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Course Management

Digital Learning Environment Reminders


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Best Practices for the Semester

As you navigate the semester with Canvas, take a look at these curated videos that address some of the top questions we are receiving through our Service Desk and Office Hours.



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Canvas Third-Party Tools

Several third-party tools are available to use in Canvas at the enterprise and subaccount level by School and College. Stay up to date with all third-party tools in Canvas by browsing our Status page. 



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Digital Learning Environment Reminders

Course sections can be merged via ORCA . We have implemented a merge deadline for each semester to limit potential loss of student data. View the Course Availability in Canvas table for the merge deadlines for each semester.


All About Canvas Shells

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Canvas Shells at a Glance

Shell Type



File Storage Quota

Visibility Duration

Student Enrollments

Associate Roles

Deliver Content

Request Process

Practice Shells PRAC_ Yes 1 GB TBD None None No Upon Request (

Eventually via ORCA
Development Shells DEV_ No (by default); can be added upon request 1 GB TBD None Upon Request ( No Upon Request (

Eventually via ORCA
Storage Shells* ZSTOR_ No 1 GB Through August 2022 None None No View Storage Shell FAQs
Live Shells   Yes 1 GB Last late grading date of each semester Yes Added via ORCA Yes Automatically Provisioned
*For purposes of eCampus Exit only. Not available past August 26, 2021.

Canvas Shell Typology

TAMU Course Definitions 

Course Availability in Canvas


Available in Banner

Date Loaded into Canvas

IOR Course Merge End Date

Absolute Course Merge End Date

Course Start Date

Course End + Available Until* 

Spring 2022 Available 11/15/2021 1/11/2022 1/14/2022 1/18/2022 6/3/2022
Summer 1 2021 Available 4/6/2021 5/24/2021 5/27/2021 6/1/2021 9/3/2021
Summer 10 Week 2021 Available 4/6/2021 5/24/2021 5/27/2021 6/1/2021 9/3/2021
Summer 2 2021 Available 4/6/2021 6/28/2021 7/2/2021 7/6/2021 9/3/2021
Fall 2021 Available 5/3/2021 8/23/2021 8/27/2021 8/30/2021 1/21/2022
*After Course Available Until date have passed, course will be removed from Canvas dashboard for faculty, TAs, and students. These courses will still be available under the All Courses section as a Read only course. 
The above dates are for the main part of term at TAMU; there are unique part of term start dates are not reflected in the table. Instructors have until one week prior to the start of their course to combine sections. For an exact date of when the course will be available to students, please refer to the dates located within the Settings of a course.

Student Interaction in a Course

When a course is published,, the published content is visible to students who are enrolled in the course. However, the course remains in a Read Only state until the first day of the term (set by the part of term start date), at which time students are able to interact with the course content, including posting on Discussions, submitting Assignments, and taking a Quiz. Please note that courses are NOT automatically Published. This needs to be completed by the course instructor.

For a current list of features that can be viewed by instructors and students in the read-only and open states, please view our Course Interactions in Canvas PDF. 

How to Manage the Course Dashboard

 All course roles can manage the courses on their dashboard by using the Star feature under All Courses. Watch the Starring Courses in the Canvas Dashboard (1:38) for additional information.  

Grade Submission to Howdy from Canvas

Use the integration in Howdy to submit grades from Canvas using the steps outlined below. Instructors will first want to review their Canvas course and gradebook setup prior to performing the grade submission in Howdy. As a note, ALL grades must be entered in Canvas (to include 0s where necessary) to ensure accuracy. The integration will assume missing grades are 0s and may lower the grade imported in Howdy, potentially displaying a grade to students in Canvas that differs from what is entered in Howdy. 

The acceptable grading schemes will either be a standard Course Letter Grade (A,B,C,D,F) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U). The Course Letter Grade scheme should not include the plus (+) or minus (-) in order to be imported into Howdy. The grade submission process will pull grades into Howdy from Canvas. Grades can be submitted for final grades and midterm grades (if applicable).


Reviewing Fall 2021 Grades

If you are concerned with Fall 2021 final grades, we recommend exporting the gradebook in Canvas and comparing the Unposted Final Grade column with the Current Grade column. 
  1. Unposted Final Grade column is referenced when submitting grades to Howdy and will assume all missing grades are zeros and will include grades of any columns that are not posted for students (eyeball with the slash). 
  2. Current Grade column matches the Total column located in Canvas but will only include any entered grades or unposted columns. 
If there are any grade discrepancies in these two columns, try the following:
  1. Enter all grades (including zeros) 
  2. Post all grades to students that should be included in the Total grade.
  3. Exclude grades or assignments that should not be included in the Total grade. 
After you have tried the above steps, export the gradebook again and verify the grades have changed and match. 


Howdy Grade Submission

Once the Gradebook in Canvas is set up correctly and reviewed for accuracy, the Instructor of Record or Grade Submitter roles can submit grades to Howdy by pulling Midterm or Final grades from Canvas. If you have multiple sections, you will have to complete these steps for every course section, even if the course is merged in Canvas.

Office of the Registrar Online Grading Instructions for Howdy

What is a Canvas Grade Scheme? 

In Canvas, a grade scheme is a way of organizing student performance into levels of achievement. Grade schemes can include any number of achievement levels. Each achievement level has its own range, and a grade (e.g., A, B, C) or performance indicator (e.g., Excellent, Good, Fair) to represent it. Once the scheme is applied, the achievement level will appear after the numerical grade in the Canvas Gradebook Total column.

Please refer to these Canvas Community resources for step-by-step instructions on how to add a grading scheme in a coursehow to enable a grading scheme for a course, or contact the Office for Academic Innovation for additional support.

Resolving Incompletes Outside of LMS

Course instructors needing to resolve an incomplete have the ability to do so outside of Canvas. Below are suggested strategies and resources depending on the scenario necessitating the “Incomplete.” 

Resolving Incompletes in Canvas

Course instructors can request an incomplete section in Canvas. Please follow the step-by-step guide below: