As the end of the semester approaches, faculty often ask us whether students can access their course site(s) after the term is over. For Sakai users, you may remember your courses were unpublished automatically sometime during the following semester. In Sakai, students could not access unpublished courses.
Canvas works differently. Every Canvas course associated with a UDSIS graduate and undergraduate catalog course has a term defined for it correlating to our semester schedule (fall, winter, spring, summer) and includes two weeks prior to the start of the semester and two weeks after the end of the semester. For example, the Spring 2018 term end date for your Canvas course is June 12, 2018.
During the term students can participate and submit work within the course if it is published. However, once you have a graded student submission in your course, you can no longer unpublish your course. So if you have graded submissions, will your students still have access to your course after the term end date? By default, yes.
If you do nothing else in your course after the term end date, students retain view-only access to the course, and your course is moved to the Past Enrollments section of a student’s course list. With view-only access, students can view and download materials and submitted assignments and review quizzes.
If you are concerned about student access after the term end date, you may wish to change your course Settings to restrict this view-only access. Refer to the Canvas blog post “How to manage student course access” for details.
Note: there are other terms used within Canvas that have been defined for special purposes (i.e. ELI courses, PCS courses, etc). The same rules would apply regarding student access. The only difference is the rules would apply to your specific term dates.