FAQ: Course Access and Incomplete Grades in Canvas

In this article, we will address frequently asked questions about access for students and instructors in Canvas, as well as the university's policy regarding incomplete grades. Canvas is the learning management system used by Chico State to deliver course materials and facilitate communication between instructors and students.

Jump to:

Access for Students

When can students access their course materials in Canvas?

Students can access their course sites immediately after the instructor publishes the course. However, they cannot actively participate, such as submitting assignments, until the section's configured start date. The start date may be adjusted by the instructor if necessary. In Canvas, the section start date is ten days before the start date in PeopleSoft by default.

Are there any limitations on when students can participate in a course?

Yes, there is a specific window of time during which students can participate in a course. This window extends ten days before the course's start date and ten days after the course's end date. Outside of this window, the course will be in a read-only state, and students will not be able to submit assignments or engage with the course content.

Can instructors grant special access to a student who needs to fulfill incomplete requirements from a previous term?

Yes, if a student needs access to a course from a previous term to fulfill the requirements of an incomplete, the instructor can request a special section to be created in the course shell. The Learning Technologies team will set an end date for this section in accordance with the expiration date specified in the incomplete contract.

What is the process for requesting extended access to a current term course for a student with special circumstances?

To request extended access for a student with special circumstances in a current term course, the instructor should submit a ticket to the Learning Technologies team. The ticket should include the student's name and Wildcat ID, the full course ID or Canvas course URL, the end date for the incomplete contract, and compelling reasons for the special access request. The Learning Technologies team will then seek approval from the registrar before granting access.

Can students access a current term course in Canvas if they do not have regular enrollment?

Access to a current term course in Canvas is typically limited to regularly enrolled students. However, in exceptional cases, the course instructor can contact the Learning Technologies team who will request approval from the registrar to grant access to a student not regularly enrolled. The request should include compelling reasons for the exception and must be submitted via a ticket to the Learning Technologies team by the course instructor.

Access for Instructors

When do instructors have access to their course sites in Canvas?

Instructors have access to their course sites from the date the course is loaded into Canvas until the section's end date specified in PeopleSoft. It's important to note that instructors should not rely on the term dates listed on the course settings page to determine when students can participate in the course. See LMS Term Load Dates for more information on the specific dates a given term's courses will be available.

Can instructors make modifications to a course after the section's end date?

By default, after the section end date, the course section transitions into a read-only state, restricting instructors from making modifications. However, instructors can manually change the end date in Canvas if they need additional time to wrap up course-related activities, including grading.

Can instructors access their course sites before the official start date?

Yes, instructors have unrestricted access to their course sites before the official start date. This allows them to prepare and organize course materials in advance. Courses are typically available to instructors several months before the start of a term. See LMS Term Load Dates for more information on the specific dates a given term's courses will be available.

Can instructors publish their courses at any time?

Instructors should only publish courses when they are ready for students to see the course content. Once a course is published, students will be able to access it, although their participation may be limited until the configured start date. Instructors should strive to publish their course before the first day of instruction for their course. Instructors need not publish the entire course--access to pages, modules, and activities can be controlled independent of the course being published.

When should instructors publish their course?

Instructors should strive to publish their course on or before the first day of instruction. While instructors can publish their course at any time, students will not be able to participate (e.g., submit assignments) until 10 days before the start date. If an instructor wants to allow students to participate earlier, they can change their course's section dates to allow students to submit assignments earlier.

Are there any limitations on when instructors can modify course content?

Instructors can make modifications to their course content before, during, and up to ten days after the course ends. However, once the course enters the read-only state, modifications will not be possible unless the instructor manually changes the end date in Canvas.

Incompletes

When can an incomplete grade be assigned?

According to Executive Memorandum 10-018, an incomplete grade (I) can be assigned "where instructors conclude that a clearly identifiable pattern of course requirements cannot be met for unforeseen reasons." However, an Incomplete should not be assigned "when it is necessary for the student to attend a major portion of the class when it is next offered or if the course requirements extend beyond the close of a term."

How does the Incomplete policy apply to Canvas?

In Canvas, courses automatically enter a read-only state ten days after the course section's configured end date. This means that course content cannot be created, updated, or deleted, and students cannot submit assignments. However, this read-only state can be overridden in specific circumstances, such as for students with incompletes or courses that span multiple terms.

What if a student with an incomplete needs access to a course from a previous term?

In such cases, the Learning Technologies team can create a special section in the course shell at the instructor's request. This special section allows both the student and instructor extended participation and access. The end date for this section will be set based on the expiration date specified in the incomplete contract.

Request Incomplete Course Access

What if a student with an incomplete needs access to a current term course?

For a student with an incomplete needing access to a current term course, the Learning Technologies team must request approval from the registrar. The instructor should submit a ticket to the Learning Technologies team, providing compelling reasons for the exception. If approved, the Learning Technologies team will create a new section in the requested course, with the student and faculty added and a specific expiration date within the year as allowed by the Executive Memorandum.

Request Incomplete Course Access

What information should instructors include when requesting extended access for a student with an incomplete?

When requesting extended access for a current or previous term course shell, the instructor should include the following information in the ticket:

  • Student's name and Wildcat ID
  • Full course ID or Canvas course URL
  • End date for the incomplete contract
  • Compelling reasons for special access (only for adding a student to a section they were not regularly enrolled in)

 

Request Service Print Article

Details

Article ID: 113568
Created
Wed 5/31/23 10:33 AM
Modified
Tue 2/27/24 2:18 PM

Related Articles (1)

Faculty and students may find themselves needing to access course materials, submissions, or records from a previous term in Canvas. Courses from previous terms are not immediately visible on the Canvas dashboard due to the platform's design, which prioritizes current and upcoming courses for a more organized user experience. Courses in previous terms can be found in your past enrollments.

Related Services / Offerings (1)

Request assistance issues with learning technologies.