Canvas @ YaleGeneral Information Canvas @ Yale Registrar ResourcesUnderstanding When and How Academic Canvas Courses are Made

Understanding When and How Academic Canvas Courses are Made

Each semester academic Canvas course sites are created once the University Registrar's Office (URO) and professional school registrars are ready with their course data. The URO determines the date when FAS courses are automatically created, while the individual professional school registrars provide the approval for when their respective school's Canvas courses will be made.

General Canvas Term Timing for Course Creation

Though course creation for a term varies slightly from year to year, in general, academic courses for FAS and professional schools are created during the following times.

These creation dates are subject to change.

The Poorvu Center's Educational Technology that administers Canvas @ Yale enable the automatic creation of academic Canvas course sites when the URO or professional school registrar determines they are done setting up their course offerings and cross-listings.

As a result, all of FAS is enabled and their Canvas courses get created all at once, while each professional school is enabled individually as they are ready for their Canvas courses to be created all at once.

Term Canvas Courses Created
Fall Term FAS - April
Professional Schools - July
Spring Term October - November
Summer Term February - March

Professional Schools Requesting Canvas Courses Early

Early requests for Canvas courses cannot be honored for Yale College or Graduate School of Arts and Sciences due to numerous school / department cross-listings.  

If any instructor teaching an FAS-listed course (or professional school course) would like to work on their class before official course sites are created for a term, they can request an Early Course Sandbox for each course they are teaching.

Some professional schools request specific courses be created ahead of their entire school's course creation dates to accommodate specific program and curriculum demands.

If a professional school registrar requires specific courses be created ahead of their full school's course creation date, please email [email protected] and include the following:

  • Subject Code (e.g. NURS, LAW, MGT)
  • Course Number (e.g. 550, 641, 860)

The Poorvu Center's Educational Technology team would appreciate if the registrars and senior Canvas admin support members in the professional schools who make these request would please aggregate and provide a list of the courses that need to be created early in a spreadsheet to be shared.

We would like to avoid creating early courses in an ad hoc manner.

Official academic course sites are created in Canvas automatically based on the course offerings and registration enrollments managed by the student information system (SIS), Banner.

Although not all schools and departments work directly in Banner, all course information, instructor assignments, and student registration data resides in Banner.  

As a registrar, if you are unsure what you should use to enter courses for the coming semester, please reach out to other department registrars, your school's academic support team, or the University Registrar's Office ([email protected]).

A non-exhaustive list of data managed and automatically populated in Canvas through Banner:

Banner Data Examples of Data
Course Data Course Name
Course Section Number
Course Code
Cross-Listing Information (Primary / Secondary Course)
User Data Student Preferred Name
Instructor Preferred Name
Enrollment Data Course Role (Auditor / Student / Instructor)

Official enrollments (Instructors / Students / Auditors) are all managed by the registration system and can only be modified by a school / departmental registrar in Banner.

Academic Canvas Course Creation Workflow

Academic Canvas courses are created through a process that starts with the registrars and Banner, and flows down stream to Canvas where the sites are created in the appropriate sub-accounts for each department / school.

The following steps outline the general order of operations for academic Canvas courses to be created.

Part 1: Registrar Inputs Semester Courses in Yale Registration System

Registrars enter all / most of their school's / department's course data into Yale's official registration system. Once courses are entered, if possible, assign the official instructor(s) of record as well.

As a registrar, if you are unsure what you should use to enter courses for the coming semester, please reach out to other department registrars, your school's academic support team, or the University Registrar's Office ([email protected]).

Part 2: Confirm Courses Appear in Yale Course Search / Banner

If your school does not utilize Yale Course Search it is recommended that you check Banner directly to confirm that the courses and instructors are entered.

For most schools / departments, courses that are in Banner will appear in Yale Course Search. After courses have been created in Banner, check Yale Course Search for the course to appear there with the instructor assigned.

Part 3: Notify the Educational Technology Team Managing Canvas @ Yale to Enable Course Creation Feed

The URO and professional school registrars email [email protected] when their respective course data has been successfully input and loaded into Banner to let the Educational Technology team know that they can enable the course creation feed for their respective schools.

The URO confirms the creation date for FAS courses (Yale College and GSAS). Professional school registrars confirms the creation date for their respective schools.

See the Professional Schools Requesting Canvas Courses Early section for details on requesting courses prior to the full-school creation feed is enabled.

Part 4: Canvas Course Creation

The Educational Technology team enable the individual school(s) course feed to start automatically populating and creating courses based on the information input on Banner.

Once the course feed has been enabled, Canvas data pushes can take between 2-4 hours to complete.

Changes made by a registrar to course offerings and assignments at this point will automatically update in Canvas, however these changes are not processed immediately. You can expect changes made in Banner to appear in Canvas between 2-4 hours after an update is made.  

Troubleshooting Banner / Canvas Issues

The Canvas course creation feed has been enabled for my school by the Educational Technology team, but updates made in Banner have not appeared in Canvas. When do updates in Banner appear in Canvas?

Canvas is updated by Banner every 2-4 hours. After changes are made in Banner, check in 2-4 hours to see if the change appears in Canvas.

If your problem persists past 2-4 hours and is not associated with the other troubleshooting issues identified below, please contact [email protected] to investigate further on the Canvas side to rule out any issues with how Canvas ingests Banner data.

A course has an incorrect course / section number (or primary / secondary course designation for a cross-listing) in Banner that needs to be changed. How will this effect Canvas?

Making modifications to course data like the course / section number (or primary / secondary designation on cross-listed courses) after a semester has started is not recommended since it will delete the existing course. Instructor and student data in the Canvas course will be lost.

When you make a modification in Banner to change the course / section number (or primary / secondary designation on cross-listed courses), the course with the wrong / old data will be deleted, along with all of the course content that the instructor may have already added / created, and a new course will be created in its place.

If there is already content (but not student date like assignment / discussion forum submissions and grades) in the Canvas course, please reach out to [email protected] to coordinate the update to avoid deleting any work the instructor may have done.

No instructor / the incorrect Instructor is enrolled in the Canvas course site despite them being associated with the course on Banner. Why are they not being enrolled correctly?

Check the instructor assignment entry in Banner. Many times the issue is that only the Instructor's name has been added to the course record when it must contain the instructor's email address, NetID, and UPI number as well in order to enroll the user into the course with the "Instructor" role.

In some cases, you may need to verify that the person added as the instructor is accurate. If there are multiple people with the same first and last name, you may need to confirm the email address, NetID, and UPI number included in the course record is for the appropriate person.

I updated a course's title in Banner, but the course title on Canvas has not updated. How does the course title get changed?

The course title in Canvas is created and set only at the moment when the site is first created. The course title will not update after a change in Banner.

This is to ensure that intentional modifications to the course title made by instructors are not overwritten.

If a course title needs to be changed, the instructor or a registrar / local support person with Canvas admin access can follow the instructions found in the Changing Your Course Name and Course Number in Canvas support article.

If you have any additional questions about the registrar processes, please contact your school's / department's registrar.

If you have questions about how Canvas integrates with the Registrar's systems / processes please email [email protected].