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

Course Archive Process

Course Archive Process

(12)
TL;DR version:

We need to have a way to archive courses (in batch and individually), so that its hidden from everything.

 

Long version:

At USU we are about to start our 15th semester on Canvas and our instance is starting to remind me of an episode of Hoarders, I'm just hoping no one is killed by a stack of falling courses. I know many of the other institutions may not see a need for it now but in the future this will become a very real problem. With the preservation of student data, these archives would be useful for among other things, grade challenges, letters of recommendation, and accreditation.

 

Over the past year, as the semesters courses keep stacking up, I have thought of several different scenarios that could facilitate this process.

Out of all of them this would be, I think this scenario would be the easiest route:

 

The basis of the archiving process would follow a similar process as deleting a course. The course would disappear from all aspects of Canvas but unlike the deletion process it would be non-destructive. In the spirit of Canvas being a Cloud-based system this is not so much of an archival process but a way to just get the courses hidden from everything. For this to work the deletion process will have to be changed to a non-destructive method. So the engineers could copy the deletion process and modify it so you can still delete a course if needed and those that need to be archived or hidden can use a similar process. Currently when a course is deleted the enrollments are removed from the course so restoration is a two step process. If the deletion method were changed to just a simple active/inactive toggle and it disappeared, we could live with having the course still reside on the system.

 

Control of archiving and restoring should be a task between admins and instructors so we as admins can control this on a term by term basis but the professor has the option on a course by course basis. I recall an archived idea about offline archives but there was a consensus that instructors should not have this ability. Each institution is different and we operate courses on the premise that the course is the instructors IP, so we are more stuarts of course data than having the final say in what they can and cannot have enabled. I think this would best work as a setting that admins can change themselves.

 

Here are some other scenarios I came up with that give the institution the ability to do offline archives:

Scenario 1: A separate custom course export is created that includes the student interactions and is downloadable. This archive would be something akin to a IMSCC package but somehow include student interaction and assignment submissions so that there is a path for restoration if the need arises.

 

Scenario 2: Using Amazon Glacier storage a course could be moved to this system in its entirety. I don't know enough about Glacier storage to know if the course could be replicated to a database in Glacier or if it would have to be similar to scenario 1, but the archive file is stored in Glacier. The price of Glacier storage is significantly cheaper than S3 buckets.

 

Scenario 3: The course export would basically be a static copy of the course as it would appear in Canvas, including student interactions and assignment submissions.  This option would be a non-restorable version but it would be a complete record of the entire course. The ability to export courses as an EPUB file could play into this.

61 Comments
joseph_allen
Community Champion

This could in fact be a Canvas killer if not addressed very soon.  K12 students who average 6-8 course per year are starting to see 3 years worth of courses stack up.  It is confusing to them.  Worse, multiply that by a parent who has 3 kids.  You now have 72 course which a parent must wade through to find the current course.  Teachers who might have 10-15 courses in a given year are now seeing multiples, most of which are old courses and they want to know how to get rid of them.  Internal support teams have to wade through the old courses too.  Some form of archiving, i.e. hiding from view, not deleting old courses is absolutely necessary.  it is not apparent to a Canvas newbie, but once you are 2 or 3+ years into it, this becomes a huge problem. 

dianepbh
Community Participant

Indeed... The archiving in an efficient way is at the top of the list of needs. Can anyone point me to ways people HAVE been "archiving". 

All we do (and it is not efficient) is make a sub-account for each account called Archive 2014-15, Archive 2015-16 etc. Unelegant and entirely impractical to maintain with 100 schools in an account. 

jared_flaherty
Community Contributor

that's just what I'm told by the Registrar's office.     We have campus centers in 20+ states and my best guess is state laws require different refunding.    I really don't know.    I just make the Canvas magic.

joseph_allen
Community Champion

Diane, interesting concept.  So once you create this archive sub account and you move old courses into it, how does that help unclutter the view for admins, students, etc?

