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Original Article: How do I change the start and end dates for a course?

By default, students can participate in courses within the term start and end dates set for your entire institution. However, as an instructor, you may need to change the participation start and end dates for your course. Dates can be shorter than or overlap the term dates.

Limit User Participation Dates

  • You can limit user participation to certain dates by setting course participation dates. This is called “Soft Concluding” the Canvas Course.

    • Participation means that students can submit assignments, post discussions, upload files, or take part in any other action-based task within a course.

  • If you set course participation dates, students can accept the course invitation, access the course, and look at content, but they cannot fully participate until the first day of the course.

Dashboard Considerations

  • The Student participation dates may also affect courses that have been marked as a favorite and display in the Dashboard.

  • If a course includes course participation dates, students cannot participate in the course after the end date, and the course will be removed from the Dashboard.

Restrict Course Access

  • If you do not want students to view any content in the course until the course start date, Course Settings also allows you to restrict students from being able to access content.

  • You can also choose to restrict all course access after the course has concluded.


Pro Tip: You can only change the course end date when your enrollment is active. Course dates cannot be changed once your enrollment has concluded for the course.


Instructions for editing participation dates:

  • Go to the Canvas Course you wish to edit the participation dates.

  • Select Settings from the Course Navigation Menu.

  • Verify you are on the Course Details Tab.


  • Scroll mid-page to view the Term Participation Dates

  • [1] Courses may be assigned to the Default Term or a specific term.

  • [2] By default, courses are set to follow the term start and end dates set for your entire institution.

  • [3] If the Term option is selected in the Participation drop-down menu, you can view the term start and end dates.



Time Zone Pro-Tip: When setting a start and end date for a course instructors can view local and course time zones set for the course and the local time for the user.


  • To further Restrict Course Access select the check the box next to:

    • “Restrict students from viewing this course before course start date.” and/or

    • “Restrict students from viewing course after course end date.”

  • When selected, the course is inaccessible outside course dates. If course dates are blank, students can participate in the course indefinitely.

  • Click Select the Update Course Details button at the bottom of the screen.


If you cannot edit the Participation Dates of your course, contact the Boise State Help Desk.

To expedite the request, be sure to include the Canvas SIS ID for course and the new Participation Dates you would like.


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