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Using Unpublished Courses as Sandboxes?

Question asked by Kate Burkes on Oct 13, 2017
Latest reply on Oct 13, 2017 by Kelley L. Meeusen

We are new to Canvas and setting up our system.  We will soon have the live SIS feed set up in production. This means that about 1,500 courses will be set up for the Spring term.  We will be allowing only about 25 classes to use Canvas in the spring to test our settings.  The rest of the Spring courses won’t be used to run classes, but will still have ‘real’ student enrollments in them, although those students won’t know yet about Canvas since they still will be doing their classes in Blackboard.


We plan to allow faculty to use these non-used Spring courses as 'shells' (sandboxes) in which to re-develop their content from Blackboard to Canvas (we launch Canvas in May 2018 to the whole college).  However, a concern was raised today that, since these courses will technically be open based on section dates set by the SIS feed, and will have real students enrolled in them, faculty could accidentally kick off email notifications to these unsuspecting students.


We wondered if the course ‘publish’ feature would control this?  So if a course is technically ‘open’ to students based on section dates, but the course itself is unpublished, will students get external notifications for changes to content – such as when new announcements are created – or for other actions by faculty?


All input appreciated!