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What is course selection period (formerly “shopping period”) in Canvas?

During course selection period (formerly known as “shopping period”), some schools allow students to visit an unlimited number of courses to help decide in which they would like to enroll. During this time, students are able to participate in the course sites before formally enrolling and members of the Harvard community are able to view sites that might otherwise be visible only to the class.

For these schools, Canvas courses will be viewable to all authenticated Harvard ID holders (and XID holders who have previously been enrolled in a course) for a period of time specified by each school. During this time, Harvard ID holders will be able to view some course content, including: Modules, Assignments, Pages, Files, and Quizzes, but they will not be able to participate in the site.

In order to participate in a course before formally enrolling, students can go to my.harvard and add the course to their Crimson Cart (formerly known as the Study Card). They will be assigned the “Prospective Enrollee” role in the course site, enabling them to participate in the course by submitting assignments, watching lecture videos, posting in discussions, taking quizzes, receiving grades, etc. They will not be able to see the list of other students via the People tab or to send messages to individual course members.

Please note: during course selection period, student contributions in discussions and chats may be visible to other students, regardless of students’ FERPA statuses. (Private assignment submissions will never be visible to anyone except members of the teaching staff.)

Students should review their Crimson Cart in my.harvard to view the courses they have additional access to during course selection period. If students are no longer interested in participating in a course and want to stop receiving notifications for a course, they can remove it from their Crimson Cart.

Students

How do I participate in a course site before formally enrolling in the course?

To participate in a course site during course selection period, go to my.harvard and add it to your Crimson Cart. You will then be able to submit assignments, post in discussions, take quizzes, receive grades, etc. However, since you will be considered a “Prospective Enrollee” and not an enrolled student, you will not be able to see the list of other students via the People tab or be able to send messages to individual course members.


How do I remove myself from a course I’m no longer interested in?

If you are no longer interested in participating in a course, remove it from your Crimson Cart in my.harvard. You will stop receiving notifications about the course and will no longer be able to post assignments, participate in discussions, take quizzes, etc.

Why am I receiving so many notifications?  And what can I do about it?

You may receive email notifications from any course in your Crimson Cart.

You can change the frequency of these notifications by visiting your Canvas Notification Preferences page. Note that changes will be applied across all of your courses in Canvas, not to individual courses.

What if I have formally enrolled in a course?

If you have officially enrolled in a course through my.harvard, you are considered a Student or Guest in a course and will have full student access to the course site.

Teaching Staff

How do I know if students can participate in my course during course selection period (formerly “shopping period”)?

Teaching staff will see the following message in their course sites during course selection period, alerting them that there maybe be “Prospective Enrollees” (formerly “Shoppers”) in their class list.

Please note: during course selection period, student contributions in discussions and chats may be visible to other students, regardless of students’ FERPA statuses. (Private assignment submissions will never be visible to anyone except members of the teaching staff.)


What if I don't want Prospective Enrollees in my course?

Please contact your local academic support staff if you do not want students to be able to view or participate in your course site during course selection period.

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