Canvas @ Yale

Requesting Non-Academic Canvas Courses (Project Sites)

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Canvas @ Yale can support the creation and facilitation of non-academic Canvas courses, otherwise known as "project sites," to fulfill a wide range of Yale community use cases. Project sites must be requested and will be honored on a case by case basis. Please review the guidelines before you submit a request for a project site.

Requesting a Project Site

If your project site needs align with the Project Site Terms and Conditions listed below in this article, please fill out the Project Site Request Form to begin the process of acquiring a non-academic Canvas course.

Upon submitting your request, you may be asked to schedule a consultation with a member of the Educational Technology team that manages Canvas @ Yale to further discuss your needs.

Project Site Terms and Conditions


  • Must come from a Yale Faculty or Staff member
  • Will be honored on a case by case basis
  • Are not for student-led groups or organizations
  • May require a consultation with a member of the Poorvu Educational Technology team


  • Project sites that enroll non-Yale users are subject to licensing fees.
  • Project site enrollments must not exceed 250 users
  • The requester and/or project site facilitators are responsible for managing all enrollments in their site.

Site Access & Management

  • Project Sites cannot be made publicly available.
  • Project sites expire at the end of the term or fiscal year they were created.
  • Project Sites must not contain high risk data anywhere within the site.

Available Tools & Functions

Canvas @ Yale licenses and integrates a number of external applications and tools to make available for credit-bearing academic Canvas course use. Some of these tools are only available for these kinds of courses.

* Non-academic Canvas course sites can potentially have access to other external applications, contingent upon changes to our vendor agreements and potentially additional costs in the project site contract.

The following table highlights the tools and functions available in a non-academic course site.

Available in a non-academic Canvas site Not available in a non-academic Canvas site *
Core Canvas activities & functions: Feedback & Accessibility Barriers Tool
Using the Email Lists Tool
Mid-Semester Feedback
Post'Em: Overview
Photo Roster
Blackboard Ally: Overview
External App: Ed Discussion
Gradescope: Overview
External App: LabArchives
Media Library (Panopto): Overview
External App: Respondus LockDown Browser
Perusall: Overview
External App: Turnitin
PlayPosit: Overview
External App: VoiceThread
Poll Everywhere: Overview
Qualtrics LTI: Overview
Zoom: Overview

Alternative Solutions

Depending on your needs, there are other solutions that may better suit your situation. Please review these options as alternative solutions should Canvas not be the right fit for your request.

The following alternative solutions are not administered by the Poorvu Center's Educational Technology team that managed Canvas @ Yale. Adopting one or more of these tools will require you to work with other units at the University.

File Sharing

Box / Dropbox / Google Drive / Onedrive

  • Used for sharing files.
  • Has ability to set granular permissions on each file and folder.
  • If you have HIPPA, FERPA, or 3-lock data - you must use Box.
  • Check out Yale's help article comparing Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.


Used for faculty search or review, promotions and tenure cases. These use cases will not be allowed in Canvas due to their sensitive nature. All search / review and promotion / tenure cases must use Interfolio or another Yale approved system specifically designed for these tasks.  

For more information, please visit the Interfolio - Introduction and Tips site.

Communication Solutions


  • Used for creating email lists (listserv email addresses).
  • Mailman lists can be public (anyone can join) or private (join by invitation only).

For more information, check out the ITS information page on Mailman Lists.

Project / Process Management


BaseCamp is a project management tool used to track progress and facilitate team communications during a project. BaseCamp provides the ability to create, assign, and track to-dos, create discussions and feedback and to quickly and automatically summarize progress.  

BaseCamp is available for use to anyone in the Yale community with an active NetID.

Form more information please visit the ITS BaseCamp information page.

Scheduling Tools


Calendly is a scheduling tool that connects to your calendar to help you schedule meetings by creating sign-up menus for participants to select appointment slots you create and manage. Calendly produces a link that you can share that allows people to select a time for that meeting that works for them, and is a free slot in your calendar.

NOTE: This is not Yale affiliated or supported. Individuals must create and manage their own accounts.

Multipurpose Solutions

Microsoft Teams

  • Create different channels to communicate and collaborate
  • Share files and create a library for just your team on OneDrive
  • Integrates with your Outlook calendar

For more information, go to the Yale ITS site on Using Microsoft Teams

Campus Press

  • Multipurpose tool with capabilities for:
    • Website creation
    • Blogging
  • Can be made publicly available or can be locked to Yale NetID site members.

For more information, visit the Yale CampusPress site.

EliApps for Education

EliApps (Google Apps for Education) is a collection of tools, apps, and collaboration services including email, calendars, and more used by undergraduates and students in the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

EliApps includes:

  • Google Classroom - a streamlined, easy-to-use tool that helps teachers manage coursework. With Classroom, educators can create classes, distribute assignments, grade and send feedback, and see everything in one place.
  • Google Groups - allows users to create and manage groups of people to communicate and collaboration. Can be used for email communication and document sharing.
  • Google Drive - a personal cloud storage service which allows users to store and share folders, files, and collaborative documents (Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc...).
  • Google Sheet, Google Docs, Google Slides, etc... - used for cloud hosted word processing and document creation that allows for real-time document collaboration with other users.

For more information, go to the Yale ITS site on EliApps for Education.

Yale Connect (OrgSync)

Yale Connect (aka OrgSync)

  • Used for student organizations and groups.
  • Allows for posting / sharing content, creating events, and messaging.

For more information, check out the Student Organization's Yale Connect Information Site.

Non-Yale Canvas

Instructure, the the vendor for Canvas, offers a free to individuals version of Canvas, which allows you to create course sites and invite anyone.

You and users you wish to participate must create an account, as it is a completely separate instance of Canvas outside of Yale and the Canvas @ Yale sytem. While it is the full version of Canvas, it is only has the basic / native features, and any external applications that are provided by Yale do not exist in this free version, nor are they available for Canvas @ Yale to install.

NOTE: This is a free to individuals tool that is not Yale affiliated or supported.

Renewing an Approved Project Site

If your project site has expired and you need a new site, please complete the Project Site Request form and select the option to renew.

Prior to receiving your newly renewed site, you may be asked to complete a consultation with the Educational Technology team that manages Canvas @ Yale so that they can update you on new tools and features, as well as ensure that your Canvas site is meeting your needs.

Renewals are subject to re-evaluation. Please review the information described above to ensure that your project / program meets Canvas project site requirements.  

For more help, please contact [email protected].

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