Canvas Course Creation Procedures

Canvas support:   

Primary support for Canvas is provided by VanPelt Library staff and they can be reached at

Additional support can be provided by your direct Academic Support staff in your department or from these other resources:  

Curriculum Affairs:
PDM Learning Technologies:
Graduate Education (for DADE course instructor support):

Non-SRS Courses:

A site can be created in Canvas for generally any purpose that you feel would be useful.  Enrollment of teachers, students and observers for this course will need to be completed manually.

To request a Non-SRS Course you will need to send a message to   

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • It is possible to use Canvas for non-course purposes, but we will need some additional information about your intended use case first. Can you please provide this information by answering the following questions? Thank you. Canvas Support at VanPelt Library
  • How do you intend to use the site? (Sharing documents, assessment, research, etc.)  
  • Is there a previous Blackboard site affiliated with your group?  
  • What is the approximate number of participants in the site? 
  • Will all the site participants have PennKeys? PennKeys are required for access to Canvas. 
  • Will you be able to provide the following information for all participants: full names, Penn ID Numbers, PennKey usernames and email addresses (does not have to be a Penn address, just a current valid email address). We require all this information to create user accounts and cannot look up information on behalf of non-course site users due to limited staff time. 
  • What is the approximate lifetime of the site?  
  • When does the site need to be available for users?  
  • Do you want content copied from the PDM New Student Orientation Site (zDM-DENT-001-C2015) into this new site? 
  • Will those managing the site require training, or have they already used Canvas before?    

SRS Courses:

The placeholder for a Canvas site with course name and course number is created in the Canvas system after the course screens are created in SRS by PDM Curriculum Management staff.

Canvas sites are not automatically created for courses at the University of Pennsylvania; they must be requested through the Canvas Course Request Form by faculty, or by TAs or staff on behalf of faculty. For more information on the Canvas site request process, please see these instructions:
Faculty, or staff or TAs on behalf of faculty, are also welcome to send Canvas site requests to Courseware Support at instead of using the Course Request Form.


PDM Canvas courses can be requested before enrollment is ready. Once the enrollment information is submitted to SRS that will connect to the course as detailed below.

Students are enrolled in Canvas sites through an automated process that pulls registration data from SRS. This enrollment feed runs hourly, so each time a student registers for a course, they are added to that course's Canvas site, if one exists, within an hour of their registration. No additional action needs to be taken to add students to Canvas sites for courses in which they are registered. If a Canvas site is created after students have registered for a course, then those registered students are added to the course's Canvas site within an hour of the Canvas site's creation.


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