Canvas course site visibility settings

This article describes a Canvas visibility setting which instructors with a requested Canvas site may view or modify in the site's Settings tab.  Course visibility is the usual default for enrolled-student access. Any visibility setting change you make becomes effective after you publish your course site. 

Viewing or Changing Visibility Settings for a Canvas Course Site

  1. Click Settings in the course navigation menu (left side on web, or center-top on mobile).
  2. On the Settings > Course Details tab, look for the Visibility drop-down menu:
    Visibility drop down with "Course" visibility selected
  3. Course visibility is the usual default, limiting access to enrolled students as well as those others (TAs, departmental support staff, informal auditors) whom you have authorized or manually granted membership.  This can be changed to either of the following:
    • Institution visibility will allow any logged-in PennKey holder who has the link to your course site to view the content, without interacting or seeing any listed students.
    • Public visibility will allow anyone with the link to your course site to view the content, again without the ability to interact or see student names.
      • Home (and other pages, if the Pages tab is enabled for students)
      • Assignments (without the ability to submit)
      • Files (only those which are published)
      • Quizzes (just the name and due date of published Quizzes only, with no question viewing or submission ability)
      • Syllabus
  4. To save your change, click the Update Course Details button:
  5. If your course is already published, the chosen visibility setting will be effective immediately. Otherwise, it becomes effective when you use the Publish button on the course Home page.

Virtual Shopping Period: What to Expect

During a Canvas Virtual Shopping Period at Penn, students considering adding an undergraduate or full-time MBA course in the current semester will be able to access Institution-visible courses for that semester using PennInTouch, via a link available on the course listing. 

When students are visiting a course’s Canvas site, it is not the same as being registered for the course. Students accessing a course for "shopping" purposes will not appear on the Canvas course roster and they will not be able to participate in the course discussions or submit assignments. 

Students who access a course’s Canvas site while not enrolled in the course will need to ask the instructor for permission to “sit in” on any synchronous class sessions.

After the end of a Virtual Shopping Period, any Institution visibility settings will be automatically changed back to Course (the default). In case you'd like to arrange to keep Institution visibility longer, feel free to request that.