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Can Students See My Course and Content?: Home

Canvas settings affecting students' ability to open, view, and interract with a course.

Can Students See My Course and Content?

Can Students See my Course and Content?

The ability of a student to open a Canvas course, see content within that course, and interact with that course content, can be affected by several diferent course settings. The main things to consider are described here.

Make Sure the Course is Published

Course Status Indicator with Status set to "Published"

The green "Published" button should be plainly visible to the instructor near the upper right of the course home page. 

Course Status Indicator with Status set to "Unpublished."

If the Course Status is set to Unpublished, students will not be able to open the course, and so won't be able to see or interact with any of the course contents. 

Make Sure Modules and Items are Published

Canvas course module with green check marks showing module and items within the module are published

With the green check-mark next to the name of an entire module and each item within that module, studens will have access to everything in that module.

Image of module with module marked as unpublished, but content items within it marked as published.

Without the green check-mark to the right of the name of the module, the module as a whole is unpublished. Students will not see the module at all, and will not see any of the items within the module, even if those individual items have a green check-mark.

Image of a module with the image marked as "published", one item within that module marked as unpublished, and another item within that module marked as published.

With a green check mark to the right of the name of the module, the publication status of each individual item takes effect. Here, students cannot see the reading, which is missing the green check-mark, but can see the reaction paper assignment that goes with it, because the reaction paper has a green check-mark.

Dates and Settings Matter Too

In your course, click on "Settings" at the bottom of the Course Menu, which appears in blue. Image of the "Settings" entry at the bottom of the course menu, in blue text
Then click on "Course Details" near the top of the page.  Image of the "Course Details" item near the top of the Settings Page

Scroll down the Course Details page until you see the start and end date and related settings:

Image of the "dates and settings" portion of the Course Details page.

Courses created through the interface from LORA/SIS are initially set up with a start date and end date, and are set to allow student participation only between those dates. By default, the boxes that restrict students from viewing the course outside the date range are left unchecked.


Instructors can change or remove the course start and end dates. Image of the Start and End date boxes with date values in them.
Instructors can check or uncheck the box that limits student participation to within the dates.  Image of the check box labelled "Students can only participate in the course between these dates"
It is recommended that the "Restrict students from viewing" boxes be left unchecked at all time. Image of the two check boxes labelled "Restrict students from viewing this course . . . "


By default, new courses are created in Canvas with a status of published and are set to allow student participation only between the start and end date. Outside of those dates, students can open a Published coursed, read documents, and watch videos, but cannot participate by taking tests, submitting essays, or posting to discussion boards.

If the boxes are checked to restrict a student from viewing the course, the student will not even see the course on their list of courses on Canvas, outside of the date range.