Calendars & Schedules

Helping students stay on track

 What are Calendars & Schedules?

Sometimes the terms “course calendar” and “schedule” are used interchangeably.  A class schedule allows the students to see, at a glance, what to read during a module or a week,  and what assignments are due.

A  course calendar can be more of an active space, where you let students sign up for one-on-one office hours or to track  required course meetings.

A section of a Google calendar in month view

How Can I Use Calendars in My Course?

Use Google Calendar  to show students when assignments are due, when reading assignments should be begun, when important discussion elements are ongoing. See the page on how to add a Google calendar to your website for more information.

Create a checklist  to help students stay on track.  A schedule provides students with assignments, due dates, and possible points.  Course Schedule-Student Checklist  example. You can combine purposes with your schedule by providing an extra column for checking off the items. 

Set due dates in your course LMS  to help student stay on track when submitting assignments, posting and commenting on the discussion board or blog, taking quizzes or exams, or performing other assignments and assessments.

In Canvas, each assessment due date will be automatically reflected in the module list. You can also rearrange due dates using the calendar drag/drop feature. 

Due dates show up in the student’s Grades, on their Canvas Dashboard, and in their Canvas mobile app. Updating due dates in Canvas can be a tedious process — you can actually shift all your due dates to a new term when copying the course, but always double-check!

Some of the settings interface of Google Calendar

Questions and Considerations

If you’re teaching an online course it is essential to provide a calendar or a course schedule. Your students need assistance knowing what is due when. They also need encouragement to stay on track.

Where does it reside?  Canvas generates a course schedule and a calendar automatically, based on the due dates you input. We also suggest creating a detailed schedule, with visual design elements to help students navigate it. You can create it within Canvas, or in a Google or Word document, then embed and link it in your course. At the very least, a brief overview of your course schedule should be present in the text of your syllabus.

UAF Faculty Senate Requirements

Research Foundations

Cavanaugh, T., Lamkin, M. L., & Hu, H. (2012). Using a Generalized Checklist to Improve Student Assignment Submission Times in an Online Course. Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 16 (4), 39-44.

King, F. B., Harner, M., &  Brown, S.W. (2000). Self-regulatory behavior influences in distance learning. International Journal of Instructional Media 27(2), 147-155.

Further Resources

Some thoughts on different approaches to creating course calendars, and how students see due dates in your Canvas course.

Madara Mason

Madara Mason

Director, The MIX