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mgudites
New Member

Course Availability

Someone please explain this to me.

With the settings set as shown in the screenshot below, shouldn't this stop a student from seeing the course until 5/6? Because, it's not. I have a test account enrolled in this course as a student, and I can still get into the course and see materials. I'm trying to make it so students cannot see their courses until the start date.

Shouldn't the "Restrict students from viewing this course before start date" accomplish that?

Course Settings

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15 Replies
snugent
Community Champion

I think you need to check the box next to Students can only participate in the course between these dates. In my test when this option is left unchecked, students have read only access it appears. If checked, they don't have access. Dates are confusing in Canvas. You have course dates, section dates, and term dates. How you use these will affect user access. We use section dates to control access for semester courses. When you set section dates you also have the option check box next to Students can only participate in the course between these dates. In Canvas section dates override course and term dates. 

Is there a way to set the "Students can only participate in the course..." globally, so we don't have to go into each course and flip this flag?

jsavage2
Community Contributor

Hi  @mgudites 

Yes, the " " tick box exists on the account "settings" tab. 

By default visibility is controlled by the faculty: when they're ready for students to see their courses, they publish them. This allows for things like pre-work, distributing book lists, making syllabi available in LMS instead of the SIS/student portal, sending announcements before the start of term ("reminder: anyone who can't do derivatives in their heads should bring a calculator to the first day of class."), etc. 

But the behavior can be modified at the account and subaccount level.

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We're talking about two different fields here. I've already got the "Restrict students..." boxes checked in System Settings, but it's not having the desired effect. Susan is saying we need to check the "Students can only participate..." box, and I don't see a global way of doing that. You can see in my screenshot above, the "restrict" boxes are already checked at a global level, but it's not doing what the description seems to indicate it should be doing.

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jsavage2
Community Contributor

Hi Matt,

Your desired behavior is the "Restrict students..." behavior: you don't want them to see *anything* before the start date. 

Keeping in mind that the global settings are driven by whatever you have set in the term date for that course, that's the setting your looking for. If students can see things they shouldn't one of two things is likely happening: you've set a "students can access from" date for the term earlier than the actual start of classes, or this specific course you're looking at a different time than others. (Alright, three things: if you just checked the box and didn't lock it, the settings won't be forced on anything created previously...)

If you don't want them to even see the name of the course grayed out, you can also tick " ."

The check box in the course is only for overriding the default behavior of the account and terms. The settings work in the same way for all levels. Doing it at the account level is "checking the boxes for all courses," but if you have things starting at different dates and don't have different terms associated with those start and end dates, you'll still have to go in and check the box for each course you want to manually override. There is no way to manually override many courses at once; Instructors deciding to override dates on a course-by-course basis have to check the box for every course they want to override. You can do it via the API, too, but you still have loop through all the courses you want to modify; there is no way to override the global settings for multiple courses at one, per se.

If this is something that will be an ongoing issue, the best thing to do is modify your SIS_Import to include course start and end times. Courses (and sections) with start_time and end_time values in the courses.csv file are treated as overriding the term dates, and the box is checked at course creation.

As a one-off fix, you can also create a courses.csv file with dates for the courses you want and use that to override the current settings. It still requires an entry for each affected course, though; there's no way to automatically push the setting to, say, every course in a subaccount.

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The "Restrict" boxes ARE checked, as evidenced in my screenshot above, and the dates are set. If the checkbox overrides what is set on terms, why can students still see these sections?

nschutz
Community Contributor

I just quickly scanned the thread and didn't notice if anyone mentioned this. There are 3 places you can specify start/end date, i.e. term, course, section. Section level overrides course level. Course level overrides term level.

jsavage2
Community Contributor

You haven't told us the dates for the term. In your screenshot, the box to override the terms dates with the course dates is not checked (that's the one you're asking about "checking for every course"). Therefore, the most likely answer to your question, as I said above, is that the start date the course has inherited from the term is not correct. 

Unless you click the "only participate between" box for the course, the course inherits the term dates for student access. The description is a little confusing (many people have commented on this over the years but no one have come up with anything better, yet), but the warning that "students can only participate between..." essentially translates to "are you really, really sure you want to override the dates for this course set by your institution when the course was created?" Since having some courses behave differently from other courses is confusing for students, faculty, and support staff alike, Canvas wants to make triple sure this is the intended action.

If you don't check the box, the dates don't get overridden for that course; your screenshot shows that you've typed dates in the date fields, but not confirmed them.

If it were me, I'd say that "unless the participate between box is checked," instead of "if the course dates are blank" in the course settings, but as far a s Canvas is concerned the dates are blank if the box isn't checked.

OK, so is there a way to check the "Students can only participate" at a global level, instead of course by course? It seems like checking the "Restrict..." buttons at the global level serve no purpose.

Our term dates are BLANK. I can set them if need be, but I was under the impression that if you had dates in sections (which ILP is pushing over), they would override that. So, I guess I just need to set term dates.

jsavage2
Community Contributor

Ah. I that's your answer. Having course and section dates set will override, but only if ILP sets them correctly, which doesn't seem to be happening.

If ILP is misconfigured and you don't have term dates, everything will definitely be open!

Term dates will lock down the global availability, and then if you want to drive things at the section level get your DBA's (or more likely your Ellucian consultant) to find out why ILP isn't setting restrict_student_future_view for courses and/or restrict_enrollments_to_section_dates to true when it creates the sections.

I haven't heard anything good about the way ILP handles anything related to sections. It doesn't seem like that connector is very mature, yet.

Fair enough, and I'll put in a request with Ellucian to see about the possibility of having them map these fields sometime in the future. However, it is EXTREMELY misleading how this is labeled in Canvas.

There's a start date.

There's an end date.

There's a checkbox, which is checked, which says "Restrict students from viewing this course before start date." And, it does NOT do what you would think it should.

309525_pastedImage_4.png

snugent
Community Champion

 @mgudites ‌ In the admin on SIS imports page you can view the documentation for API calls. I believe this option is listed on that page. I am pretty sure we have those options set when our programmer creates the courses using a script. 

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mgudites
New Member

Why does this have to be so convoluted :smileyconfused:

What do I need to do to make it, across the board, without scripts or CSVs, students cannot see courses/sections/terms/whatever until the start date?

We use ILP. It sends over the info. It's creating the Courses with start/end dates, and we have the "Restrict' settings set on a global level, but that isn't having an effect on "Sections." Is there a way to make sections inherit course settings?!

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kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

There are also the controls available when you define your terms in the Admin panel............................

309567_pastedImage_1.png

Note that student access can also be set from here, and it is a global setting not course-level.

Kelley

jcoehoorn
New Member

We solved this a completely different way.

We sync all enrollments from our SIS. Faculty are not expected or even permitted to enroll students by hand. The sync process won't pick up students for inclusion in the course until immediately before the course is supposed to start. Thus, they are not enrolled and can't access the course.