I’m an instructor in a time zone other than Eastern Time; how will I see due dates in Canvas?

In Canvas, you can set your own time zone as a user; this means that Canvas dates are localized to display to you in your local time zone. For instance, an instructor sets a due date for 11:59pm Eastern Time (while instructors can set a course time zone, Burlington courses should have the time zone set to Eastern regardless of the instructor’s location). A student in the course on the West coast, who set their time zone preferences, will see the assignment as due at 8:59pm. (In temporary situations like flex-hybrid, students may need a reminder to set their time zone.)

How can time zones cause problems within my course?

There are a few potential problems with time zones in a course:

  1. A student in a different time zone has to turn in the assignment at a different time for them to avoid the assignment being late; this may be confusing if you refer to an assignment being due at a specific time in announcements or other communications.
  2. An assignment or activity uses the availability features of Canvas, so a student could be locked out of an activity at an earlier time in their time zone.

How do I avoid access problems due to time zone in my course?

Avoid setting “available until” dates/times. As long as an availability date isn’t set, an assignment can be turned in late. If an assignment is turned in after the due date in Canvas, Canvas will make a note in SpeedGrader that it was late.

What if a student turns in an assignment late?

Champlain College allows instructors the discretion to give students until 11:59pm in their local time zone to turn in an assignment without penalty. If a student on the West coast turns in an assignment at 11:59PM (PST), Canvas will show it as being turned in at 2:59AM (EST) the next day. SpeedGrader will inform you that the assignment was turned in late.

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