Community Novice

Student access after a course has finished

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Just wondering if you give/let your students have access to their courses on Canvas after they have finished them? We have a situation in our organisation where once students have been given a result in our Student Management System this then cuts off access to students in Canvas after 24hours. This is causing us a few issues. For example some as students want to go in and print off work samples after they have completed their course or may not see their final feedback because they don’t have access to a computer within 24 hours of their results being entered into our Student Management System.  If you do give students access after they have completed their course, what kind of access do you give them, ie read only and for how long?  Thanks

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Community Contributor

 @kim_hainsworth ‌ at our institution (UAB) once the semester is over both instructors and students in a course are set to read only. 

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9 Replies
Community Contributor

 @kim_hainsworth ‌ at our institution (UAB) once the semester is over both instructors and students in a course are set to read only. 

Community Novice

Our Company is the same way. We don't give students access to the courses after the course completion date. You could set it up to where the have access for longer then 24 hours if they really need that access later. 

Community Champion

At our campus, our goal is to allow students to have read-only access to their courses after the completion of the term, and for as long as they are a registered student. In many cases, such as series courses, the information from previous courses is of value in the subsequent courses. We do restrict access to viewing Quizzes after the term, and we do allow instructors the ability to fully restrict access to the site after the term is over.

Here are a couple of other useful items that might help students collect/download their work/submissions before the end of the term...

How do I download assignment submissions from all my courses?  

How do I view my user files as a student? 

      - "Submissions folder [4] contains copies of your assignment submissions; assignment are organized by course folder and displayed alphabetically. "

I'm not sure if a site is set to restricted, if they lose access, or still have access, to their submissions.

vanzandt wrote: 

I'm not sure if a site is set to restricted, if they lose access, or still have access, to their submissions.

I asked Canvas Support since I was curious. Here is the response:

"students will always have access to their submissions regardless of the settings on the course restricting access to the course itself. The reason for this is because when a student submits to their assignments, it is also submitting to their account storage as well to ensure that a student will always have access to their submissions even if they cannot access the assignments themselves."

Coach Emeritus

Hi  @kim_hainsworth ,

Thought I would share your discussion from the APAC group here also, in case others find this thread and would like to see the additional replies. There is another thread with some discussion on this topic at .

Hope that helps!


Community Novice

We just recently inquired about the need to open up a past course(s) to a student who receives an incomplete in the course (for approved reasons). Our faculty do not want past students to have access to their instructional materials once a course has completed, so we don't leave them open (not even read only). Canvas recommended creating a section to allow a student or subset of students access after the course has completed for an additional defined period of time. Faculty can then further configure existing assignments by restricting additional access to the newly created section that may need to be completed as well.This obviously doesn't help with group or discussion type assignments, but does allow the student access to the content and ability to complete the majority of work to complete the course. I realize this response isn't exactly what was originally asked - but it was something we just learned to be quite helpful and useful for our institution.

Community Novice

Hi Marie,

We are in our first year with Canvas and the issue of closed classes and students with incomplete assignments has come up. I would be interested in getting more detail as to the actual process of setting up what you have described with creating a section and the subset of students.


Community Novice

Hi Matt,

We often use our wiki to create a curated list of self-help guides for our faculty.  We will include links to the Canvas guides where applicable - in an effort to not recreate the wheel.  Feel free to "R & D" our guide (rip off and duplicate).  A link to our guide called "Open a course to a Subset of Students" is listed below:

Open a Course to a Subset of Students - CIT - Geneseo Wiki 

Let me know if you are having an issue viewing the above link and/or if you have any additional questions on how to configure the option to open content to a subset of students.

Thanks - Marie

Community Explorer

I was just thinking about this today myself. I was wondering if this helped at all if the course occurred during a previous term that has caused the course to become a Previous enrollment? It would be nice to be able to make the course only available to the student who needs to complete the makeup.