Request a Non-OPUS Canvas Course

Emory's Canvas users may request non-OPUS courses for use in a variety of contexts, and such requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Teaching & Learning Technologies to determine if Canvas is an appropriate fit. Requests are evaluated regularly and additional information may be requested to ensure an appropriate fit for Canvas. Please note: OPUS courses are created in Canvas automatically.

The primary purpose for the Canvas learning management system is to support the teaching and learning mission of the university. Requests for non-OPUS courses that will be unusually difficult to support may be refused based on that criterion.

What requests don’t fit in Canvas?

There are certain use cases where requests for Non-OPUS Canvas courses will be denied. These include:

  • Public-facing web sites: Canvas isn’t designed or supported as a web content management system and shouldn’t be used to create public-facing sites for departments, labs or other initiatives.
    Alternative: follow the website guidelines from Communications and Marketing.
  • Administrative document repositories: Canvas’s file management tools are designed to be used in the context of course delivery and are not replacements for more robust file storage options, and Canvas is not designed or supported to store financial, HR, health or other sensitive data.
    AlternativeOneDrive for Business is the officially supported tool for Emory document storage and collaboration.
  • Formal certification and training: Canvas can’t track completion of employee certification or training in an auditable way.
    Alternative: visit the Human Resources learning page to find contact information for the department of Learning and Organizational Development.
  • External-facing collaborations: Access to Canvas is solely available for users with university NetIDs. If non-Emory users need access to the course, they will need sponsored accounts.
    Alternative: Many supported collaboration products exist with a variety of use cases and options, including Office 365, Zoom, SharePoint and Confluence.
  • Student Organizations: Student organizations use The Hub, a dedicated platform for web sites.
  • Healthcare initiatives: Canvas is only licensed for university students, faculty and staff for academic use.
    Alternative: Emory Healthcare has a separate instance of Canvas intended for specific training uses.
  • Sensitive data: Canvas is not certified for Protected Health Information and is not an appropriate location for patient, human resources, financial, staffing, or other protected information. As a learning management system, it is designed for learner-facing course management.
    Alternative: Consider OneDrive for Business or other services approved for such uses.
  • Administrative intranet sites: Canvas is designed for academic course delivery and does not provide tools optimized for many of the tasks departments demand from intranet or groupware products.
    AlternativeMicrosoft 365 applications, such as Teams and SharePoint, will provide a better intranet experience.

Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups can support mass messaging, document sharing, calendar and event sharing, planning, workflows, surveys. Groups can be a more appropriate or robust choice than Canvas for some audiences and use cases. You can view Office 365 groups by logging in to and looking for Groups on the left menu. Request a group via your local computing support

Non-OPUS Course Policies

Course Retention

Teaching & Learning Technologies reviews Non-OPUS courses annually and deletes courses having any of these conditions:

  • No user activity in the prior six months,
  • No content added six months after course creation, or
  • No enrollments six months after course creation.

External Integrations

Requests for new external LTI integrations for non-OPUS courses will be not be supported. Non-OPUS courses will, where licensing allows, have access to enterprise-licensed integrations within Canvas.

Request a Canvas Course