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By default, course start and end dates are set to correspond with each academic semester (Geneseo Academic Calendar). However, as an instructor, you may want to change the start and end dates for your course. For example, if you want to message your students and have them review course content such as the the syllabus before the first day of class, you must Publish and update the course's Starts date.

  1. Enter your course and click Publish in the upper right corner under Course Status to allow students to see course content (Publish changes to Published in green). Courses do not automatically Publish on the first day of class.
  2. Update the course Starts date/time which is found under the Settings tab in the left hand course menu.
  3. Change the date and time in the Starts field, then scroll to the bottom of the page to click on Update Course Details.

Sending Messages before the start of a Semester

Faculty can send a message to their class without having to change the course start date. However, the course does need to be Published first. 

Please keep in mind that if your message is directing your students to view your Syllabus or some other content item in your course -  you will need to Publish and change the course start date in the settings of the course.

Remember: Messaging requires publishing. Messaging and access to course content requires publishing and changing the course start date.

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More Help

For questions about Canvas, contact CIT via our online service desk or email Weekdays between 8am-4pm, you can also contact us via our real-time chat portal.

For tips, tricks, and updates on learning technologies at Geneseo, visit our Educational Technology ChatTo explore Canvas Guides (created by Instructure), visit