Canvas LMS

Canvas LMS End of Semester Tips

Canvas End of Semester Best Practices

In order to ensure a smooth, end of the semester, please consider following the best practice activities for closing your course and transitioning to the next semester.

Important Notes

Ensure that student grades are tabulating correctly:

  • Check your grading options including any assignment groups and grade weighting (if applicable) from Assignments in the course navigation.
  • Enter zeroes for any student work not submitted OR from Grades select the “gear” drop-down menu, click “Treat Ungraded as 0’s” to ensure unsubmitted assignments are scored with a zero. Detailed instructions.

Do not conclude your course or lock modules if you have assigned a grade of “Incomplete” to a student. They still need to access and participate in the course material.

Withdrawn student data, downloading of data, and sending of messages is not available after final grades have been entered in My.Maricopa (SIS). Instructions for accessing grades in Canvas after conclusion.

End of a Canvas Course FAQs

BEFORE Entering Grades in SIS (My.Maricopa)

Archive Grades – Download your grade book to CSV to archive it locally on your computer or flash drive. Click on Grades > Click on the Gear symbol > Click on Download to CSV More Information – Downloading Grades

Gather Data – Download any assignments, course surveys, quizzes or exam results to archive them locally on your computer or flash drive.

For Quizzes: Click on Quizzes > Select the Quiz > Click on Quiz Statistics > Select the download option of Student and/or Item Analysis More Information – Downloading Quizzes/Surveys

For Assignments: Click on Assignments > Select Download Submissions from the right-navigation.

Send Final Communications – Send end-of-course messages to students, if desired. Please note that all communication will be preserved in the Canvas Conversations inbox. Messages will not be deleted or automatically archived by the system.

AFTER Entering Grades in SIS (My.Maricopa)

End Course – You can leave your course “as is” and it will automatically go into a read-only mode for students. Students will no longer be able to submit assignments or communicate with the class. If you prefer, you can also end your course (Settings > Edit Course Details > Enter an Ending Date for the course). We DO NOT recommend concluding your course as it becomes inaccessible to you. 

Locking Content – You can selectively lock content to keep students from accessing sensitive content such as quiz results.

If you do not want students to view Quiz Questions after the end of a semester you will need to set and ending date for your course. Click on Settings > Edit Course Details > Enter an Ending Date for the course.

For Module Content, lock each module by entering a lock date far in the future – 1/1/2020 for example). Locking Modules Instructions

For Course Fileshide the Files area from the course navigation. Keep in mind that files linked to pages will still be visible unless locked. Locking Files Instructions.

Preparing for Spring 2015

Course Copy – Get ready for Spring by copying your course content from Fall in to your Spring shells. Navigate to the Spring 2015 course, open Settings and then follow the Course Copy Instructions.

Export (archive) Courses (older than 18 months) – Eventually the district will retire (delete) any courses older than 18 months from user accounts. To prepare for this process, each semester you should export (archive) any courses that are older than 18 months.

  • What about student records? The requirement for retaining student data is one academic year. An additional 6 month buffer will provide adequate time to address any grading issues.
  • How do I preserve my content or student grades/work if they delete my course? Canvas courses can be exported and the resulting content file can be imported in to another Canvas shell at a later time. This will not include student work or grades these must be downloaded prior to the deleting of the course. Best practice is to download student work or grades at the end of each semester.

More information about Archiving (Exporting) a Canvas Course.

Clean Your Inbox – Archive your Spring messages in your Conversation Inbox so that you can start the Summer/Fall semester(s) with a clean slate. Archiving Conversations.

Customize Your Course Menu – Remove your Fall classes from and add your Spring courses to your course drop-down menu. Customize Course Menu.

Other Notes – We also recommend updating all your browsers, components and clearing your browser cache before beginning a new semester.

Questions? Concerns?

Contact the Center for Teaching & Learning at or (480) 461-7331.