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Finalize Your Course for End of Semester

Last updated on May 11, 2022

Finalize Your Canvas Course and Prepare for the Next Semester

The end of a semester can be a stressful time for you and your students. Looming deadlines and preparations for the coming semester can be challenging. This Canvas spotlight will cover some end-of-the-semester housekeeping functions in Canvas that you can use to bring your course to a successful conclusion. Making sure your course is finalized can help mitigate last-minute emails from students or issues in submitting final grades.

For more information on transitioning your course to the next semester, please see our Course Copy Guide and Post Copy Guide.

Best Practices

  • Check that the End Date set in Canvas is correct and make adjustments if needed. Some courses may not follow the general academic calendar and the end date originally set for the shell might not be correct.
  • Make sure that all graded assignments have due dates and correct availability times set so that they are properly factored into the student’s final grade. If students don’t submit work to assignments, quizzes, or discussions without due dates, they will receive no change in their total grade.
  • Display the letter grade a student will receive in Canvas with a course grading scheme. This lets students know what grade you will be reporting in Banner.
    • Note: Remember to enter the final grade into the official Banner system. Please visit our How Do I Submit Final Grades? FAQ if you’re unsure how to do this.
  • If you have a student with an incomplete grade, you can extend the Course End Date to allow students to access course material and complete the necessary work. Please see our Open Access for Individual Student to Finalize Incomplete Grade tutorial.
  • If a student only needs to complete a few assignments, or you aren’t comfortable extending the End Date of your course, you can also use email to work with the student to complete the required assignments. Please review our Use Email to Finalize Incomplete Grade tutorial. 
  • A farewell announcement can be used for last-minute instructions or reminders to students and is a great way to thank students and wish them well in their future courses. Review our Create an Announcement in Canvas tutorial if needed.

Let’s walk through it together

Check or Adjust End Date for the Course

  1. Click Settings in the left-hand navigation menu.
  2. Click the Course Details tab along the top of the screen.
  3. Scroll down the page to Participation.
    • The course end date is displayed in the text box under End.
  4. Click on the Calendar icon next to the end date and select a different day if you would like to change the end date.
    • Students will not be able to submit work or interact with the course after this date.
  5. Click Update Course Details in the bottom right-hand corner of the page to save your changes.
  6. Click Grades in the left-hand navigation menu to see the final letter grades each student has in the total column.

Enable Course Grading Scheme

  1. Click Settings in the left-hand navigation menu.
  2. Click the Course Details tab along the top of the screen.
  3. Scroll down the page to Grading Scheme.
  4. Click the checkbox next to Enable Course Grading Scheme.
  5. Click Set Grading Scheme below the checkbox.
    • This will display the default grading scheme. If this is acceptable to you, click Done in the bottom right-hand corner of the pop-up window and skip to step.
  6. Click the Pencil icon in the top right-hand corner of the pop-up window to edit the grading scheme.
    • The left-hand column of text boxes will display the various letter grades students can earn and the right-hand column of text boxes displays the minimum score students need for that grade.
    • You can add new grade options by hovering your cursor in between two grades.
    • You can delete grade options by clicking the X icon to the right of that name.
    • You can edit grade ranges by entering a new minimum value for each grade, which will automatically change the maximum value for the next lowest grade.
  7. Click Save in the bottom right-hand corner when you are finished editing the scheme.
  8. Click Done in the bottom right-hand corner to close the grading scheme menu.
  9. Click Update Course Details in the bottom right-hand corner of the page to save your changes.
  10. Click Grades in the left-hand navigation menu to see the final letter grades each student has in the total column.

Check Due Dates for All Assignments

  1. Click Assignments in the left-hand navigation menu.
  2. Click the More Options (3-Dots) icon in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  3. Click Edit Assignment Dates in the drop-down menu.
  4. Scroll down the page and check that each assignment has an associated Due Date.
    • If a student doesn’t submit work to an Assignment/Quiz/Graded Discussion with no due date, they won’t receive any penalty to their grade. Therefore all graded work needs a due date.
  5. Click Save in the top right-hand corner of the page if you made any changes.

Leave a Closing/Farewell Announcement for Your Students

  1. Click Announcements in the left-hand navigation menu.
  2. Click + Announcement in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  3. Enter a Title.
  4. Enter the Text of the announcement.
    • This could be a general goodbye or possibly instructions related to their final exam, grades, etc.
  5. Click the checkbox next to Delay Posting if you would like to schedule this announcement for the final day of class.
    • Click the Calendar icon in the text field below to select the date and time for the announcement to publish.
  6. Click Save in the bottom right-hand corner of the page.