May 2018 Ed Tech Update

Illustration: Ed Tech Update
April 28, 2018

Learn about the Canvas timeline, manual enrollment, final grades, site provisioning, sites at end of semester, and site reuse.

Canvas Transition Timeline

The transition from Moodle to Canvas is underway. Moodle will continue to operate as usual for the next academic year; however, instructors wanting to deliver course sites using the centrally supported learning management system will need to use Canvas starting in fall of 2019.

View the transition timeline and get more details.

Manual Enrollment of Students in Canvas

Currently, there are two ways that students are added to a Canvas course site: (1) automatically, based on the student's class registration in PeopleSoft, or (2) manually by the instructor or other Canvas administrator. Starting August 15, 2018, instructors will no longer be able to manually enroll or directly add students into PeopleSoft associated Canvas course sites. However, alternative solutions have been identified.

While there are many instances where having the ability to manually enroll a student has been useful, the University of Minnesota is required to address the risks associated with bypassing PeopleSoft - risks to both students and the University. These risks include inaccurate data, Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) violations, and Higher Learning Commission (HLC) violations.

In response to these risks, please refer to Adding Students to Canvas Course Sites for an outlined series of manual enrollment use-cases that were common in Moodle and their recommended alternative in Canvas.

Please note, the process for adding instructors and teaching assistants is not changing at this time. We encourage you to work with your department scheduler to update course information in PeopleSoft as appropriate. Instructor roles such as 'teaching assistant' can still be directly added in Canvas.

If you have questions about these new procedures, please reach out to your college or unit Canvas contact or email

Sending Final Grades

Unlike the Moodle grade submitting process, the current process to send grades from Canvas to PeopleSoft Faculty Center does require additional manual steps you need to be familiar with. Please review the instructions for how to get final grades from Canvas to PeopleSoft.

Please note this is a temporary process, and the Canvas transition team is working to simplify it. We will share those details when they are available for future semesters.

As another option, you may still manually enter grades into Faculty Center.

Canvas Course Site Provisioning

Instructors do not need to request Canvas course sites each semester, like they do with Moodle, but instructors will need to import their Canvas content each semester. Auto-generation of unpublished Canvas course sites for upcoming terms will take place on the following dates each year:

  • Fall term: April 16
  • Spring term: August 1
  • Summer term (including May term): January 3

Note: Students are auto-enrolled into Canvas course sites (tied to PeopleSoft) towards the beginning of a term. Course sites will not be visible to enrolled students until the site is published. Once students are added to course sites, class rosters will be updated every 10 minutes.

A Canvas Site Provisioning and Enrollment Calendar provides the full schedule.

What Happens to Canvas Course Sites at the End of the Semester?

On May 27, 2018 students will have read-only access to your course site and will no longer be able to participate (i.e. discussions, collaborative pages, etc.). You can change the settings for your own course at any time to remove students' read-only access. Also on this date, courses for the Spring 2018 semester will no longer appear on the Canvas dashboard. You and your students can find Spring 2018 courses by selecting Courses in Canvas global navigation, and then selecting the All Courses link.

Reusing Your Course Site Content for Future Semesters

If you will be teaching your class in a future semester, you can import it into the semester's new placeholder course site when it's made available. Reminder: course placeholder sites are based on PeopleSoft data and will show up on your dashboard if you are assigned as an instructor in PeopleSoft. Your Fall 2018 courses should appear on your dashboard now and Spring 2019 courses will start to appear on August 1, 2018 when your department or college has entered the teaching assignments in PeopleSoft.

To move an existing Canvas course site to a new semester's site, see how to copy content from another Canvas Course.