Course Availability

Publish a Canvas Course

Before students will have access to a Canvas course, the course must be published. Publish Course acts as an on/off switch. 

For students to access a course, the following must be true:

  1. The first day of class has come (according to the JSU Academic Calendar), and
  2. The course is published

On the Canvas homepage, click on the "Publish" button. Once published, the button will change to a shade of green and read as "Published."

Publish Course Button

Early Course Access

Instructors can open a course early in "View-Only Mode." In view-only mode, students may view the syllabus, and review required materials and texts, but cannot submit assignments, quizzes, or complete work within the course until the official start date of classes (according to the JSU Academic Calendar). A simple selection in Course Settings is all that is required to place the course in 'view-only' mode.

To enable "View-Only Mode,' complete the following steps:

  1. Click on Settings [1] in the Canvas course navigation menu in the Canvas course.
  2. On the details page, uncheck "Restrict students from viewing this course before start date [2].
  3. Allow students continued access to a course after the course end date by unchecking "Restrict students from viewing this course after end date" [2].
  4. Click on "Update Course Details" [3].

Open Course Early in View Only Mode

Closing a Course

Each Canvas course closes at the end of the semester according to the JSU Academic Calendar. No further action from an instructor is required.


Situations may occur in which students must continue to complete coursework to finish course requirements after receiving an "Incomplete." Please contact Online@JSU at to request an incomplete course section for your student(s).