Canvas End of Semester / Term

The following will help instructors understand how the end of semester is handled in Canvas, and how to update related Canvas course settings if necessary. By default, students who complete a class continue to have read-only access to the concluded class’s course materials, discussions, and grades. If you wish to restrict concluded class access, you must change the class settings before the end of the term, or get a Canvas administrator to help you after the end of the term.

Everything below applies to typical term-based Canvas classes. Canvas sandbox classes and Canvas shells used for organizations, departments, groups, etc. are not tied to any particular terms and thus remain available indefinitely.

Closing your Course

There is nothing you have to do to close your Canvas course; at the term end date (see below), your course will be set to Concluded status and moved onto the Past Enrollments course list for you and your students. By default you and your students will continue to have read-only access to the course.

Canvas Term End Dates

SemesterDateTime
Summer 2018August 11 12 am
Fall 2018Dec 3112 am
Spring 2019June 212 am

Concluded Course Access

For both instructors and students, concluded courses can be found by clicking Courses in the main Canvas menu, then the All Courses link. Concluded courses are listed there under Past Enrollments. Concluded courses may not be moved back onto the Dashboard – they must be accessed in this way.

Instructors can perform the following actions with a concluded course

Instructors cannot perform the following actions within a concluded course (do these before the end of the term!)

  • Edit course content
  • Edit Grades
  • View/download Analytics
  • View/download Item Analysis within Quizzes
  • Send a message to the class within Canvas
  • Change class access settings
  • Change class navigation

Students can perform the following actions by default within a concluded course

  • View Grades
  • View course content
  • View Discussions and Assignments
  • Send a message to the instructor

Students cannot perform the following actions within a concluded course

  • View Quiz questions and answers
  • Submit discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other course activities

Restricting Students from Viewing a Completed Course

As described above, by default in Canvas, students have ongoing read-only access to course content in Canvas after the term ends. This can be a great feature, allowing students to review key learning resources from previous semesters. If, however, you wish to limit this access, follow one of the methods below before the end of the term. (If you need to make these changes to a course that is already concluded, contact Karen Turpin for assistance at kturpin@miracosta.edu or 760-795-6787.)

Method 1: Hide Course Navigation menu links

If an instructor would like to limit access to major areas of course content, one method is to hide Navigation menu links. Note that if Navigation menu links are hidden, the instructor will also be unable to access them after the course concludes. This may be appropriate if you would like to leave Grades available to students, yet close off certain course content. The instructor may copy the course into another course to regain access to hidden menu items.

How to hide Course Navigation menu links

  1. Click Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Click Navigation in the tabs at the top.
  3. Drag and drop the menu items from the top (viewable) area to the bottom (hidden) area or click the gear icon to the right of the menu item and select disable.
  4. Click the Save button.

Method 2: Unpublish select course content

For more fine-grained control, certain course content such as files, pages, modules, or module items (but not assignments or discussions where students have participated) may be unpublished. As with the Navigation menu, unpublished items are also inaccessible to the instructor after the course concludes. This may be useful if you want students to be able to access most course content, but have select content that you prefer not to be accessed/shared in the future. The instructor may copy the course into another course to regain access to unpublished content.

Method 3: Restrict students from accessing entire course after end date

If an instructor would prefer the entire course and its course materials not be visible to students after the course end date:

  1. Click Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Select the checkbox for ‘Restrict students from viewing course after end date’Restrict past end date
  3. Click the Update Course Details button.

This option will completely remove the course from the student’s view in Past Enrollments. Students will not see the course and will have no access to course materials or grades. Instructors will continue to be able to access the course in Past Enrollments.

Resolving Incompletes

If you have assigned a student an incomplete ‘I‘ grade for the semester contact Karen Turpin at kturpin@miracosta.edu or 760-795-6787 as soon as the paperwork is complete with Admissions and Records. Karen will create a new Canvas course section based on the original course.  This new section will allow the student access to the course with the ability to submit work, and will give you access to grade the student’s work, for the time allowable by the Office of Admissions and Records.

Working with Concluded Courses to Build New Courses

As noted above, you may always export a concluded course for import back into Canvas (Text instructions), or use a concluded course as the source for copying into a new course (Text instructions | Video tutorial). If you wish to update the content of a concluded course for use in the future, but you do not have a current term course in which to do that, you may wish to request a Sandbox course to copy into and work with, since you cannot edit a concluded course directly.

Teaching a short course and/or need to close your course prior to the official term end date?

You can manually end your course by updating the course end date.

To change the Course Start and/or End Date

  1. Click on Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Change the Course Start and End Dates to reflect when you want students to have full access to the course.
  3. Select the checkbox for Users can only participate in this course between these dates.
  4. Click the Update Course Details button.

In the example below, students will not be able to access the course, even if it is published, until Jan 16 at 12 am. The students will no longer be able to participate in the course after May 30  at 5 pm and the course will be visible to students in the ‘Past Enrollments’ list by clicking on Courses, then All Courses.

Start / End Term Canvas Dates

  • Note: If you select a course end date prior to the official end of term date, but do not check the box Users can only participate in this course between these dates, students will still be able to actively participate in the course until the official Canvas end of term (as shown in the table above).

 

Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist

Create or Import your Content

Multiple ways to begin to build your class

• Copy from another class in Canvas. Your access to classes you have previously taught in Canvas continues indefinitely.

• Copy in an entire course or portions of one from Canvas Commons.

• Create your content from scratch in Canvas

• Import content you previously exported from a Blackboard course

Review Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

  • Verify activities to be used in the course are published.
  • Verify dates. Due dates are added to the calendar and the syllabus and serve as reminders to students. “Available from” and “Until” dates will unlock and lock the activity.
  • Verify instructions are accurate and well formatted.
  • Verify the submission type (assignments only).
  • Verify number of attempts is correct (quizzes only).
  • Verify assignment groups are set up correctly. See: How to use Assignment Index Page.
  • Verify assignments are weighted correctly, if using a weighted grading system. See: How to Weight Assignment Groups.
  • Verify discussions are ordered logically on Discussions list page.
  • Verify Quiz “Options” are correct. See: Canvas Quiz Options.

Review Course Details

Final Preparations

Cautions

  • Canvas email (Inbox/Conversation) messages will not be sent out if the course is unpublished. Send Email from your SURF Roster instead prior to publishing the course.
  • Pay attention to the time stamp on anything you have placed a date on. 12:00 means the very first minute of the selected day. For end dates, it is often best to choose 11:59 PM to ensure you are setting it up on the correct date.