Canvas: Beginning and End of Term Information

Beginning of term information

Course availability

Beginning six months before a term's start date, Canvas course sites for all classes are automatically made available to instructors. The courses are updated twice a day with enrollment data changes from M-Pathways.

1 Section = 1 Canvas Course

Canvas courses are automatically created as 1 section = 1 Canvas course, with the exceptions of already-crosslisted courses, meet-togethers, and graduate/undergrad courses. In these cases, sections will be automatically combined into a single Canvas course. Instructors can combine two or more sections into a single Canvas course using the U-M Course Manager, which can be found in the left-hand navigation. (Click "Help" in the tool for step-by-step instructions.) You can also contact the Service Center at 734-764-HELP (764-4357) or 4HELP@umich.edu.

Reusing Canvas course content in an upcoming term

If you currently have a Canvas course and would like to reuse the content in a course for an upcoming term, you can use the Canvas import feature. You can reuse course settings, syllabus, assignments, modules, files, pages, and discussions. It’s also possible to import and adjust events and due dates.

Importing content from another Canvas course

Remember to publish your course — and everything in it!

Even though a Canvas course is automatically made available, the instructor must publish it before students in the course can see it. Once published, it will appear in the Wolverine Access Student Center for students registered for the course. By default, students can see a published course starting 4 weeks before the start of the term. (Learn about changing the course access date in the next section.) To publish an item, click the gray cloud to the far right so it turns green.

Unlike CTools, assignments, pages, modules and quizzes within your Canvas course must be published before students can see them.

Course visibility

You have the option (under Settings) to make your published course site visible to: 1. only members of the class, 2. anyone with a U-M uniqname (institutional visibility), or 3. anyone with or without a uniqname (public visibility). You may want to make your course institutionally or publically available, for example, to allow others to see the content of your course.

Student submissions are hidden in both the institutional and public views, but extra caution should be taken to ensure that student information is not inadvertently made visible. For example, you have the option to allow students to add Discussions topics. Unlike responses, topics are not considered student submissions and will be visible. Also, an instructor may include student work in a file that would be visible in an institutionally or publicly available course.

For detailed information, see Canvas Course Visibility Options (PDF).

Changing course access — term start dates

Students can access your Canvas courses once you have published it.

If you would like to specify a date when students can access your course (after it's published), or if you do not want students to have continued access after the term ends, complete the following steps to change the dates.

Regardless of the term start date, students do not have access to your course until you have (1) published any modules, assignments, pages and quizzes you want them to see by clicking the little gray cloud next to the item's name so it turns green, and (2) published your course.

Image of Gray and Green Clouds

  1. While in your Canvas course, click Settings in the left navigation menu.
  2. On the Course Details tab, enter the desired date(s) in the Starts and/or Ends fields. Alternatively, you can click the calendar icon in each field to select the desired date.
  3. Click the checkbox to indicate that users can only participate in the course between these dates.
  4. Click Update Course Details to save your changes.

What to do if there are extra sections in your class

Canvas courses are automatically created as 1 section = 1 Canvas course, with the exceptions of already-crosslisted courses, meet-togethers, and graduate/undergrad courses.

If you think there may be an error in the number of sections, please call the ITS Service Center at 734-764-HELP (4357) or email 4HELP@umich.edu.

Adding waitlisted students and others

  1. While in your Canvas course, click the People link in the left navigation menu.
  2. Click the blue + People link.
  3. The "Add People" window will open.
  4. Add one or more users by typing their full email address in the window provided. Separate multiple addresses with a comma.

Non-university users will need an MCommunity Sponsored account (Links to an external site.) to continue. Existing sponsored accounts already have Canvas accounts, but if you are setting up a sponsored account for the first time, you will also need to submit a service request (Links to an external site.) to have the Canvas account created.

1. Select a role for the user(s).

If you are adding a user as a TA, you can improve performance in grading by checking the "Can grade students in their section only" box.

2. Choose the section.

3. Click Next.

4. Canvas should recognize the user's full name on the next screen.

  • If it is correct, click Add Users.
  • If there is an error, click Start Over.

Friend accounts

Canvas does not recognized standard U-M Friend accounts. To access Canvas, users must either be sponsored by a UM school or department, or be added as a Canvas external user, which you can do using the Course Manager Tool. You can also request that an external user be added to a Canvas course site by contacting the ITS Service Center (734-764-HELP or 4HELP@umich.edu).

Unlike in CTools, people with external email addresses will have a first and last name visible in Canvas. Instructors should give the first and last names to the Service Center when making the initial request

Who is authorized to add people? An Instructor or Designer in a course can add anyone; TAs can only add students.

Late withdrawals

Students who withdraw from a course after the drop/add deadline are marked as inactive in Canvas and will lose access to all course content. This is a change from how CTools handles these situations.

In Canvas, students will still show in Sections under Current Enrollments, but will be listed as "Inactive" in the People Tool. The Inactive enrollment status allows instructors to view the student's prior activity in a course but does not allow the student to access course content. Other students in the course will not see students with an inactive enrollment status.

End of term information

Teaching Evaluations at the end of the term

Teaching Evaluations follow the standard U-M process: students receive an email when the evaluations open and reminder emails every other day until the evaluations closes.

In addition, in about 85% of courses, students and instructors will see a link to Teaching Evaluations is in the left navigation of their course. (The tool is not available in Business and Medical School courses, as they use an alternative source for evaluations.) Students and instructors can also link to Teaching Evaluations while they're in Canvas by clicking Accounts in the left-hand menu and then clicking Settings. They'll see the Teaching Evaluations link in the left-hand navigation.

Instructors can view their real-time response rates by accessing their Teaching Evaluation dashboard. The response rates are only visible during the evaluation period.

Additional Information: Office of the Registrar — Evaluations

Preparing final grades for Wolverine Access

Canvas allows you to download a final grade file that you can modify and upload to Wolverine Access.

Course availability at the end of the term

Students, instructors, designers and observers have write-access (i.e., can post announcements, discussions, resubmit assignments, etc.) at the end of the term. There is no automatic cutoff date. You can, however, specify an end-of-term access date — See section, "Changing course access — term end dates," below.

Changing course access — term end dates

Students, instructors, designers and observers have write-access (i.e., can post announcements, discussions, resubmit assignments, etc.) after the term ends.

If you do not want students to have continued access after the term ends, complete the following steps to change the dates.

  1. While in your Canvas course, click Settings in the left navigation menu.
  2. On the Course Details tab, enter the desired date(s) in the Starts and/or Ends fields. Alternatively, you can click the calendar icon in each field to select the desired date.
  3. Click the checkbox to indicate that users can only participate in the course between these dates.
  4. Click Update Course Details to save your changes.
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Last Updated: 
Monday, October 3, 2016