When are Canvas Course sites Created for a Term?

Canvas Course Availability 




Course Availability

Beginning 180 days before a term's start date, Canvas course sites for all classes are automatically made available to instructors. 

Here is a quick reference for upcoming terms:

Term Starts Course Sites Created
Fall 2021 August 30, 2021 March 3, 2021
Winter 2022 January 5, 2021 July 9, 2021
Spring/Summer 2022 May 3, 2022 November 4, 2021

The courses are updated twice a day with enrollment data changes from M-Pathways.We used to say "six months," but it's exactly 180 days. (Six months can be a variable number of days depending on whether the months are 30, 31, or 28-day months, so don't say six months.

If an instructor would like a course site to begin building out content before the offical course shell is provisioned , a course site can be manually created. 
The instructor will need to copy the content created from the manually-created course site to the official site after the official site is created.

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 may wish to combine two or more sections into a single Canvas course.  For assistance with this, contact the Service Center at 734-764-HELP (764-4357) or 4HELP@umich.edu.

Notify Your Unit Contact

If this is your first time using Canvas at UM, please notify your department or school’s Canvas Unit Contact. Your Unit Contact can provide important information about the adoption timeline for your school/college and can share helpful resources for learning to use Canvas.

Remember to Publish Your Course

Note that 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). Also, unlike CTools, any assignments, pages, modules and quizzes within your Canvas course must be published before students can see them.


Additional Notes

Term Dates

Term Dates run from the first day of classes until 2 weeks after a term ends. Students can access content 6 weeks before the term start date. After the term end date, students can access content, but cannot submit content (see details below).

Course Start and Course End Dates

An instructor can override the Term Start and End Dates by using the Course Start and Course End Date. The course start date will be the time when the course is published, unless intentionally changed by the instructor.  There is also an option: "Users can only participate in the course between these dates."  If this is selected students can not access the course content outside of those dates; however, they do receive announcement notifications. Note that after the end date passes, the instructor can no longer modify the start and end dates.

Start and End date details

                Once End Date passes, here is what changes for the student:   

    1. Can’t
      1. Submit assignments or take quizzes
      2. See roster (can’t see People tool)
      3. Receive notifications
      4. Post replies
      5. Use Chat
      6. View calendar feed
      7. Generate an epub 
    2. Can
      1. Read pages, announcements, assignments, files, etc. (unless restricted by dates on individual items)
      2. View their assignment submissions, quiz submissions, etc.
      3. Download assignment submissions
      4. View grades
      5. Access groups and use all features (create new content)
      6. Can access LTI (external) tools

        Once teachers can access until date (term end date) passes, here is what changes for instructors:
    1. Can’t
      1. Change any content (e.g., edit pages)
      2. Post discussions
      3. Upload files
      4. Grade
      5. Add people
      6. Receive notifications
      7. View calendar feed
    2. Can
      1. View roster (People tool)
      2. Copy and export course content
      1. Download student submissions (have to go to gradebook and then speedgrader -- “Download all submissions” is not available though


Note: There are also two checkboxes at the bottom of the Settings page on each course that, if selected, would cause the course to not appear outside of the begin/end dates. The verbiage of those checkboxes are as follows:

 - Restrict students from viewing course after end date

 - Restrict students from viewing course before start date



Course Notifications 

Canvas announcements posts sent before a course is published will not trigger an notification to students. In other words, no notification (email or other) will be sent while the course is unpublished.


Manually Adding Students

In most cases course participants are added automatically, but in some cases you will want to manually add visiting students or observers using the people tool. If students are added manually before the course is published, those students will receive an email notification immediately after the course is published.



Article ID: 276
Mon 4/20/20 8:13 AM
Sun 11/7/21 2:24 PM