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End of Winter Quarter Checklist

This is an updated version of a post from the previous quarter.

Spring is upon us, bringing with it sun, rain, and the occasional blizzard (and, for ‘Cats fans, more basketball!). As the quarter wraps up and the weather stays random, you may be looking for concrete solutions for ending your winter courses in Canvas. Never fear! We have a reliable forecast.

How do I end my course in Canvas?

The decision rests with the individual instructor, and there are two simple options:

OPTION 1 – Don’t Do Anything

A truly effortless option. If you do not do anything prior to the end date of your course in Canvas, students will automatically enter a read-only view once the end date passes. The course will remain active for Teachers and TAs indefinitely. To check your course’s end date in Canvas, access the course in Canvas and click on “Settings” at the bottom of the left navigation. Most registrar courses are tied to term dates associated with the program or level.

PROS: Instructors retain the ability to change grades after the course end date and to modify any materials in the course site. Students will find the course under “Past Enrollments,” where it will be fully accessible in a read-only mode. Students will still be able to access the course materials and their coursework, grades, and any feedback as long as they are active students at Northwestern.

CONS: The course will remain active for instructors and will not move to Past Enrollments. The “All Courses” link under “Courses” in the global navigation menu in Canvas will allow instructors to ensure their current courses appear on their dashboard in Canvas.

Q: What if I want to grant extensions for students to submit late work?

A: Teachers can change the end date of their course in Settings. Simply click “Edit Course Details” and change the end date. Be sure to click the blue “Update Course Details” button at the bottom when you are done.

Q: What if I want to leave the course open and active for instructors and students indefinitely? You may find interesting material that you wish to communicate to previous classes, or they may want to share information or find an old classmate down the road.

A: To leave a course open for instructors and students indefinitely, go to the course Settings and click “Edit Course Details.” Uncheck the “Users can only participate in the course between these dates” box under the course end date. This effectively leaves the course open and active for instructors and students until the instructor checks that box or manually concludes the course (see below).

OPTION 2 – Manually Conclude Your Course

To conclude a course and make it read-only for all users, including Teachers and TAs, open the course in Canvas, click on Settings, and click “Conclude this Course.”

PROS: The course is preserved in full exactly as it ended. The course will move to the Past Enrollments area in Canvas and be available to instructors and students in a read-only state.

CONS: Once an instructor concludes a course, they do not have the ability to un-conclude it. This creates an issue if a student needs to submit late work or if an instructor wishes to edit grades or change an incomplete grade within Canvas.

Additionally, you may notice that the People and Grades areas appear to have been cleared. They have not. If the People area appears empty, click on “View Prior Enrollments” on the right side of the screen. In Grades, click on the settings icon and check “Show Concluded Enrollments.” All information will be restored for viewing.

Q: Can I conclude a course after the course end date?

A: No. The manual “Conclude this Course” option is only available in Settings during the course start and end dates. You can edit these dates and move the end date into the future if you wish to access the “Conclude this Course” option after the course end date.

Q: Can I add a user to a course after the course end date?

A: Yes. If you find that you want to add another instructor to your course after the course end date so they may view the material in your course, this is possible. For more information on how to do this, see the blog post “Adding users to a completed course.”

Once you’ve successfully wrapped up your courses this quarter, you will probably be left with one more pressing question:

How do I copy this course into future quarters in Canvas?

An excellent question! Copying a Canvas course is incredibly easy! You can follow these simple instructions from Canvasattend our mini-consultation hours for help, or set up a consultation with a member of Faculty Support Services.

We wish you all the best as you wrap up your winter courses in Canvas, and we look forward to helping you get ready for the spring quarter!