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Community Participant

Discussion assignment got locked at an earlier date

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My Discussion assignment got locked on an earlier date (06/08) than the due date (06/12) or the end of the available dates (06/05 - 06/15).  I also checked Module's "Lock until".  The Module was set to Lock until 06/05.  So, it should be unlocked by now (besides, students were submitting posts with no problem, until it got locked on 06/08 by 11:59pm, which means Discussion assignment was available to students and it got locked suddenly before the end of the assignment).  I also checked "Close for Comments" and "Open for Comments" options.  This cannot be the problem, because these options appear after the due date.  The due date is 06/12, and my Discussion assignment got locked on 06/08.  So, how can I unlock this Discussion assignment?

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Community Participant

Good news! It looks like we found the way to fix it. A person from our eLearning Center helped me to fix it. She told me that another person in our school had the same problem.

Ok, this is what we did.

1) I clicked on the Discussion Assignment

2) I checked the gear icon, and the option of "Open for Comments" was absent,

3) So, I clicked on "Edit," next to the gear icon,

4) I removed the "Due" date, the "Available from" date, and the "Until" date (that is, I left these dates in blank),

5) Clicked "Save,"

6) Next, I checked the gear icon, and the option "Close for Comments" appeared,

7) Then, I clicked on "Close for Comments," and the option "Close for Comments" disappeared, while the option "Open for Comments" appeared in the gear icon,

😎 Then, I clicked on "Open for Comments," and the message "This topic was locked Jun 8 at 11:59 pm" disappeared!!!

9) And so, the Discussion assignment got unlocked!!


Hope this helps for anyone having a similar issue.

Thanks to all of you who took the time to look into this issue...

View solution in original post

27 Replies
Community Champion


It sounds like you've got the Available Until date set on the assignment to June 8. Students can submit after the Due Date, but the Available Until date is an absolute date and at that time, the students can no longer submit.


With the settings above, students will be unable to post after June 12 at 11:59, even though the discussion is not due until June 15 at 11:59.

A misunderstanding of the dates can cause the problem, but so can dragging assignments on the calendar. It changes the due dates but not the availability dates.

Community Participant


Thanks for your quick reply. No, it should have not become locked. Let me walk you through my settings:

Due date: 06/12/2017 at 11:59pm

Available dates: 06/05/2017 at 12:01am to 06/15/2017 at 11:59pm.

So, students were entering posts from 06/05. And on 06/08, the assignment got locked... despite the available dates of the assignment (from 06/05 to 06/15), and the due date (06/12). Assignment should have not gotten locked. Because the assignment is available until 06/15 and its due date is until 06/12.

As a matter of fact, students have been entering their posts since 06/05 (as I said above) and until 06/08 (when it got locked). It should stay available for them until 06/15.


Community Champion

There are few other things I can think of that might affect this. This is in addition to the Available Until date and the Closed for Comments portion.

  • Module Prerequisites. Maybe there is something else that is blocking access. This should not be a problem if they were already in and working, however, if you attempted to override any prerequisites by EXcusing an assignment to get them past it and then you went back and put a 0 in there before another condition was met, it overrides the override and relocks it.
  • Changing the requirements on a modules page and relocking things. There might be some prerequisite that was met that is no longer met.
  • Check the course dates on the course settings page to make sure the course is not concluded.
  • Using differentiated assignments so that some students can submit and others can't
  • Mastery paths. I don't know what that is, but the last time I didn't think something was possible, it turned out to be mastery paths.

I'm obviously throwing a bunch of stuff out there and hoping something resonates. If you're using any of those and can't figure it out, come back.

Community Champion

After hitting submit, I thought of more I should have written.

Part of checking the course dates under settings might be a tricky thing. Is this a course with irregular meeting times? I had a course for the summer term but it opened a week before the regular semester began and the settings weren't right and students couldn't get in, even though I had changed the dates in my settings.

So, another possible reason this might happen is if the dates on your course don't match the dates on the term under which it is listed. For example, your course is listed as a spring semester course and the spring semester term dates were set to end on June 8 (or 9th at midnight).

Including some screen shots of what the students (or using the Student View) see when they go into the discussion may be helpful. If there's a note about the course is concluded, that may be possible.

