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cs_lee
Community Participant

Start/End dates for courses

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Hi Canvas Community Smiley Happy

I am trying to get my head around the start/end dates for a course. I've read through the guides and also through this document ( https://s3.amazonaws.com/tr-learncanvas/docs/TermsCoursesandSectionEnrollments.pdf ) which was very handy!

From my understanding there is a sort of hierarchy that goes on with all of the dates. I just wanted to get some clarification on some parts so that I can ensure I properly understand everything. I'll follow on from the example that they used in the pdf with Professor Smith and his psych class.

In the example the student access date was from the 5th January, but then Professor Smith overrides this date in his course and sets it as 12th January.

1) Assuming there has been no course access dates set, if the course is published prior to the 5th January will students be able to go into the course, read/write in it? Or will it just appear in their future enrollments and then they will get access on the 5th? I assume it will be the latter?

2) Now, lets add in Professor Smith changing the course access dates to the 12th January, but he does not select the "Users can only participate in the course between these dates" box

a) I'm assuming that if the course is published prior to the 12th January, say on the 8th, that students will be able to read/write in the course

b) But, if the course is published prior to the 5th January (meaning prior to student access and course access) then students won't be able to read/write until one of the access dates comes around. I'm assuming it will be whichever date comes around first as he didn't select the checkbox so it isn't restricted to only the course access date.

c) If he does select the checkbox, then irrespective of when he publishes, students can only read/write when the course access dates come round.

3) When setting the course access dates, say you don't put a start date as you only want to change the end date. Will the start date default to whatever date you have set as the student access?

I hope that makes sense and I don't sound too silly asking these questions.

Thanks so much!

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @cs_lee ​...

I'll try and answer this for you.  This is based off of my own testing with a separate "student" account I have access to, so hopefully the information I am giving you is correct.  I would also encourage you to try and set up a similar scenario using the "Test Student" in your own course to confirm the access dates.

1) Assuming there has been no course access dates set, if the course is published prior to the 5th January will students be able to go into the course, read/write in it? Or will it just appear in their future enrollments and then they will get access on the 5th? I assume it will be the latter?

At the account level, if the term access dates were set from January 5 to April 18 and there were no course access dates set in the course itself, the course would show up under "Future Enrollments".  When I masqueraded as a student, I was able to click on the course to access it, but I saw a green message at the top of my screen that said, "This course hasn't started yet.  You will not be able to participate in this course until January 5 at 11 am" (or whatever date was specified as the term start date.  Interesting, though, as I was able to post a reply to a discussion topic.  Note: I did not have the "Users can only participate in the course between these dates" option checked for my sandbox course because I didn't have any start/end dates set for my course.

2) Now, lets add in Professor Smith changing the course access dates to the 12th January, but he does not select the "Users can only participate in the course between these dates" box

a) I'm assuming that if the course is published prior to the 12th January, say on the 8th, that students will be able to read/write in the course

b) But, if the course is published prior to the 5th January (meaning prior to student access and course access) then students won't be able to read/write until one of the access dates comes around. I'm assuming it will be whichever date comes around first as he didn't select the checkbox so it isn't restricted to only the course access date.

c) If he does select the checkbox, then irrespective of when he publishes, students can only read/write when the course access dates come round.

Have you checked out the options below the course start and end dates that are included in the "Visibility" section?  The two that I'd direct your attention to are:

  • Restrict students from viewing course after end date
  • Restrict students from viewing course before start date

If you check the second one and also have a start date set in your course settings, students will get a red message when they try and access the course that says it's not available until the date that you've set.  Would that solve any of the read/write concerns you have?

3) When setting the course access dates, say you don't put a start date as you only want to change the end date. Will the start date default to whatever date you have set as the student access?

I believe the start date would default to the start date of the term that the course is in...which would be defined at the account level.

I hope I've been of some help to you here.  I don't teach (only an admin for our instance of Canvas at our Technical College), so my experience with setting course dates isn't stellar.  But, this is what I've found in my own testing.  Please let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions...thanks.

View solution in original post

4 Replies
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @cs_lee ​...

I'll try and answer this for you.  This is based off of my own testing with a separate "student" account I have access to, so hopefully the information I am giving you is correct.  I would also encourage you to try and set up a similar scenario using the "Test Student" in your own course to confirm the access dates.

1) Assuming there has been no course access dates set, if the course is published prior to the 5th January will students be able to go into the course, read/write in it? Or will it just appear in their future enrollments and then they will get access on the 5th? I assume it will be the latter?

At the account level, if the term access dates were set from January 5 to April 18 and there were no course access dates set in the course itself, the course would show up under "Future Enrollments".  When I masqueraded as a student, I was able to click on the course to access it, but I saw a green message at the top of my screen that said, "This course hasn't started yet.  You will not be able to participate in this course until January 5 at 11 am" (or whatever date was specified as the term start date.  Interesting, though, as I was able to post a reply to a discussion topic.  Note: I did not have the "Users can only participate in the course between these dates" option checked for my sandbox course because I didn't have any start/end dates set for my course.

2) Now, lets add in Professor Smith changing the course access dates to the 12th January, but he does not select the "Users can only participate in the course between these dates" box

a) I'm assuming that if the course is published prior to the 12th January, say on the 8th, that students will be able to read/write in the course

b) But, if the course is published prior to the 5th January (meaning prior to student access and course access) then students won't be able to read/write until one of the access dates comes around. I'm assuming it will be whichever date comes around first as he didn't select the checkbox so it isn't restricted to only the course access date.

c) If he does select the checkbox, then irrespective of when he publishes, students can only read/write when the course access dates come round.

Have you checked out the options below the course start and end dates that are included in the "Visibility" section?  The two that I'd direct your attention to are:

  • Restrict students from viewing course after end date
  • Restrict students from viewing course before start date

If you check the second one and also have a start date set in your course settings, students will get a red message when they try and access the course that says it's not available until the date that you've set.  Would that solve any of the read/write concerns you have?

3) When setting the course access dates, say you don't put a start date as you only want to change the end date. Will the start date default to whatever date you have set as the student access?

I believe the start date would default to the start date of the term that the course is in...which would be defined at the account level.

I hope I've been of some help to you here.  I don't teach (only an admin for our instance of Canvas at our Technical College), so my experience with setting course dates isn't stellar.  But, this is what I've found in my own testing.  Please let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions...thanks.

View solution in original post

sphinney
Community Contributor

Being new to Canvas, I too have struggled with the effect upon student access to a course resulting from course dates, term dates, and publish settings. To that end, I've put together a chart that has helped me to see how the different settings affect student access. I'm adding it here in case others find it useful. Also, if you notice any errors or discrepancies with the chart and how you have found these features to behave then I'd love to get your input.

Wow,  @sphinney ​, this is a super useful document--and welcome to Canvas! Would you be willing to re-post that as a standalone resource in the Canvas Admins​ group (as a place to start--from there we could share it out to other spaces as interest dictates)? That way, we can maintain a separate conversation that is specific to the document's content and at the same time have a unified and collaborative space for questions, comments, and updates.

If you're not yet a member of the Canvas Admins group, just navigate to that group and click on the Actions menu at the upper right to find the Join Group option.

Thanks!

sphinney
Community Contributor

Makes sense. Will do. Smiley Happy