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Canvas Catalog, Instructor/Staff Frequently Asked Questions

This article answers questions frequently asked by faculty/staff about Canvas Catalog.


How is revenue from Catalog courses handed? What is the cost for a department to offer a course or a program through Canvas Catalog?  

Revenue from a Canvas Catalog course will be transferred quarterly to the offering unit. If this fund is traditional, then 100% of the revenue will be transferred, but unit use of these funds will be restricted as shown below. If this fund is part of the Self-Supporting Pilot as described below, then the fund will have fewer restrictions, but $15 per learner registration will be deducted from the transfer.

Units are required to have a Banner self-supporting fund intended for non-credit/professional education activities. Canvas Catalog activity is to take place in one Banner fund and cannot be divided into multiple funds.

  • Below are a few options regarding Banner fund types.
    • Banner funds intended to break-even over time (i.e., “traditional” Banner fund not intended to generate profits) are typically Banner fund type 3Q (external customers) or 3E (internal customers).
    • If certain criteria are met, a fund may be able to participate in the Self-Supporting Pilot Program (Pilot Program). The Pilot Program is for self-supporting activities intended to generate supplemental funding, where anticipated revenues will exceed the cost of providing the service (generate a profit). Activities that may fit the Pilot Program include executive education, workforce training, and certificates.
      • Customers of these Pilot Program activities are to be external to the University of Illinois System (no recurring internal University customers)
      • Pilot Program activities must be fully costed, with all direct costs including salaries and associated fringe benefits charged to the self-supporting fund. These activities cannot be subsidized with other funding sources even if the fund operates in a deficit.
      • Profit generated by these activities may be lapsed on an annual basis through a process coordinated by the Office of the Provost and University Accounting.
      • Application to the Pilot Program is required prior to participation. Please contact Anne Marshall for details.

Revenues and per-learner expenses will flow to the college/unit self-supporting fund on a quarterly basis.

  • Actual course revenues generated through the Canvas Catalog platform will be distributed to units.
  • Per-learner fees:
    • Units with a traditional Banner fund (not Pilot Program), will be assessed a $0 per-learner fee for the period of 8/1/2022-7/31/2024.
    • Pilot Program funds will be assessed a $15 per-learner fee for the period of 8/1/2022-7/31/2024.
    • Units should not use a University P-card to pay per-learner fees.

What is the cost for a learner to take a course/program in Canvas Catalog?

It’s up to the department to decide how much to charge. A general formula might be current learner fee from the Office of Professional Education (contact for current info) + compensation fee for instructor + operational fee for the unit. A course/program can also be offered at discounts based on promotional codes.  

Is it possible to differentiate the course fee based on the type of learners? For example, current enrolled students receive a discount, etc. 

Yes. Canvas Catalog has a customizable fee discount system based on promotional codes that can be created by the unit. Codes can offer a set dollar value discount, or a percentage discount.

Can a course be offered completely free for learners?

Technically yes. However, a department would have to cover the Office of Professional Education fee for learners (contact for current info). For free courses, this is often accomplished via grants and other alternative means of funding.

Who gets the course fees collected in Canvas Catalog? 

These fees are collected by the Office of Professional Education and distributed to the course-offering units yearly based on the fees assessed for each course. Please check with your unit administration to ensure they have this arrangement set up with the Office of Professional Education.

I would like to discuss a specific financial arrangement for my Catalog course or program.


Canvas Catalog General 

I want to have a course in Canvas Catalog. What are the steps?

  1. Contact Canvas Catalog support at to request a course site in Open Canvas. We need the name you’d like for the course, as well as the name and NetID of any instructors and staff you’d like added to the course.
  2. If you have a course in the main instance of Canvas (Campus Canvas) you’d like to copy, please review Instructure’s documentation on how to export from Campus Canvas and import into Open Canvas. Please note: New Quizzes cannot currently migrate between instances of Canvas. If you need a New Quiz brought over from Campus Canvas, you’ll need to rebuild it by hand within Open Canvas.
  3. Finalize your course and decide if you’d like to offer a certificate for learners who complete it. If so, consider adding module requirements. If you do not add module requirements, learners can simply click through the course without interacting with activities and still receive a certificate.
  4. When your course is ready and published, please complete the listing form. A member of the Canvas Catalog support team should have your course listed within about a week.

I am an eLearning professional or online program manager for my unit and would like to help manage courses produced by my unit. How can gain this kind of access to Catalog and Open Canvas?

