermonkey script to sort by nickname.
Assigning nicknames to courses
Nicknames are for your use only. Students, other instructors, observers, and anyone else in the course will not see them.
Nicknames can only be assigned from the course card on the Canvas dashboard. If you have courses not on your dashboard that you want to assign nicknames to, go to your full list of courses, and click on the star for each course you want to nickname. Once the star is gold, you’ll find the course on your dashboard. After you’ve added nicknames, return to your full list of courses and click on the stars. Once the stars are no longer gold, you won’t see them on your dashboard, but the nicknames will still be there.
On the course card, click the 3-dot kabob menu icon. In the nickname field, enter a nickname for the course. This will be your “folder” name. For every course that you want in the same “folder,” enter the same nickname. Click the Apply button. You will now see the nickname directly above your official course name on the course card.
All Courses Sort Tampermonkey script
If you have not yet installed Tampermonkey, read this earlier blog post for information on what Tampermonkey does. Pay special attention to the part about changing the script code if your Canvas url does not have the word “instructure” in the address.
After you have Tampermonkey installed, visit this webpage to install James Jones’s awesome All Courses Sort script.
Once installed and running, on your Canvas course list page, you will have search boxes for each column. Handy, but not why we’re here. It is not obvious, but each column header is now clickable. Click on Nickname, and your courses will be sorted by nickname in alphabetical order. Click again, and the order will be reversed.
Be aware that you have separate course lists on your full course list page. The top part will be all current enrollments, then past enrollments, then future enrollments, then “My Groups” (if you have any groups). Canvas treats each course list as a separate entity, so each list will be sorted separately.