Course Conclusion in Canvas

Courses in Canvas are sorted and managed by the terms’ pre-determined duration of times and dates; thus, Canvas is designed to conclude courses following the end of the academic term. 

What happens when a course is concluded? The behaviors listed below occur when an instructor uses the default settings in Canvas.

  • Concluded courses are removed from the Dashboard, Calendar, Courses menu, and Inbox for all users, making it easier to find current courses.
  • Courses remain accessible through the All Courses link in the Course menu.
  • Student access becomes read-only in order to safeguard against accidental content changes. For instance, if assignments are left open (no defined availability) in an unconcluded course, students could potentially continue to submit to assignments, view previous quizzes or post to discussion threads.
  • Instructors maintain read-only access such that they are able to copy content from a concluded course to a future semester’s course but are safeguarded against accidental content changes such as deleting an assignment or resetting the entire course.
  • Fewer active courses results in an overall faster loading speed, greater accessibility of current courses, and a reduction in course naming conflicts, such as when courses are named the same from semester to semester. 
How do I ...

Conclude a course

Courses are automatically concluded partway through the following semester

…if the toggle to “auto-conclude the course” is enabled in ISU AdminTools > Additional Course Settings.

and any of the following criteria are met:

  1. The end date in the course settings is empty and the “Students can only participate in the course between these dates” checkbox is unchecked.
  2. The end date in the course settings is not empty and the box for ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ is checked.

View all concluded students

To view students within a concluded course, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to People.
  2. Click the 3 dots in the upper-right hand corner to display the popup menu.
  3. Select to show ‘view prior enrollments’.

View grades for concluded students

To view student grades within a concluded course, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Gradebook.
  2. Locate the ‘Student Name’ column.
  3. Click the 3 dots to display the popup menu.
  4. Select to show ‘concluded enrollments’.

See the ‘How do I view grades for inactive or concluded student enrollments in the Gradebook?‘ guide for more information.

Prevent a course from concluding

To prevent a course from concluding, follow these steps prior to the end of the semester:

  1. Navigate to ISU AdminTools via the course menu.
  2. Choose ‘View Additional Course Settings.’ 
  3. It is essential to click the ‘Course concludes after the semester ends’ toggle to ‘NO.’

This will result in your students maintaining read-only access at the end of the semester. See below for additional access options.

Give students read-only access until a course is concluded

To change student access to read-only after final grades are calculated but before the course would typically conclude, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings on the course menu.
  2. Enter the end date of the students’ full access — the date they should be changed to read-only access.
  3. Check the box that ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’.
  4. Click Save.

Prevent student access entirely from a concluded course

To prevent student access entirely from a concluded course, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings on the course menu.
  2. Enter an end date shortly after the semester ends.
  3. Check the boxes for ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ and ‘Restrict students from viewing this course after end date.’
  4. Click Save.
If the course has already been concluded, a Teacher or Co-Teacher in the course must reactivate themselves to make this change. See the steps below to reactivate a user.

When specifying an end date to remove student access, be sure students are able to see their grades in AccessPlus before losing access to their work in Canvas.

Allow students to interact with a course beyond the semester

Before conclusion, follow these steps to allow students to interact with a course beyond the semester:

  1. Go to Settings on the course menu. 
  2. Enter an end date significantly in the future.
  3. Check the boxes for ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ and ‘Restrict students from viewing this course after end date.’
  4. Click Save.
  5. Prevent the course from concluding according to the steps above.

Note: If the course has already concluded, reactivate all users (un-conclude the course) according to the steps below.

Reactivate a user (or yourself) in order to edit/submit content

To reactivate a user (or yourself) within a concluded course, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to ISU AdminTools via the course menu.
  2. Choose ‘Manage Additional People.’ 
  3. Add the netID(s) to the appropriate section.
  4. Limit the user’s access to the course. Inside Canvas, go to Settings on the course menu. 
  5. Enter an end date in the future.
  6. Check one or more of these boxes:
    1. ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ to give the user full access until the end date and viewing access after that date.
    2. ‘Restrict students from viewing this course after the end date’ to completely remove the user’s access after the end date.
  7. Click Save.

Note: Teachers and Co-Teachers will always have viewing access to a course but must reactivate themselves before they are able to change the course settings. 

Reactivate all users or un-conclude a course for full access

To reactivate all users within a concluded course or to un-conclude a course, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to ISU AdminTools via the course menu.
  2. Choose ‘Additional Course Settings.’ 
  3. Switch the Concluded toggle to ‘NO.’ You may need to click it twice.
  4. Inside Canvas, go to Settings on the course menu. 
  5. Enter an end date in the future.
  6. Check one or more of these boxes:
    1. ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ to give all users full access until the end date and viewing access after that date.
    2. ‘Restrict students from viewing this course after the end date’ to completely remove all users’ access after the end date.
  7. Click Save.

Note: Teachers and Co-Teachers will always have viewing access to a course but must un-conclude the course before they are able to change the course settings. 

Temporarily add a new user for course administration

To temporarily add a new user to a concluded course for administrative purposes, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to ISU AdminTools via the course menu.
  2. Choose ‘Manage Additional People.’ 
  3. Add the netID(s) to the appropriate section and role.
  4. Inside Canvas, go to Settings on the course menu. 
  5. Enter an end date in the future.
  6. Check the boxes for:
    1. ‘Students can only participate in the course between these dates’ and
    2. ‘Restrict students from viewing this course before the start date.’
  7. Click Save.

Note: Teachers and Co-Teachers will always have viewing access to a course but must reactivate themselves before they are able to change the course settings.