Reach out to the Canvas Support Team ( to discuss your access needs.

How do I find my course/listing?

Your course site will be housed on Open Canvas. Please navigate to this site if you’d like to manage or make any changes to the course site. Learners only have access to your course site on Open Canvas once they are registered for the course and have paid any fees associated.

Your course will be listed for registration on Canvas Catalog, which is the public storefront for the courses housed on Open Canvas. Settings here will generally be managed either by the online learning professionals in your unit, or by the Catalog Support team (

What is the difference between a course listing and a program listing in Catalog?

A course listing allows learners to register for a single course.

A program listing groups course listings together so they can be purchased all at the same time. Programs can also be set up with their own certificates, which are awarded when all the course listings within the program are completed.

How can users find a course or a program in Canvas Catalog? 

We can list your course or program either as a listing on the Catalog home page, or set it to be available only by link (this setting is used for listings that have a select audience, like trainings for certain organizations, etc.).

What type of information can be posted on the course/program description page in Canvas Catalog? 

The description page has two required elements: a teaser and course/program description. Additional elements, such as links and images, may be included using the rich content editor. Please note: the teaser will only show the first 215 characters on the Catalog home page. If the teaser has more than 215 characters, it will also be included in the course description.

Is it possible to bulk-enroll course participants? 

Yes. See Instructure’s documentation on how to purchase multiple enrollments and how to invite learners to claim purchased enrollments

Is it possible to customize a completion certificate? 

Yes. Certificates can be customized using an HTML and/or CSS file. Please note that we are unable to host images for these certificates; they must be hosted on a public-facing server owned by the unit offering the course.

Is it possible to get specific information about participants at the time they enroll in a course? 

Yes. A catalog admin can specify questions that participants must/may answer while enrolling in a course. A report can be generated for the course instructor. 

Can I copy a course from Campus Canvas (main Canvas instance) to Canvas Catalog? 

Yes. You can export course content from Campus Canvas and import into the Open Canvas instance. Please note: at this time, New Quizzes cannot be migrated automatically, and must be manually rebuilt in Open Canvas. Classic Quizzes should migrate automatically.

Can learners get a badge for completing the course and attach it to their LinkedIn account? 

Yes. Canvas Credentials (formerly Badgr), a digital credential platform, is installed in Canvas Catalog and can be used for assigning badges

I need a specific LTI or app integration for my course. How can I get that added to Open Canvas?

Apps/LTIs are added to Open Canvas as needed. If your app/LTI has already been reviewed by Technology Services and found to meet accessibility requirements, reach out to the Catalog Support Team at to initiate the installation process.

My learners need help. Who can I send them to?

Common concerns may be addressed in the Learner FAQ—please feel free to forward a link to the document to your learners. (available 24/7)

Learners can be referred to the Canvas Community’s Learner Resources, or to Instructure’s Canvas support by phone or chat (available 24/7)

If these do not help with your learner’s issue, please forward their concern to the Catalog Support Team at (available M-F 8 am – 4 pm Central Time, except for university holidays).

I need help with something not covered here. Who can I contact?

If you are having an issue with managing your course or program, please contact your unit’s online learning team or the Catalog Support Team at (available M-F 8 am – 4 pm Central Time, except for university holidays).

If you are having technical problems with Canvas, try:

Beyond general course design best practices, what should I do to get my course ready for Catalog?

If you've imported your course from the main Campus Canvas instance:

    • Rebuild any quizzes made using New Quiz tool (these will not import to the new instance).
    • Ensure that any Kaltura-hosted videos are embedded using the embed code from the Media Space website, rather than by using the Kaltura button. (Videos embedded using the Kaltura button will break on import--if there’s a missing video, it will need to be re-embedded)

Before launching any course:

    • Ensure that modules have requirements set; otherwise, learners will be able to click through the course and receive the course certificate without engaging with activities.
    • Consider your course certificate needs. Canvas has two defaults to choose from, but you can also create your own using an HTML/CSS file. Note that images linked in this file must be hosted by the offering unit; we don’t have image hosting capabilities for certificate images in Catalog.
    • Be sure to review/eliminate any dates and publish the course before launch.
    • Consider adding instructor/department contact info to the course home page to be used in case students have questions or concerns about the course.

Keywordscatalog, canvas, FAQ, instructor, staff, question, help, support   Doc ID124271
OwnerAmy M.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2023-02-22 15:55:42Updated2024-06-13 11:39:13
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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