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With finals just around the corner, I’d like to shamelessly plug our faculty survey (hehe) and point out two pages in our Canvas Faculty Center with helpful information for ending the current term and starting an upcoming term.

You’ve probably noticed the Canvas announcement on your dashboard about our faculty survey. We’d love to know what resources were helpful this year and what you want to learn next year.

The End-of-Term page informs/reminds you of two important things before wrapping up the term:

  • double check what dates are set in your course before your course closes
  • save your grades before your course closes (including how to handle an incomplete)

(Not sure when your course will close? Visit the End-of-Term page to find out.)

The Start-of-Term page includes a checklist to help you prepare your course and start the term. You’ll find the following topics on this page:

  • how to request cross-listing or a sandbox
  • how to copy a course
  • how to adjust course settings
  • how to publish the course
  • how to manage enrollment
  • how to use cool tools in Canvas
  • how to get support (for you and for your students)

You may notice some changes on the end- and start-of-term pages (and in your course Settings > Course Details tab) due to a recent Canvas Release. Read on to learn more about the release and what it means for your courses from here on out.

Canvas Release: Course Availability Date Enhancements

Below is a comparison of the old interface and the new interface for course availability dates. In the old interface, CRN courses defaulted to the current term with only the start date filled in and a check box below the end date that read “Students can only participate in the course between these dates.” The new interface of the Course Availability Date Enhancements still defaults to the current term, but it looks a bit different. “Participation” in the course, meaning when you and your students can interact in the course, is set by either the default “Term” or the optional “Course.” The “Course” option allows you to set custom dates for any course that does not follow the term dates set by the Mt. SAC academic calendar.

Dates, Participation, & Access

It’s important to understand what dates are set in your course and what kind of access you and your students will or won’t have before a course opens and after a course closes. As explained on the Start-of-Term page (Term vs. Course Dates section), the following defaults are true at Mt. SAC:
  • 2 WEEKS before Day 1 of Term: Students can see PUBLISHED courses but cannot complete work.
  • 1 WEEK before Day 1 of Term: Cross-lists are completed.
  • 12:01 AM of Day 1: Students can participate in course activities.
  • 2 WEEKS after last day of Finals: Courses become read-only, and neither students nor professors can make further changes, including adding or changing grades. These courses disappear from the Dashboard and are only available under Global Navigation.
For further details on default Settings or on overriding default Settings, visit the Start-of-Term page (Term vs. Course Dates section).

Saving Grades

You must enter students’ official grades in Banner, not Canvas. Canvas does not transfer final grades to Banner.
We recommend that you save a copy of your gradebook as a CSV file in a safe location as this information is protected under FERPA.
You can also decide if you want to keep copies of any or all student submissions at this time, and download those if you want them.
For information on how to download grades and/or student submissions and on how to handle incompletes, visit the End-of-Term page.

FCLT Faculty Survey

Did you use our services and/or attend trainings this year? Want to learn more about Canvas or other tools in the next academic year? Take our survey by Sunday, June 20, 2021 to give your input!

I hope this post was a helpful overview of information pertaining to ending and starting a term.
Comment below to let us know what you think or to request for a future blog topic. 

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