Course Management

QUICK TIP: Use Course Analytics For Insight Into Student Activity

It can be hard to know just how much students are actually using your Canvas course, or what content is accessed the most, or the least.

Every course includes access to a Course Analytics report that displays course activity, assignment submission timing, grade distribution, student activity, and more.

NOTE: Currently, analytics does not measure student activity from within the Canvas Mobile app.


Sample course analytics graph


See the Canvas Guides:

How do I view Course Analytics?
How do I view analytics for a student in a course?


Allow Early Course Access To Students

Sunrise over road with treesOfficial courses in Canvas are automatically set to allow students access on the first scheduled day of class at 7am.

However, faculty may adjust dates to allow early access for students, if needed.

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Using The Attendance Tool

Hands raised

Canvas includes a built-in Attendance tool, which can be used to easily record and track classroom attendance.

The Attendance tool is not active by default, and must be enabled by the instructor.

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Preparing For A New Semester – Checklist

Back To School - image of books and chalkboardEach new semester brings changes.  After copying over content from a previous semester, take the time to go through your courses and update any old or irrelevant information, clarify things that might have generated questions last semester, remove unused or unwanted content, fix typos, and generally make improvements. 

Are there changes to the syllabus?  New edition of the textbook?  Are you ready to try using a new tool in your Canvas course?  Want to try SoftChalk?  How about integrating with publisher content?  Need to improve any assignment instructions?

Make changes before the new semester begins, so your students have the most accurate and effective content!

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Preparing For A New Semester – Adjust Dates

Harold Lloyd hanging from clock tower.Dates are an important part of any course, and must be updated to reflect the timing and schedule of a new semester.  Due dates affect when students are allowed to submit work, and content Availability dates allow instructors fine control of student access to content.

Canvas at Butte College includes  Adjust-All, a third-party tool that adds the ability to manage and adjust dates throughout a Canvas course from a single page.

With Adjust-All you can:

  • edit Due dates
  • edit Availability dates
  • edit Module lock dates
  • change dates for Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes and Announcements
  • bulk Publish or Unpublish modules and content items

Adjust-All is available in all courses, and can be accessed from the Course Menu.

screenshot, Adjust-All

See: Adjust-All User Guide

NOTE: The Adjust-All menu item is NOT visible to students.

Preparing For A New Semester – Import Course Content

Don't wait until tomorrow!Faculty can reuse course content from one semester to the next by simply importing content from an old course into a new course.

Official courses (with students enrollments) are created two weeks before the first day of each term.

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How To “Publish” A Course

Antique printing pressCan your students see your course?

A course can either be “Published” or “Unpublished,” as determined by the instructor.  When official courses are first created, they are not in a Published state.  Instructors with course content should Publish the course prior to student access.


Courses are not published automatically.  You must publish your course to make it available!

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QUICK TIP: Student View

binocularsInstructors may preview a Canvas course as a student at any time.  This is an essential part of developing and testing a course before it is actively used by students.

While in Student View, the instructor may navigate the course content, submit assignments, post to discussions, take quizzes, and more.  

Whether you are just learning Canvas or are an experienced user, taking the time to examine your course as a student is an important part of understanding how to best use the tools effectively.

See the Canvas Guide:

What is Student View?

How do I enable Student View?

Import Content From Another Course

import_stampImporting content (which is simply anything you build in a course) is an essential task when using Canvas.

An instructor will always need to copy content from one course to another for a variety of reasons.

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Manage Your Email Notifications From Canvas

email_graphic_manyCanvas automatically sends email notifications to students and instructors to alert them to activities within a course.  There are many actions that can trigger a notification, such as changing a Due Date, an assignment submission, new grades posted, and so on.  Some are important, many are helpful, while others may seem unnecessary.

You control which actions send an email notification, as well as how often an email is sent.

See the Canvas Guide:

How do I set my Notifications preferences?