Canvas Course Settings - Availability & Visibility

Canvas Settings allows instructors to import content, set course navigation, add links to external tools, and adjust other course-level settings in your Canvas course. Canvas Settings will also allow instructors to control participation dates and course visibility. Canvas Settings help you to control when your students can view and participate in your course. You can, for example, opt to make your syllabus or your entire course visible to the public, or only to authenticated users.

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Diving Tips

It is suggested that you choose to check the box that “Users can only participate in the course between these dates.”  This will allow students to view a published course but prevent students from taking any action (submitting Assignments, editing Discussion posts) in the course before or after the term dates.   Once the end date has been reached, the course will conclude and students will be able to view the course in a read-only state.   

A general recommendation for course visibility settings is to check the box to  “Restrict students from viewing course before start date.”  This will ensure that your students will not be able to see course materials before the course is properly prepared. You may elect to control access by keeping your course “Unpublished” which overrides any date availability setting.    

If the course visibility setting “Restrict students from viewing course after end date” is checked, then students will not be able to view the course content after the end date.  In addition to whole-course settings, student access to specifics like quiz answers can also be finely controlled.  Instructors may choose when to allow their students to view the correct answers to a submitted quiz by entering availability dates for the quiz answers.  This option may be found in the quiz settings.   

Remember to set these things in your course template so they will automatically be applied to the copy or imported course! While you are doing so, you may notice a button in Settings to “Conclude this Course.” Please do not use it. Courses automatically conclude based on term end dates so there is no need to manually conclude a Canvas course, and doing so during the term will immediately drop students out of your course and set the course to read-only access.  We strongly recommend allowing the term end-date to do this automatically rather than risk problems by doing it manually.