Canvas Time Zone FAQs

Original Article:

This article is written for faculty, but the information is useful for students with Time Zone questions too.

I am a user in a different time zone than the rest of my class; 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. 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.)

Pro Tip: Set your time zone preferences to match that of the school’s.

How can time zones cause problems within a course?

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

  • 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 the instructor refers to an assignment being due at a specific time in announcements or other communications.

  • 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 faculty 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?

In this example the assignment due date is 11:59pm (EST). 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 the instructor that the assignment was turned in late.

Relevant Information

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