At a Glance

This End-of-Term Checklist is a road map for teaching teams. It will walk you through tying up loose ends in your Canvas Gradebook, exporting final grades to MIT’s Online Grading System (OGS), unpublishing time-sensitive course content, and keeping or removing the course from your Canvas Dashboard. We’ve also included tips for reflecting on the semester and planning for future iterations of the course. Our team highly recommends using this resource to set yourself up for success—both at the end of the semester and the next time you teach this course.

Note: The steps outlined below are optional. Contact us if you have any questions.

Part 1: Review Your Gradebook

The first step is to verify your students’ grades and then download a copy of your gradebook for temporary review. 

Review Your Gradebook

Review the grades entered in Canvas and verify that all assignments have been graded for all students.  

By default, unsubmitted (missing) assignments are NOT treated as a zero in the Canvas Gradebook and will be ignored by the “Totals” column.  

  • If you use the “Totals” column to calculate your students’ final grades, we recommend entering zeroes for any unsubmitted assignments in your Canvas Gradebook.  
  • For step-by-step instructions, see How do I enter and edit grades in the Gradebook? 

Note: By default, MIT Sloan students cannot see their total grade in the “Totals” column, but they can see grades for individual assignments. Only members of the teaching team can view the “Totals” column in the Gradebook. 

Download a Copy of Your Gradebook

If you want to keep a copy of the Gradebook for temporary review, you can export scores from the Gradebook and download them to your computer as a CSV file at the end of the semester.   

For step-by-step instructions, see How do I export grades in the Gradebook? 

Part 2: Export Your Final Grades

The MITSIS Grade Export tool allows you to export a final grade CSV file from Canvas for submission to MIT’s Online Grading System (OGS).  

  • The MITSIS Grade Export tool is only accessible to Faculty and Course Admins. Teaching Assistants cannot access this tool.  
  • The MITSIS Grade Export tool displays the calculated grade from your Canvas Gradebook and allows you to input a final letter grade and comments.  
  • For step-by-step instructions, see How to Export Your Final Grades Using the MITSIS Grade Export Tool in Canvas. 

Note: For questions about grading policies or MIT’s Online Grading System (OGS), contact Sloan Educational Services.  

Tip: Once your final grades have been submitted in OGS, consider adding an announcement in Canvas or sending an email to let students know that their final grades have been posted. 

Part 3: Unpublish Course Content

If there is any course content that students should not access after the semester ends (e.g., Homework solutions, exam answer keys), you can unpublish modules and files in your Canvas site as needed.  

For step-by-step instructions, see: 

Part 4: Adjust the Course End Date

By default, courses in Canvas inherit MIT’s term start and end dates. After the term ends, your course will close and become “read-only,” which means: 

  • your course will no longer appear on your Canvas Dashboard (unless you’ve favorited it); 
  • members of the teaching team can no longer post announcements, add or edit course content, grade student work, or change course settings; and 
  • students can view course content and their grades, but can no longer participate in the course (e.g. Submit assignments, post to discussion boards).  

However, you can extend the end date for a course until the last day of the term as needed.  

Part 5: Customize Your Canvas Dashboard

The next step is to keep or remove your course from your Canvas Dashboard. 

All courses that you are enrolled in for the current term are available on your Canvas Dashboard. After a term ends, these courses are automatically removed from the Dashboard, but you can access past courses from the All Courses page 

To keep a course on your Canvas Dashboard, mark it as a favorite by clicking on the Star icon [1].

Screenshot of the All Courses page in Canvas

  • This action cannot be taken retroactively. You cannot favorite a course after the term ends. You must favorite the course while the term is current. 
  • Once you favorite at least one course, your Canvas Dashboard will only display favorited courses. Canvas will continue to automatically favorite new course enrollments.  

To remove a course from your Canvas Dashboard, unfavorite it by clicking the Star icon [2 – above]. 

For step-by-step instructions, see: 

Part 6: Reflect and Plan

That’s a wrap! The term just ended and grades are in. Now what? 

Here in STS, we’d suggest that you first take some time to celebrate your successes. Then you can take a step back and ask a couple important questions: First, what did you learn from your students and your teaching experiences this term?  Second, how will you apply that knowledge to improve your course in the future? 

What did you learn this term?

Consider taking a structured approach to reflection. In his book Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, Stephen Brookfield proposes four lenses for examining your teaching (adapted from the Berkely Center for Teaching & Learning’s “Reflective Teaching” post): 

How will you improve your course in the future?

Just like your students, you learned and grew over the course of the semester. Now, think about how you’ll strategically adjust your teaching methods and approaches based on what you learned. Consider these areas: 

  • Teaching strategies: Did students struggle with any specific course concepts or materials? Can you incorporate new teaching strategies to help them better engage with those concepts? To learn about high-leverage teaching methods, you can explore the Instructional Moves website from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Pedagogies and Strategies page from the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching.  
  • Aligning Objectives, Activities, and Assessments: How well did the class activities and assignments align with your learning goals and/or course objective(s)? To learn more about aligning activities with objectives, see “Align Assessments, Objectives, Instructional Strategies” from Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation. 
  • Information sharing: Are there additional course policies or campus resources that you’d like to add to the syllabus or Canvas course site? 

The end of the term is a valuable moment to reflect on your course and plan for future iterations. You can improve both your and your future students’ class experiences by reflecting on your course and planning for future iterations. 

References

Carnegie Mellon University. (n.d.). Align assessments, objectives, instructional strategies. Align Assessments, Objectives, Instructional Strategies – Eberly Center – Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/alignment.html 

Instructional moves. Instructional Moves. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://instructionalmoves.gse.harvard.edu/ 

Mcdaniel, R. (1970, January 14). Pedagogies & Strategies. Vanderbilt University. Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/teaching-guides/pedagogies-and-strategies/ 

Reflective teaching. Reflective Teaching | Center for Teaching & Learning. (2020, December 15). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://teaching.berkeley.edu/news/reflective-teaching 

The UDL guidelines. UDL. (2022, September 2). Retrieved March 20, 2023, from https://udlguidelines.cast.org/