Terms in Canvas

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What Are Terms in Canvas?

In Canvas, a “term” is the length of time when a site is fully active. Courseware Support collaborates with the Courseware Advisory to determine a term’s duration.

When a course must start considerably earlier than a term should begin, that course can be placed in the “Penn Term,” which doesn’t have date restrictions, upon an instructor’s request.

Courses that run a full academic year can be placed in the “Academic Year” term upon an instructor’s request.

Canvas sites are fully available to all enrolled users (faculty, TAs, students, etc.) for the duration of a site’s associated term.

Teachers, TAs, and  Designers are typically granted full access several months before the start of a term

Students are granted access a few weeks before the start of a term

What’s a “Concluded” Canvas Site?

A Canvas site “concludes” once a term ends.

Concluded sites are in a read-only state, which means all enrolled users, including instructors, can access content in the site but cannot perform actions (e.g., students can’t submit assignments in concluded sites).

Upon an instructor’s request, we can place a concluded site in the “Penn Term”to temporarily activate it when necessary.

Example “Penn Term” Scenario:  A student with an “Incomplete” grade needs to submit work, so an instructor writes to Courseware Support (canvas@pobox.upenn.edu) and requests to have a site reactivated temporarily, which is done by placing it in the “Penn Term” in Canvas.

Important: Sites should only be in the “Penn Term” for as long as need due to certain potential risks of leaving it active (e.g., a student who shouldn’t be able to perform actions does [e.g., submits an assignment]).

Concluded sites appear in the “Past Enrollments” list (Courses > All Courses).  Concluded sites cannot be favorited (“starred”), which means they can’t be added as course cards to the User Dashboard.

Current & Upcoming Terms

Academic Year 2020-2021
Term runsAugust 18, 2020-May 17, 2021
Students can access fromAugust 1, 2019-May 17, 2021
Teachers can access fromWhenever-May 31, 2021
TAs can access fromWhenever-May 31, 2021
Designers can access fromWhenever-May 31, 2021
2020B (Summer 2020)
Term runsMay 1, 2020-August 31, 2020
Students can access fromMay 1, 2020-August 31, 2020
Teachers can access fromWhenever-September 30, 2020
TAs can access fromWhenever-September 30, 2020
Designers can access fromWhenever-September 30, 2020
2020C (Fall 2020)
Term runsAugust 18, 2020- January 5, 2021
Students can access fromAugust 1, 2020-January 5, 2021
Teachers can access fromWhenever-February 28, 2021
TAs can access fromWhenever-February 28, 2021
Designers can access fromWhenever-February 28, 2021