This document explains how to use the Unpublished Courses report to generate a list of unpublished Canvas courses in a term. This document also explains how to interpret and utilize that data.
This is a standard report in the Canvas Reports tool that generates a list of all unpublished Canvas courses in a term. Canvas states:
This report shows all the courses for a given term that are not published. The resulting csv file will have one row per course and will show the course id, course sis id, course short name, course name, course start and end dates.
Generally this report will be run at a sub-account level and include a list of unpublished courses in that sub-account.
This report can be used to determine if Canvas courses are not visible to students because they are not published. Your institution may not require instructors utilize Canvas courses created automatically by a Student Information System, but this report can help you remind instructors to publish their courses as necessary.
As a reminder, not publishing a Canvas course is only one of a few different reasons students may not be able to access it. This report can be a useful way to rule out one possible culprit.
This report is safe to distribute as needed. The report is unlikely to contain student information as it only includes the name and reference information of Canvas courses.
UW System data storage policies can be reviewed on our Data Classification Policies page.
This report can be generated by Canvas field admins at the sub-account level:
Chose a particular subaccount and term to analyze.
Navigate to that subaccount’s Settings panel, then the Reports panel.
Select the Configure button next to the Unpublished Courses report.
Select the chosen term in the Term dropdown box in the Configure Report popup panel.
Note: Terms in the DLE are broken out by semester and by institution. For example, if you needed to run a report on the Fall 2019 term for UW-Superior, you would select the “SUP FALL 2019” term.
Select the Run Report button and wait for the report to process.
Once complete, select the blue Download Report arrow icon.
Courses listed in this report are currently unpublished in Canvas. The Short Name column can be used to analyze the entries by department or program. Courses that have a Starts date or Ends date applied are likely unpublished temporarily or were accidentally left unpublished.
Remember that some Canvas courses will intentionally be left unpublished. Instructors may decide to not use a Canvas course, need to temporarily suspend access, or plan to publish a Canvas course to students later in the term.
The Unpublished Courses report can be cross-referenced against the Unused Courses report to determine which courses were intentionally left unpublished. If an instructor leaves a course entirely blank there probably isn’t a need to publish the course unless students expect to see all of their enrollments in Canvas, blank or otherwise.