Creating a new course shell: one shell

This documentation is also available as a Quickstart How-To Video: (Links to an external site.)

1. Go to, and sign in using your SFU credentials.

2. On the right-hand navigation panel, click on Start a New Course.

3. You will then have the option to either Create a Course for Myself [1] or Create a Course for Someone Else [2].

[1] Create a Course for Myself

Once you click on Create a Course for Myself, you will be prompted whether you would like to create a Credit Course [1], a Non-Credit Course [2] or a Sandbox Course [3]. 

[2] Create a Course for Someone Else

By creating a course for someone else, Canvas will prompt you to search for whom you are creating the course by entering their computing ID. Enter the course instructor's SFU Computing ID [1]. You will also have the option to enrol yourself as a "Teacher", "TA" or "Designer" in the course [3]. If one of these roles apply to you, select the appropriate role and select the Enroll Me checkbox [2].

Click the Continue button [4] when done. Once you click on Continue, you will be prompted whether you would like to create a Credit Course [1], a Non-Credit Course [2] or a Sandbox Course [3]. 

[1] Creating a Credit Course

A credit course, also known as a calendar course, is a course that meets the requirements for a certificate or a degree. Student enrolment in a credit course is usually managed automatically.

Once you click on Credit Course, the course creation form will provide you with a list of "suggested" courses [1]. If you see your course there, you can check the box next to the course name, and click the Create Course button [5]. 

If you do not see your course listed, you will need to search for your course by term and course name [2]. Once you have located and selected your course, you need to check the checkbox that appears to the left of the course name below the search field [3]. Once you select the course, it will appear in your list of Selected Courses [4]. This list showcases which course shells will be created when you click Create Course [5]. which is the final step in the course creation process.

[2] Creating a Non-Credit Course

A non-credit course is a course that does not meet the requirements for a certificate or a degree. Student enrolment in a non-credit course is usually not managed automatically.

When creating a Non-Credit course, you have the option of assigning it to a term [1], which will pre-determine your course availability dates for your students (eg. Fall 2013, Spring 2014), or No Term. If you do not select a term, the course will be available to participants indefinitely. Finally, fill in a course name (2), and then click on the Create Non-Credit Course button [3].

[3] Creating a Sandbox Course

A sandbox course is a self-contained course that allows you to experiment with features in Canvas, without affecting real student information. You will see a list of all existing sandboxes which you currently own, and then the option to Create Sandbox. By clicking the Create Sandbox button, Canvas will create a sandbox for you with a generic name and course ID.


New course shell creation can take up to five minutes to be completed - once your course shells have been created, they will show up under the "Courses" area in the black Canvas navigation toolbar.


Instructor inquiries

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