Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Participant

Disable Changing Course Start and End Dates

We'd like our registrar exclusively to be able to able to control terms, as well as course start and end dates to prevent confusion for students and teachers alike. We currently have disabled the ability to change the term, but there is not permission setting to disable teachers from changing the start or end dates per role.

28 Replies
Community Champion

Thank you for submitting this feature idea! In order to attract the support of other Canvas users to support an idea we always encourage those who submit feature ideas to review and do their best to comply with these tips: How do I write a good feature idea submission?​

If you need to make any adjustments to your original feature idea, just visit your feature idea page at any time, and click the "Edit" button (right-column), make changes, and click "Publish"

In the meantime I will update your feature idea to go up for voting on November 4th! Smiley Wink

Community Champion

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. November 4, 2015 - Wed. February 3, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!

Community Champion

I'd love to see this as well!  We currently have javascript code to hide the boxes from faculty members on the settings page, but somehow a few of them still get dates put in (still trying to track down whether course dates are somehow coming from content imports or how it's happening).  This should definitely be tied to a permission, because I know some places would like to allow for flexibility, but some would not.  I wouldn't mind as much if the dates entered for start and end of a course had to fall within the specific term dates set globally (so make the course shorter), but we absolutely do not want our faculty members deciding on their own to start a course early, or extend it past the end of our official semester.

Community Champion

This could prove useful, especially after what was experienced at the start of this semester. While our institution generally does not have any issues that stem from faculty releasing their courses early, I had one faculty member contact me a little after one week into the semester and state that she was not seeing a needs grading indicator in the gradebook for a discussion post that she was using in an online course to determine if the students were engaging with the course materials prior to the withdrawal due to non-attendance date. She further stated that when she checked the discussion itself, the students in question had posted. We determined that it wasn't an issue with the students only replying to another student and not the original post. Rather it appeared that the students in question had all replied prior to the actual start of the semester based upon the institution's settings for the course.

Community Participant

This is something I have wanted from the beginning.

I would rather have this be an Admin feature than an instructor. Integration with the SIS can be overwritten and some Registrars can get in a State policy violation if faculty continue to circumvent the standard.

There is a lot of philosophical reasons on both sides of this option. So by making this an on/off option for the Admins to decide based on institution policies would be grand.

Community Participant

I agree with everyone here that this would be a great addition!  I'm not sure that I understand why we can lock down the ability for teachers to change the terms, but can't lock down the start/end date fields which appear to override the term dates when they are filled in.  Am I misunderstanding the functionality of the start/end date settings?

We were recently made aware that, in a majority of our courses, a start date (and seemingly random start time, 1:01pm etc.) has been "manually" entered.  In some cases, the start/end date conflict with the actual term--e.g. a "spring term" course has a start date of Sep 9, 2015 at 10:04am, and end date of Jan 16, 2015 at  7pm.  Just to clarify, our spring term actually begins February 2nd and ends June 22nd. 

chriscas​, I'm not sure if you've already tracked all this down, but I also explored the possibility of these fields being populated "unintentionally" when a teacher imported content from previous year.  I have tested the impact of importing content via the "copy a Canvas course" option with the following results:

  • The start and end date fields for the course I'm importing into are blank, and I chose to import from a course that had dates in these fields
    • import content / copy a Canvas course / all content / (Adjust events and due dates - NOT selected)
      • this does not carry over the start/end dates from original course
    • import content / copy a Canvas course / all content / Adjust events and due dates / remove dates
      • this does not carry over the start/end dates from original course
    • import content / copy a Canvas course / all content / Adjust events and due dates - even if the teacher does not enter new dates into these fields, the "change date to / beginning date" field is automatically filled in
      • this appears to be the only option that does populate the start/end dates in destination course

Of the three options I tested, the teachers in our instance (brick and mortar K12 school) use either the first or second.  It is most likely that the third option would only occur unintentionally - i.e. if a teacher selected "adjust events and dues dates" and forgot to select "remove dates."  Although this "user error" might explain why the start/end date fields are populated in some courses, I have a hard time believing that it explains this irregularity in almost all of our courses...

I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has experienced this and if so, please share possible explanation/solutions to prevent this from happening on a large-scale.


 @ckelson ​  @james_grogan ​

Community Team
Community Team


Thank You for taking the time and energy to submit and discuss your idea. Your feedback helps our product teams prioritize feature development so we can build a product you will love. Unfortunately, this idea has been archived because it did not meet the 100-vote threshold within the 3-month voting period. Learn more at: How does the voting process work for feature ideas?

Can archived ideas still become a feature?  Potentially. Archived ideas can be resubmitted by Community members. As people’s needs change, previously submitted ideas may gain additional traction. All feature ideas are evaluated as a whole and may influence product direction.

Panda-Cat: A mythical creature that we dreamed up to catch your attention, make you laugh, and encourage you to stay invested in Feature Ideas process of making Canvas better!

Community Champion

We need some support for our case that the permissions available in Canvas are not sufficient for our needs.  Above is the update that Allison Weiss posted to many of our feature ideas.  She is asking for use cases for granularity and we really need to justify each and every one.  I made a document to track discussions and feature ideas related to permissions: 

Canvas Permissions and Granularity Feature Ideas

This is the sort of information that would assist in getting these changes made during this permissions audit.  This information would need to be added as comments to the individual feature ideas, and if it needs to be pasted to more than one, then please do that.  I know it's tiresome to post the same thing again and again, even though someone else has already done it, but they need to see that it's not just 5 people with these issues!  We haven't gotten much traction because we haven't had enough use cases posted but my document above seems to have gotten some attention.

  • What has the current user permissions "bundling" and lack of granularity cost you in terms of support and functionality?
  • What permissions have you HAD to grant to someone simply to allow them to be able to do their job, that you would have rather NOT given?
  • What permissions have you had to DENY giving someone because it gave them access to something that you could not due to security, concern about causing trouble, etc.?
  • What other qualms do you have about things?
  • What things have cost you more in staff hours because of denying access to someone, means that your department had to research, do work, etc, on behalf of a user that would have been able to do their work if the permissions were granular?

Thank you!


I'm also tagging  @kona ​ and cms_hickss​  since they have been so involved in getting attention to these feature ideas. 

Community Participant

We would also want our Registrar's office controlling start and end dates.  Once faculty learn how to change the dates, they are starting courses before the term start without permission or knowledge of the Registrar's office.  This makes it difficult for many departments to monitor the courses and grades.  It is also difficult for the students since the noted date in the course schedule is not the same as the dates for the course.