Support Center

Managing Enrollments in Canvas at the Start of the Term: Faculty

Last Updated: Apr 11, 2017 05:09PM PDT

Students are frequently waitlisted for courses or have to wait for state employee fee waiver deadlines to pass. In order to allow students to access Canvas course content while still complying with FERPA and District attendance policies, the recommended process for allowing students to access Canvas course content is to make the course publicly visible.

Public visibility allows users with the URL for the course to view your course in a read-only state. They are not able to actively participate in the course, nor are they able to view the participation of any enrolled students. Any assignment submissions would have to be sent directly to you via email or another route.

For more detailed information about what users can see and do in a public Canvas course, refer to this Canvas Course Visibility Options document.

Using the course visibility setting

  1. Configure the course visibility setting
    1. The "Institution" setting will only allow users who are logged into Canvas at South and who also have the direct course URL to view your course. 
    2. The "Public" setting allows anyone with the course URL to view your course. We recommend that you use Public, as there is no guarantee that your students will already have Canvas accounts at South. 
  2. Go to the homepage of your course. Copy the course URL
  3. Share the URL with your students. Your URL should look something like this:
  4.  After tenth day, or once enrollment issues are resolved, return the visibility setting to "Course." This will help to prevent confusion--students viewing the public URL for the course won't be able to submit work to the course. Setting the visibility to "Course" will require all students to login to Canvas to be able to see the course. 

Testing course visibility

To insure that students can access your content, it is recommended that once you have set your course visibility to Public,

  1. Copy the course URL.
  2. Log out of Canvas.
  3. While logged out, attempt to view your course using the course URL.
  4. Once you're sure that students will be able to access the necessary content, share the course URL with your students who aren't yet enrolled in the course. 

Find the most up-to-date version of this article at
seconds ago
a minute ago
minutes ago
an hour ago
hours ago
a day ago
days ago
Invalid characters found