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Canvas Access: What Happens after the Semester Ends - Knowledgebase / Instructional Design & Learning Technology / Canvas - ITS Service Desk

Canvas Access: What Happens after the Semester Ends

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In your Canvas course, does an assignment need regrading to resolve an incomplete?  Do you ever wonder where the course goes once the semester has ended?

When a Canvas course is open and the semester is in session, the course appears in a list found on student and faculty dashboards. This list is shown in a catalog format with the name of the course and course number:


However, once a semester has officially ended, the Canvas course moves into the Past Enrollments section of Canvas.  

When a course is in the Past Enrollments section, students and faculty can no longer complete actions in the site (e.g. submitting assignments), since the term has officially ended. Student access automatically switches to read-only unless the instructor specifically requests otherwise.

Generally speaking, all graduated Penn students retain access to Canvas indefinitely post-graduation because Canvas uses PennKey authentication and PennKeys do not expire. 

However, there are a few factors that could affect students’ access to individual Canvas sites:

  1. Age of the site - Penn has a five-year retention policy for Canvas sites.
  2. Instructor preference - Faculty can ask Courseware Support to enable the "Restrict students from viewing course after end date" setting.  If instructors decide to turn on this setting, students will no longer have access to Canvas once a term is over. View the Canvas article linked here to learn more.

Other than these two scenarios above, graduated students still have read-only access to Canvas sites they were enrolled in as students.

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