Canvas Syllabus and ‘To Do’ list: How to add items for students

Using the Canvas Calendar, Syllabus and To Do list is an easy way to keep students engaged with your course.

The Syllabus and student ‘To Do’ list show a summary of any course items that have a date or time assigned to them. For example an assignment will have a due date, so this will automatically appear in a student’s Syllabus and ‘To Do’ list. Items which can be given dates include assignments, pages, calendar events and quizzes.

The student 'To Do' list highlighted on a homepage
The student ‘To Do’ list

Syllabus and Course Summary

The Canvas syllabus page includes the Course Summary which shows all content with dates across your course. This is a great way for students to gain an overview of the course and what is required of them. It can be accessed from the course navigation menu or the syllabus (course dates) button if you have one on the course home page.

‘To Do’ lists are unique to the user

As a staff member your ‘To Do’ list will be different from the student’s. For example your list may show that you need to Grade an assignment, where the student’s list will show that they need to submit. If groups or individuals have different due dates these will display accordingly to the user. Staff can check the student ‘To Do’ list of a test student simply by entering student view when on the course homepage.

How to populate the ‘To Do’ list

Population of the ‘to do’ list happens automatically when you add content with dates into your course. To assign a date and time to any page in your course, when editing the page, simply tick the ‘add to student To Do’ checkbox and add a date and time before saving the page.

screen shot of the 'To Do' check box

Dates are added to other items during the setup process, for example when creating an assignment. Follow the guides below to setup these items which will then appear in the Syllabus Course Summary and ‘To Do’ lists.

For help using any of the Canvas features above, please contact us at

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