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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.

19 Comments
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

 @jason_hill 

Thank you for this thorough submission!  I reread your text above a few times, but couldn't quite tell if you had tried using the term dates​ feature to provide access to students?  Term dates do indicate when a user can "participate" in a course, however, more granular control can be set at the instructor level.  As an admin, we used to set the term dates a week prior to the quarter and then instructors would have their modules and other content closed until the first day of the quarter - with the exception of what they wanted to students to access early of course!

jason_hill
Community Contributor

The problem we have is that instructors do not abide by our institution's policies with regards to course start/end dates. When Instructors had access (prior to me locking it down), some were requiring their students to have multiple chapters read in preparation for an exam the first day of class. If we open the term early, there's no way we'll be able to control that.

So, unfortunately, we need a way to make the content visible to students without enabling instructors to set expectations that conflict with our university's standards.

jordan
Community Champion

Thank you for submitting this feature idea! Learn more about the feature idea process and how to champion your idea.

Your feature idea will be open for vote from Wed. November 2, 2016 - Wed. February 1, 2017. Smiley Wink

jordan
Community Champion

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. November 2, 2016 - Wed. February 1, 2017.

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

jason_hill
Community Contributor

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jacquepreston
Community Member

Hi Jason,

 

Thank you for this. I've had concerns with this as well. In addition to some of the issues that others and you have raised here, just last semester I had a student for whom I issued an Incomplete. His inability to see the course, assignments, lessons, etc. caused me to have to recreate assignments and lessons in google.  Also last semester, I had to create a work around using Google Drive so that online students could submit work to portfolios late. While this does not affect most of my students, every semester I have one or two students (often a technological problem) that need to resubmit or submit work late. It seems counter-productive and unnecessary that I would have to start duplicating everything in Google Drive because of the all or nothing structure.

 

I recognize that there are most likely  good reasons for the restrictions, but I would like to see more conversation take place before such stipulations were put into place. I'm sure that I would have voted for nothing rather than all, but of course that may very well be that I don't fully understand the reasons for restricting access to the course after the course has closed. I will say that I’m concerned that these restrictions were put in place without any input from those it affects directly, students and instructors. This is for me is an administrative overreach, and moreover, it appears to be a trend in and outside the university that we will want to be cognizant of as we move forward. 

 

Thanks so much for taking time to address this issue. I very much appreciate this effort.

Jacque Preston

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

ANYTHING that increases availability of syllabuses to students sounds like a good idea to me!

I am very keen to hear from anybody about how they have used Canvas as part of an open syllabus campaign:

Canvas for Open Syllabuses – Teaching with Canvas 

kyle_johnson
Community Participant

Voted for this with a concurring opinion. '-)

If this feature is added, please make sure this date, date range, or delta (i.e. -7 days from start date) is available via the API. I'd also like this to be consistent with the date logic for course date (i.e. if the course date is empty, the term date is used).

heather_tolen
Community Member

I think this is a great idea so that students can see the required textbook ahead of time, and can anticipate the course policies and workload before the first day of the semester. Then if they realize it won't be a course they want or can handle, they can withdraw in time for another student to enroll. On the other end of the semester, this makes it easier to work with students who are given the "I" so they can find assignments (even if they can't submit them, at least I don't have to recreate the course for them in some other form) they still need to submit.

carteran
Community Member

I voted for this option with reservations. My key concern is the possibility of being required to have my syllabus and course outline ready a week prior to the start of the term. I am often still building the course and adjusting the order of lessons up to the weekend prior. Especially during the Christmas Break when we often only have two weeks between the end of one semester and the start of the next, getting materials ready by the weekend before the semester begins is all I can do. Having them ready a full week before may not always be possible.

What I do like is the option to the have the course available for viewing for a couple of weeks after the semester ends. I had several students emailing me asking me to send them their final grades this semester. Having a view period would address students' concerns about seeing how they scored on their final assignments, which are usually worth the most points. If students can see those scores, they are less likely to ask the teacher to send those to them directly, saving teachers much needed time as they prepare final grades and prepare for the next semester.

My bigger concern is with the lock dates that make adapting to legitimate student needs more difficult. I appreciate the administration's concern in reducing clandestine incompletes. At the same time, Canvas fails to work for some students some times. It feels like punishing them for something outside their control when our hands as instructors are tied in dealing with those issues.

Renee_Carney
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.

Renee_Carney
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.

Nancy_Webb_CCSF
Community Champion

Hi  @carteran , 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.

carteran
Community Member

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.

chriscas
Community Champion

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).

Mockup:

223409_pastedImage_1.png

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).

c_lattish-ii914
Community Member

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

Cliff

jayde_colquhoun
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Ha-ha Smiley Happy 

jason_hill
Community Contributor

Chris Farley getting a better look by raising his sunglasses.

That mock-up is awesome!

sbrl
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.