course Visibility settings permissions - restrict to only allow syllabus=public

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I'm the Canvas admin for our district & I'm looking for ideas on how to not give course visibility permissions to faculty but to have the course default for the syllabus setting to be public. Or give teachers permission to only the syllabus setting. Otherwise they are inadvertently (or sometimes purposely) making their courses public which is potentially a huge FERPA issue. Currently, the visibility settings is all or nothing so we've disabled it as a permission, however the course defaults to the syllabus also being "course only" and we need that to be public. Anyone know a way to do this? Course templates may be one way but I'm hoping for maybe javascript or maybe add a field to the automatic upload process from Banner to Canvas.. 

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @cbirdsong,

I don't know of a way to set that via sis_import, so a course template or a separate API script to crawl through all courses and set that parameter would be my suggestions.  Using python, you could do this in a relatively short script and perhaps run it daily (to catch any new courses that may get added).  If you wanted to remove the "public" option from the dropdown list in the UI, I think you may have to use a MutationObserver, and faculty could disable javascript if they really intentionally wanted to get the public option back, so I'd probably suggest leaving the permission to change that disabled and do the API script route.


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