SHEBENE
Community Champion

For admin filtering by term is their best bet unless the "live" sub account is something they can navigate to in order to just see current year ones.

For students, it's autofiltered by current courses versus past enrollments. That should help. We added something as we start using more "forever" term courses for conferencing and ongoing trainings for teachers especially. It orders the current enrollments list by general, "Conferences", and "Workrooms" in order to clear some of the clutter. 

joseph_allen
Community Champion

Thanks Neal. Students are fine.  Its really the admins, some regular and special teachers who have to weed through all the past courses to help out.  We use "NE", never ending as a code for somethings, but the majority of this problem is with regular old SY1617 or SY1516 type courses (school year 2015-16 etc).  

stevencopeland
Community Participant

 @tyler_clair  sounds like a nice idea!

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar‌ idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

adriana_frost
Community Member

It is my interpretation that this suggestion was made from the instructor's perspective. I would like to add that as a student I would greatly appreciate it if my previous course content could be located in an archive folder. As a student in elementary education, I refer back to previous course materials quite frequently, and I would guess that many other students do the same for their program as well. Just because we are done with the course doesn't mean we are done with the materials. We should still have access to view, download, and print course syllabi, materials, and discussions. 

joseph_allen
Community Champion

Thank you for your input Adriana.  I do think it is a school district decision as to whether or not a student has any rights to courses / materials from past courses.  In my district, we do not permit students any access to past courses.   I think archive functionality is still very much needed and I'd like to see Instructure develop something along these lines soon.

ShereeW
Community Participant

I would like to have a way to archive courses so that they're removed from the instructors' course lists. We've been using Canvas since 2013, and the course lists are getting quite long. So long that for some instructors they don't get the drop-down list when they're importing a course. Instead they have to type the course name, and they often don't type it exactly and have a hard time finding the course they're trying to import.

kcra
Community Member

Come on Canvas. This request has been sitting here since 2016. Courses are piling up and we can do anything about it. 

beins
Community Member

Agreed! I had a lot of staff at my University to upvote it. We had plenty of votes for Canvas to move on it but nothing has happened. This is something that we need ever so quickly.

dschuma
Community Participant

Scenario 3 would be helpful to BGSU as we are preparing to incorporate a new college from another Canvas institution.

christy_mcelhan
Community Member

We spoke with our CSM yesterday regarding an "Archive" as the terms do tend to get cumbersome to scroll through. It would be good to archive, but we need the courses to still be searchable in some manner. Maybe a dropdown to "Search Archived Courses?"

lezonl2
Community Contributor

Three years using Canvas and desperately need a solution to archive!

jodi_k
Community Participant

Agreed. It is getting a little ridiculous to manage around here.

ghoffman
Community Participant

I completely agree! I would love to have the option for both individual instructors to archive their own courses, including student work, and for batch archive and remove after a certain number of years. We need it badly.

christy_mcelhan
Community Member

We DESPERATELY need an "Administrative Course Archive Option!" We created "Remote Learning" sub-accounts and courses during the "Co-Vid" school lockout. We will not use those courses again. We have courses as far back as the 2015-2016 school year.

This "Idea" has been out there since 2016.  We are adding schools for online learning. and scrolling through the "Terms" is getting arduous, and from a development standpoint, unnecessary.  I've brought this to the attention of our CSMs (Because we've had several...) repeatedly.  Yes, there is the "Delete" option. There should be a "Bulk Option."

The ability to "Archive" courses by:

Term

Sub-Account (Primarily to archive all courses in a sub-account to remove unused/inactive sub-accounts) Sub accounts can't be deleted if they contain courses...When a school closes, there isn't a need to keep that course or the sub-account after a determined amount of time.  

PLEASE design this into your program. As I talk with districts looking at Canvas for an LMS, as I rec'd a listserve message yesterday, I caution them in the regard of limited administrator functionality. One of them is "Archiving Courses."

Thanks!

ellingtonsp
Community Participant

Thanks for posting this feature request! Our institution is desperately seeking some sort of course archival solution!