UNF Center for Instruction and Research Technology

Support Document

Canvas / GROUP Courses


The UNF LMS policy explains that, aside from the delivery of academic instruction as the LMS’s primary use, the LMS (Canvas) may also be used for the following University-affiliated activities: 

  • Course content development for a future academic schedule course.
  • To provide resources and facilitate communication with students enrolled in an official academic program or degree.
  • Professional and continuing education in academic colleges.
  • Faculty Development training courses and resources.

GROUP courses in Canvas are non-term based courses that can be created at the request of a faculty or staff member for the purposes outlined above. GROUP courses have the same functionality as term-based courses, but are not automatically concluded or deleted. The requester of the GROUP course is enrolled in the course upon creation.

In Canvas, GROUP courses are set up to be managed by self-enrollment. The course instructor shares a self-enroll link with students, either via email or by posting on a public website. The shared link allows UNF users to self-enroll in the course. Instructors can also manually add or remove users from the course.

GROUP Course Creation Requests

Faculty or staff members who wish to have a new GROUP course created may submit the request via email to cirtlab@unf.edu with the following information included:

  • Course Name: What do you want the GROUP course to be called?
  • Instructors: List of instructor names and N-numbers who will be added to the GROUP course with the “teacher” role.
  • Enrollment Type: Choose one.
    • Manual – each user is manually added by the GROUP course instructor(s). Users will need to accept the course invitation from their Canvas Dashboard once they have been added.
    • Self-enroll link – GROUP course Instructor shares a self-enroll link with students.
    • Enrollment package – Enrollment is automatically pulled from Banner based on certain criteria. (See section below titled Enrollment Packages for GROUP Courses)
  • Purpose: What will the GROUP course be used for? We simply ask this to ensure this is the best solution for your need.

Enrollment Packages for GROUP Courses

Canvas GROUP courses can be used by academic programs to establish online communities for program majors, including sharing documents and sending communications. Academic program directors may request enrollment packages for Canvas GROUP courses as described below.

  • Enrollment packages may be requested by Chairs or Program Directors.
  • Enrollment packages can be created based on these Banner population selections: Program, Degree, Major, and Concentration.
  • Active students who meet the criteria will automatically be added to the enrollment package and automatically removed when they no longer meet the criteria.
  • Students remain on Active status until they have had 3 consecutive semesters of no course registration, even if they graduate, and cannot be removed from the course manually.
  • Enrollment packages will expire annually, unless renewed.
  • Enrollment packages based on course (CRN) criteria are not available.
  • A Canvas GROUP cannot have both the auto enrollment package and self-enroll enabled. Due to a SIS “master” update that runs in the evening, any self-enrolled students will be removed from the course.

To request an enrollment package for your Canvas GROUP course, have your Department Chair or Program director send the request to cirtlab@unf.edu. To expedite the request please provide the Canvas GROUP course name and Banner population selection (see steps below).

Locating the Population Selection in Banner

Department Chairs and Program directors can locate the population selection for group course enrollment package requests though the following steps.

  1. Log into myWings
  2. From the Staff tab, go to Employee Self-Service
  3. Go to UNF Administrative Applications
  4. Go to SIS Reports
  5. Go to Report by Curriculum: Student
  6. Select College, Level, Program, and Degree and Major if applicable
  7. Select Population: Active Students
  8. Click Submit Query
Banner Query by Curriculum screen. Degree, Population selection, Submit query.
Banner Query by Curriculum screen. Degree, Population selection, Submit query.
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