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dranzolin
Community Participant

Can I tell when a syllabus was last edited?

Hi everyone,

My organization would like to know when a syllabus was edited by an instructor. Does that action get timestamped anywhere?

5 Replies
garth
Community Champion

 @dranzolin ​ this is a good question.

WIki pages all include a 'Page History' with timestamps.

But I am not able to find a reference to timestamps for the syllabus.

This seems so obvious Smiley Happy  I'm interested to see if anyone has a solution.

Side note....

We put minimal information in our syllabus page, and require faculty to upload an official syllabus document each semester.

The official document contains a timestamp, in case there is any question regarding whether or not the document has been updated.  We have received good feedback from faculty on this, as it does not require them to learn HTML/CSS.

dranzolin
Community Participant

Thanks Garth, that's good advice.

llawson
Community Contributor

One way that I know works is using the Files API. Of course, this only works if the syllabus is a file upload...

Try the following URL in your browser (substitute your own values, of course):

https://:school.instructure.com/api/v1/courses/:course_id/files?per_page=100

This will return a list of all the file uploads for the course. It would take a bit of digging but you can find the last modified timestamp on there as well.

Edit: in fact, this below PowerShell snippet will give you all files on a given course that contain the string "syllabus", and shows you the name and last modified date.

$auth = ':api_key'

Invoke-RestMethod 'https://school.instructure.com/api/v1/courses/:course_id/files?per_page=100' -headers @{'Authorization'="Bearer $auth"}) | Where {$_.display_name -like '*Syllabus*'} | select display_name, updated_at

dranzolin
Community Participant

Thanks Parsa! But alas, I don’t think the syllabus is a file upload.

Shameless plug: here’s how I’d make the same API call with rcanvas:

get_course_items(course_id, "files")
themidiman
Community Champion

This could more easily be solved if the Canvas API had a syllabus description endpoint. Maybe time for an idea/feature request?