I also had another student this semester who should not have been able to get into the course because he was in a special section that didn't start until the course was over (long story -- mandatory orientation not completed). For some reason, he was able to get in. We still haven't figured it out. When I masqueraded as him, it very quickly flashed a message that the course hadn't begun yet. Maybe you're seeing some weird date wonkiness like that. Things that students could easily overlook but someone who knew what they were looking for might pick up on instantly.

Community Participant

Thanks for taking the time to look into this issue.

I have a Module Prerequisite. Students should complete a module that I called "Module 00." In this module, students need to set their accounts in external websites, sign up to a group, and submit a student agreement form. I remember changing some of these after the students have begun working on their assignments in modules after module 00. Which means, they had completed the tasks in module 00. But, I also remember that when one changes these settings (prerequisites and requisites) in modules, Canvas asks us to either "re-lock" or allow the students to "continue." I always chose to allow them to continue. So, it shouldn't affect them. I checked with my "Student View", and I needed to do the tasks in module 00 again. But, the Discussion assignment did not get unlocked.

To address your point about the start of the semester. The semester starts on 06/05 at 12am. So, I changed the "Available from" date to 06/06 in the Discussion assignment. It didn't work.

How do I go to Mastery Paths? I don't know where this is located.

What the students are seeing is a statement in the assignment that reads, "This topic was locked Jun 8 at 11:59pm." See the attached picture. I see it too in my Instructor site of the course and in the Student View mode. In addition, the box called "Reply" with an arrow pointing to the left (see attached picture) is absent. They don't see it. I only see it in the Instructor site. I don't see it either in the Student View. Meaning, it is not available to them because the Discussion assignment is locked. So, I don't know how to unlock it for them.


Community Champion

If you don't know what mastery paths are, then that's really unlikely to be the issue.

It sounds like the changing prerequisites might have had an impact, but I'm guessing you didn't make the changes at 11:59 on June 8, so it's getting that date from somewhere. I'd begin looking all over the place for that date.

Go to the Assignments page and see what it says for that discussion.


If it says Available until June 15, then the problem is most likely with prerequisites, but students should be seeing a notice that they must complete something before they can gain access and menu items should be grayed out. Another thing to try if you suspect prerequisites is to remove the assignment from the modules page long enough to see if that fixes the problem and then add it back after testing. You might also need to go back into the module with the discussion and edit / save the prerequisites to see if that frees up something.

If it says Available until June 8, then the problem is most likely with the discussion assignment date settings. Go back and double check them -- maybe even include a screen shot of the date settings. Make sure it says "Everyone" and didn't get changed to a student (if you were doing differentiated assignments, you still need to include everyone, not just the group that gets the different dates -- if you have different sections with different dates for each section, you need to include all of them somewhere).

Another thing you can do if you haven't already is to put in a help ticket by clicking on Help and choosing Report a Problem. I don't know what level of support your school has with Canvas, but they're usually fast to get back to us (except for me because I have complicated issues) and they can check your course and see things that we in the Community can't see.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @rramirez ‌, we had something similar happen and I'm not sure how it happened, but the solution was to click on the discussion and then the pull down gear icon on the right. Check to see if it says your discussion is locked. If so you can click on it to unlock it. Something else to check. Go to your Discussion Index page (list of all discussions) and see if any show up under the locked discussions. If so, just drag them to the regular discussion group. 

Hope this helps!

Community Participant

This is an online course. So, students work on the course anytime during 24/7.

I checked the dates of the summer term for this course, and the course starts on 6/02017 at 12am. And my settings are:

Due Date: 06/12/2017

Available from 06/05/2017 at 12:01am to 06/15/2017 at 11:59pm

So, the Discussion board should be open.

I am including what students see (Student View). See attached screen picture.

Community Participant

See attached screen shots. There is no "locked" or "unlocked" item in the gear icon. The Discussion assignment is not in the "locked" discussion section of the Discussion Index page.

You can notice that I have a second "Student Introduction" discussion assignment. Because, it looks to me that this seems to be simply a malfunction of Canvas. And, at this point, I am considering to just create a second discussion assignment for students to continue with their work.

One last question, can students lock the Discussion? I am thinking that they do not have this capability. But, I am just wondering if I have in setting something that allows them to lock Discussions. Perhaps I accidentally allowed them to do it.