My course is longer than a quarter

Last updated: August 15, 2022

If you are the official instructor of record for the course, you should have access to your Canvas course as soon as the official Time Schedule for the upcoming quarter is available. Courses are provisioned for each quarter of the academic year. As the Instructor of record, you will have automatic access to these courses. Students registered for these courses will automatically have access to your Canvas course. Using these courses will make grade submission easier for you in the long run.

The majority of departments at the University of Washington operate on the quarter system. However, some schools and colleges (e.g., University of Washington School of Medicine and the School of Law) have different start and end dates. In cases where you wish to teach a course for longer than an academic quarter, there are a few options for making Canvas work for you.

There are three ways for instructors to use Canvas when teaching a course that runs longer than an academic quarter. You can:

Transfer course content from one quarter to the next quarter

To assist in flow from quarter to quarter, you can easily import content from one Canvas course to another. See instructions that show you how to do this.

Note: Graded assignments and actual discussions do not transfer during the import process.

Using the Weighted Assignment Groups Feature

The assignment groups can help you organize your course in a manner that allows you to control your grading. For example, if you have a three quarter course, you would create one assignment group for each quarter. Then you can set one assignment group to 100% and set the remaining assignment groups to 0%. See instructions that show you how to set up weighted grades: /tools-services-support/teaching-learning/canvas/canvas-help-for-instructors/assignments-grading/weighted-grades/

Once you have set up weighted grades, follow these steps:

  1. Create an assignment group for each quarter during which you will be submitting grades.
  2. Insert all assignments related to each quarter into the corresponding assignment group.
  3. Set the assignment group weight for the current academic quarter to 100% and set assignment groups from other quarters to zero percent.
  4. At the start of the next quarter, change the assignment group weights so that the current quarter is now set to 100% and any other quarters are set to zero percent. GradePage will only count the assignment group currently listed at 100%. All other assignment groups will be weighted as zero and therefore not counted for grading purposes.

Manually create a course for your students

This solution allows your students to remain active even after the quarter has ended. It also provides cumulative grading from the starting quarter through the ending quarter.

  1. Send an email Include the name of the course, a brief description of its purpose, and the UW NetID(s) of any instructor(s).
  2. We will create a course and Canvas will automatically email you an invitation to the course. Your course will appear under your list of Canvas courses in your Canvas account.
  3. You will need to add students to the course by adding individual UW NetIDs, Gmail addresses, or by attaching the UW group to the course. If you are unfamiliar with UW Groups, here is a link to a helpful article:

Note: With this option, you cannot automatically import your grades to the GradePage tool. You will need to input your grades manually using an Excel or .csv document.