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Adventurer III

Admins: Do you keep your old Canvas courses forever?

Hi, I am wanting to do some "cleanup" in my Canvas Admin Console as we have courses in there from 5 years ago as well as courses taught by teachers who are no longer at our school.  I am just curious as to what others do.  Do you keep your courses indefinitely?  Do you delete them after a certain amount of years?  Do you delete courses taught by teachers who are no longer at your school?  I am curious as to what others do.  Thanks for sharing!

14 Replies
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rpsimon 

This doesn't necessarily have a correct answer as there are legitimate reasons for deleting and for not deleting them. The Community moderators may flip it to a discussion instead of a question.

We are a relatively small (less than 500 courses per semester) institution. We keep our courses indefinitely.

As a faculty member, I sometimes go back to the first course we taught in Canvas in Fall 2012 and look at what I did or pull information from it. I don't know that I would do that if I wasn't trying to answer questions for people in the Community, but it may be a year or more between times we teach some of our smaller classes, so having the ability to go back and see that in Spring 2017, I did this project and I want to reuse it this semester, is nice.


As an admin, we need to keep records for grade appeals and accreditation purposes (especially our health professions program). It doesn't matter whether it was a full-time or adjunct or even if the faculty member is now deceased. Doing a course export does not export user information, so if you need to be able to get back in at some point and see student information for the course, then keep it.

Some institutions are okay downloading a gradebook and calling it good. But deleting it will lose all of the submission data including timestamps. Some other systems automatically delete your course after a year (I think Pearson's MyLabs & Mastery did this). Deleting courses will keep a user's list of courses more manageable. It may even make Canvas run faster since it has less information to load. Others will come along and provide good reasons why they delete courses.

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Thank you!

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Community Coach
Community Coach

I'll second what James says and say that we have not deleted any courses yet and don't have immediate plans to.  Officially we say we'll keep courses around for 10 semesters beyond when they were taught and that is guided by academic retention policies.  However I know some of the colleges want us to keep them longer for accreditation purposes and we'll likely do that. 

I understand the desire to "clean up" but if you keep things organized with Terms and sub accounts it's not too difficult to manage.  We have about 4500 courses per semester.  

Hope that helps,

Rick

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Thank you!

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Learner II

I agree with Rick and James, if you have your terms set up correctly, its really easy to manage. We haven't deleted any of our courses since we moved to Canvas. Both for accreditation and our internal retention policies.We also have area chairs that periodically want to go to the wayback machine and see what was taught years ago and how those courses were evaluated vs the current faculty and their syllabi.

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Thanks, @Steve_Hallman!  Is there a way that when I login to Canvas, I only see courses in the current term?  I didn't think there was a way, but I figured I would ask anyway.  Smiley Happy 

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rpsimon 

Where would you like to see just the courses for the current term?

Canvas Admins can go to the Admin > Courses page and filter by the term.

For all users, the courses on the Dashboard are guided by the term settings found under Admin > Terms. When a term ends for a user, the cards are removed from the dashboard. Individuals can also pick their favorites to decide what to show on the dashboard.

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Yes, I am aware.  I just always need to filter it, lol.

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Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Hi rpsimon

I think the model for K12 is different for Post 12. We are making the decision this summer to delete a number of courses from previous years (terms). I have done this before in different LMS too. 

Was beginning to have an impact as Admin eg many courses with same names and also issues for staff managing courses. A lot of the same content is imported into new courses each year so there is a lot of duplicated content in courses not being used. 

If I remember rightly however, there is no easy way to bulk delete courses other than through API - https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/16989-mass-delete-of-courses