Canvas Information and Resources

LMS Course Life Cycle for Online Courses

  • Instructors, use this roadmap to plan for and manage your courses, teaching materials, grades, and student activity in CSU’s online learning systems.
  • College and Department staff, use this model to understand how CSU maintains online courses and data for instructors and students.

Two online learning systems for CSU

  • Canvas Courses: CSU began using Canvas for a few courses in Fall 2014, some courses in Spring and Summer 2015, and nearly all courses in Fall 2015. Starting in Spring 2016, all online courses will be in Canvas.
  • RamCT Courses: CSU retires RamCT/Blackboard in 2016; it will no longer be available after May 31, 2016. Plan ahead for RamCT retirement!

Canvas Course Life Cycle

1. Course creation

Courses are created systematically for all graded sections, for instructors!

2. Teaching assignments

After Department Schedulers enter their instructors’ teaching assignments into ARIES, then instructors can see their courses in Canvas within 12 hours.

3. Enrollments

Enrollments for instructors and students are sent from ARIES (CSU’s student information system), three times daily, Mon-Sat and twice on Sundays. Other users with a CSU eID can be enrolled manually.

4. Content preparations

Instructors prepare course content, either developing it new right in their teaching shell, or copying course content from a previous course.

5. Course dates for students

  • Courses open/close systematically for students, at the start/end dates on the course.
  • Instructors can adjust the start/end dates as needed.

6. Active courses and retention

Academic courses (with content and student grades/activity) are kept online in the production online learning system for two years after the course was taught. During this time:

7. Course deletion

Academic courses (with content and student grades/activity) are permanently removed from the online learning system two years after the course was taught, in order to remove unnecessary courses for instructors in a timely way, and for better system performance.

  • Deletions are performed twice a year; a notice is emailed to instructors a few weeks in advance.
  • If grades or content are needed beyond the 2-year cycle, instructors can download them for easy reference.
    How to: Please store grades securely.
  • For courses that need an exception to the 2-year deletion cycle, instructors can work with their college’s LMS coordinator.
Course Deletion Schedule
Courses by Semesters Deletion Date  
All MIGRATED courses (MIG- prefix) June 2017
2014 FA (pilot) and 2015 SP, SM & FA January 2018
2016 SP June 2018
2016 SM & FA January 2019
2017 SP June 2019
2017 SM & FA January 2020