UNF Center for Instruction and Research Technology


Ending the Semester

About this Collection

Collections offer curated content for UNF professors on practices, platforms, or tools. CIRT collects information from our own Knowledge Base, from official support communities, and from other reputable sources in order to bring you the best in a single location.

Within this collection, we provide information to answer the most common questions regarding end of term processes in Canvas, such as finalizing grades, and we provide tips to help you set yourself up for an easy transition to the next term.

Schedules and Timelines

There are many tasks to undertake when wrapping up a semester, and concluding a course can seem overwhelming. Keeping track of important dates and knowing when specific tasks can and should take place is essential to closing out a semester successfully. Aside from scheduling final exams and submitting final grades, faculty may also want to make a note of things like when textbook orders for the next term are due. In addition to the UNF Master Calendar, Academic and Student Affairs publishes a webpage that lists important dates for faculty by semester as a quick reference for busy instructors. 

Finalizing Grades in Canvas

Finalizing grades at the end of a term is a multi-step process that begins in the Canvas gradebook. The following steps should be taken to make sure the final grade in Canvas is averaged correctly.

Grades on assignments where the posting policy has been set to “manual” have been hidden from students. Because these policies are often set at the beginning of a term, they are sometimes overlooked after an assignment has been graded. One final sweep to make sure all grades have been posted can ensure grades are visible to students and avoid confusion about how final grades are calculated at the end of a term.

Still waiting on students to submit last minute assignments? Use the Gradebook to send messages to students that are filtered based on certain criteria. Compose one message to send to individual students simultaneously to give that one last push for assignment submissions.

Student scores visible in the “Total” column of the Canvas gradebook represent the current score – a running total that includes only graded assignments. If there are any assignments for which a grade has not been entered, the current score may be skewed. You can easily add a grade to assignments that have not been submitted by setting a default grade for specific assignment columns. View our support document that outlines the differences between the Canvas Gradebook current score and final score for more details.

You can export scores from the Gradebook and download them to your computer as a CSV file. Besides acting as a backup that can be stored in a secure location, this export can help you determine if there are any score anomalies that need to be rectified before reporting grades. The CSV download includes read-only columns for current and final scores. As mentioned above, the current score reflects the total while ignoring unsubmitted assignments, and the final score counts unsubmitted assignments as zero. Assignments with hidden scores are unposted grades and shown in separate columns.

Scantron Services

Scantron tests can be a convenient solution for instructors of high enrollment courses who don’t wish to spend a lengthy amount of time grading exams, because the scoring and reporting functions of the Remark software help to automate much of the process. CIRT provides three types of Scantron services in order to support instructors with unique needs or schedules. Visit our Scantron Collection to learn more about technical details, affordances and constraints, and service options.

Final Grade Transfer Tool

The UNF Grade Transfer Tool was specifically developed by UNF to assist faculty with the process of transferring student grades from a Canvas course to myWings and submitting final grades through Banner Self-Service. The UNF Grade Transfer Tool is available from the course navigation menu in every Canvas course, and it can be used while the window to submit final grades in Banner is open. Our support document on the UNF Grade Transfer Tool covers everything you need to know about the process.

Extending Course Access

Enrolled students retain access to their Canvas shells for 14 days after the course closes in Banner. Once courses are concluded, they move to the Past Enrollments list. Students can view courses in a read-only state, but cannot submit assignments, contribute to discussion forums, or send Canvas Inbox messages. If you wish to hide a course from students, you can restrict access. If you need to provide extended access to all students, extend the course end date. If you need to provide extended access only to certain students, follow the steps in our support doc Canvas / Extending Student Access.

Preparing for Next Semester

The end of a term is a fine time to begin prepping for the next one. Streamlining your Canvas account will prepare you to hit the ground running. Here are a few ideas to help you clean up your digital Canvas clutter.

  • Clean the Inbox: Archive old messages in the Conversations Inbox so that you can start the new semester with a clean slate; this allows you to keep messages but removes them from your inbox.
  • Customize the Course List: Remove concluded courses from the dashboard. Don’t worry – you can still access these courses from your Past Enrollments list.
  • Course Copy: Course shells are created automatically in Canvas based on the course schedule. Read our blog post on Importing Course Content in Canvas for general guidelines and pro-tips on copying content from one course to another.
If you’re considering ways to refresh your online course before the start of the next semester, our Instructional Designers have you covered! Check out our blog post, Five Quick Online Course Refresh Tips. And, if you are interested in really taking your course to the next level, schedule a consultation with your department’s dedicated instructional design liaison
Ending the Semester
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