Access to Four Years of Courses in CoursePlus
In January 2019, we updated CoursePlus to provide access to three academic years of courses, up from two years of access for over a decade. Since that time, a number of people have asked why we can't allow access to four years of courses — particularly students studying for comprehensive exams. Access to four years of courses is also important because a number of part-time MPH students (or other masters students) need four years to complete their degree. Having access to four years of courses would also bring us in line with course access policies inside of Canvas, the learning management system used by the rest of the University.
CoursePlus now gives students, faculty, and staff access to CoursePlus sites for a maximum of four academic years. Therefore, if a student takes a course in the second term of AY2022-2023, the student has access to that course site through May 31, 2026 — four full academic years. This change is also retroactive, so everyone now has access to CoursePlus sites from the 2019-2020 academic year as well.
While it would be wonderful to offer access to any course taken by any student at any time (or set up by any faculty member at any time), there are finite resources at play which make keeping sites available indefinitely difficult. We must balance the need for fast access to the sites for currently running courses with the need of a much smaller population to access courses which ran in the past. We also cannot keep all student activity or course data for all time due to the cost and complexity of keeping that data indefinitely.
Remember also that CoursePlus provides tools for students, faculty, and staff to quickly download all files in an Online Library, or the content of online lectures — the very materials most people have requested when wanting to view courses from five, six, or more years in the past.
We hope that access to four academic years worth of courses will help everyone access the content they need from CoursePlus, when they need it.