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Canvas - End-of-Semester Best Practices


As the end of a semester approaches, there are a number of best practices that Canvas instructors are encouraged to follow. Refer to the information provided below when approaching the end of the semester.

Best Practices Menu

Backup your Course

OIT strongly encourages you to make a backup copy of your course. Visit the How do I export a Canvas course tutorial for instructions. You may also want to download your gradebook scores and student submissions. The tutorials listed below will help.

Remember: Course and grade book information are protected by the Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 and as such should stored be according to the CU Boulder confidential data Security Requirements. When downloading and backing up your grade book, OIT highly recommends that you encrypt the file. Visit Microsoft's Protect an Excel File tutorial to learn how to encrypt your gradebook files.

Remind Students to Backup Course Materials & Assignments

By default, students lose access to their Canvas courses three weeks after the end of the semester. You can extend student access by following the instructions in the How do I change the start and end date for a course tutorial or you can extend access for specific students by contacting with the course name and term, student name(s), and new end date(s).

Whether you extend student access or not, remind your students to download any course materials or assignment submissions important to them. To allow students to download all course files in an ePub format, you will need to enable the ePub Exporting option in your Canvas course. To enable this feature, follow this guide: How do I manage new features for a course?

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Release Final Grades to Students

In Canvas, final grades appear in the Total grade column in your gradebook. You might have followed the instructions on the How do I hide totals in my students' grade summaries tutorial to hide them from students, so that it doesn’t appear on their grade summary page. The Unhide Final Grades tutorial describes how to unhide this information so that students can see their final grades at the end of the semester.

If you would like to manually adjust students Total grades in Canvas, you can do so on a per student basis using the new Grade Override feature.

Sync Grades to the Registrar's Web Grading System

Instructors can use the Web Grading Sync tool to sync their students’ final grades into the Registrar's web grading system. Our Web Grading Sync step-by-step tutorial and Web Grading Sync video walks you through the process. You can also override grades directly in Canvas prior to syncing them. Web grading deadlines for current semester are available in the Registrar's Grade Processing Calendar.

Before syncing your grades, it is important to know a few things:

  • Grade schemes: The Registrar requires grades to be in the Letter Grade format. To review the default Letter Grade Scheme or to learn how to create your own, refer to the Canvas Grade Schemes web page.
  • Registar help information: The Registrar provides a great deal of helpful documentation on their Faculty Grading page. Review this web page before uploading your final grades.

Create Next Semester's Canvas Course

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