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Student View-Only Period for Terms

Student View-Only Period for Terms

  Idea open for vote Wed. November 2, 2016 - Wed. February 1, 2017  Learn more about voting...


As a Canvas Admin, I would like to enable students to view their courses for a specified period prior to the term start date and for a specified period after the term end date. This view-only period would work much like the Grading Periods established for Teachers. An admin would create a Student View-Only Period (probably a date range that precedes and extends beyond a term's start/end dates), and then 'attach' a specific term to the Student View-Only Period. (See Attachment)


Prior to the Term Start Date

During the timeframe that precedes the semester, students would only be able to view the course content including the syllabus, calendar, published assignments/modules, embedded eBooks, and announcements from the instructor. Students would not be able to submit work for assignments, take quizzes, or participate in discussion boards.


After the Term End Date

During the timeframe after the semester ends, students would only be able to view the course content including the syllabus, calendar, published assignments/modules, embedded eBooks, announcements from the instructor, and final grades including grades for final submissions and final exams. Students would not be able to submit work for assignments, take quizzes, or participate in discussion boards.


The only current method to enable students to have view-only access for courses is all or nothing. An institution can choose not to enable Restrict students from accessing courses before start date and Restrict students from accessing courses after end date; but these settings apply to all courses in the future and all courses in the past, regardless of the semester in which the courses took place.


This Student View-Only Period would allow students to see their eBooks prior to the course start date and get a jump start on the reading if they chose to do so, and it would allow students to see their final grades and submission comments from the instructor after the course ends without turning on all other courses and without allowing students to participate in courses outside an institution's official course start/end dates.

Community Team
Community Team

216243_pastedImage_6.pngWe appreciate you, and the submission of your idea. Your dialogue helps our product teams prioritize feature development. 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, yes. Archived ideas can be resubmitted by Community members. As people’s needs change, previously submitted ideas may gain additional traction. Feature ideas are evaluated as a whole and influence product direction.

Community Team
Community Team

This idea is one of the lucky ones that was selected to get a little more time for voting as part of our evolution of the feature idea process.   It was selected because of it's vote count and/or comment thread.  

*Selection criteria: Most (not all) ideas that received 70+ votes in their initial voting round.


Hi, wouldn't you be able to control student early access by not publishing your course until you're ready?  Would your school publish your course for you a week early?  I'd think they might leave that up to you.


Nancy, your comment is a good one. I guess my concern is that my school is thinking about moving to an early access system. Initially, it might not be required to publish the course before the day prior to classes starting. I worry, though, that the precedent it sets could develop an expectation that classes be ready earlier. While I would like to be able to accommodate that, sometimes, especially with a new class, that expectation may be unrealistic.

Learner II

In response to a change in the latest beta release, I made a mockup of how some of the access settings in Canvas could be modified/simplified.  I think a lot of it applied directly to this idea (which I've upvoted).

For reasons brought up in this thread already, I'd also like to see the ability to modify/override dates at the course/term level be restricted by a course-role permission.  We really don't want any faculty modifying the course dates themselves, as that's against our university policies (yes, there is a training issue involved too, but the current Canvas implementation is really working against us in this respect).  I have javascript to disable the date boxes and override option in settings, but somehow some faculty have been dates in there anyways (I believe there is a possibly something happening with course imports, but I haven't been able to track down the issue or reproduce it in my own testing).



The dates here definitely become more complicated, but also would allow much more flexibility.  I'd also like to see the exact same structure rolled down to the course/section level (with the permission settings).  Currently, the course or section override completely disables any extended access given to certain roles (like we give teachers access 8 weeks before the term, but if the course override is used, the teacher HAS to have the exact same access dates as a student).

Community Member

Also be able to download a read only PDF for record keeping.


Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Ha-ha Smiley Happy 

Learner II

Chris Farley getting a better look by raising his sunglasses.

That mock-up is awesome!

Community Member

As a student, I feel that this feature is essential. How can I reasonably decide which modules to pick for my next year at university when I don't even know what content was actually taught in that course in the last year? I have first-hand experience that the picture painted by the descriptions given when I'm asked to pick my modules paints a very different picture to what actually happens. To that end, I've found it crucial that not only read the descriptions provided by the university, but also speak to past student about their experiences - and, most importantly, investigate past assignments and lecture material - the latter of which is of particular importance when one is out on a year in industry, as I have been over the last year.