Before the Course Start Date
Published v Unpublished Courses
Canvas courses exist primarily in two states: published and unpublished. A published course is one that appears in your dashboard automatically, and with which you can interact. An unpublished course will not allow student interaction, as the professor has chosen not to allow students to use the course yet. This is typically the case before the course begins, while your instructor is still working on building the content of the Canvas course. If a course does not appear in your dashboard, you can go to Courses→ All Courses and refer to the right-most column to confirm that it is unpublished.
Course not using Canvas
Canvas courses are created automatically from registration information in Banner, but that does not mean your professor will choose to use the course. Canvas is not mandatory, so your professor may not use it to teach the course. If your course appears unpublished significantly after the start date for a course requiring in-person instructor-student interaction, it is likely your professor is not using Canvas and the course will remain unpublished. However, we recommend talking with your instructor about their use of Canvas before assuming this scenario as, in many cases, instructors may still be in the process of building their course.
Course is Unpublished
If your professor is using Canvas, they can build their course while it is unpublished, preventing students from viewing and interacting with the course before it is ready to go. If a course is unpublished, it will not appear in your dashboard. Courses built in this way will be published anytime from a few weeks before the course begins to a few days after the start date, as it is up to the professor's discretion to decide when the course is ready to go. Be patient. Again, if you are taking an in-person course and the course has not been published significantly after the course start date, it is likely your professor has chosen not to use Canvas. But again, we recommend students make sure their instructor is not planning on using Canvas before assuming this scenario.
During Course Dates
Many instructors tend to publish their courses for student use throughout the term. If this is the case and you are unable to view the course on your dashboard, it may be due to dashboard course settings. Many students may accidentally change these settings so that only certain courses appear while other student accounts may be setup that way. In order to manually change which courses appear on your dashboard:
- Click on the "Courses" tab on the global navigation sidebar.
- Click on the "All Courses" link located towards the bottom.
- Select and de-select the courses which are desired to appear on the dashboard.
- To select and de-select, click on the stars, located in front of the course name. When stars are selected, they turn orange.
- Go to your dashboard to confirm that it is set up how you it.
Note: Once you manually favorite courses once, even if it is only one course, Canvas will favorite all newly published courses for the future. Therefore, these courses will change every new term as long as you are enrolled in courses. Lastly, you can favorite an unlimited amount of courses, as long as these are published.
After the Course End Date
You can still view a concluded course in read-only format under Courses→ All Courses. If you need to access submissions from a concluded course, refer to this tutorial on viewing and downloading past submissions.