Getting Started with Canvas Catalog


If you have been looking for a solution to help you streamline your institution’s continuing education programmes and non-credit course offerings, here we come to save the day! We invited Jessica Sowalsky, Enterprise Learning Technology Systems Manager, and Melissa Thomas, Instructional Designer & Delivery Manager, to present their Canvas Catalog use cases and best practices for getting started. Here are the key takeaways from their session:

Centralise your courses: Within your institution and beyond!

Catalog allows you to centralise your continuing education programmes, non-credit courses, and professional development offerings in one online marketplace. In Jessica’s use case, The University of Maryland needed a non-credit online solution for non-term-based courses for students within the institution and beyond. These courses and programmes included everything from training for students within the School of Public Health to Faculty, Staff, and Student orientations for graduate programmes. From within Canvas Catalog, each participating department could self-administer their courses from one system. 

Streamline reporting: Track progress, enrolment trends, & more.

Administrators can generate reports to get deeper insights into course engagement. Right from Catalog, they can view progress, registration in courses and programs, revenue, and enrolment trends. In Melissa’s example, she shared how Salisbury University used Catalog for its continuing education and non-credit offerings. Its program, called “Succeed,” was utilised by 16 academic and administrative departments, and each department leader could track enrolment trends, registrations, completions, and listings in one place. 

Improve access to PD: Get admins & instructors on the same page.

Professional development is essential to any institution, but delivering equitable courses to faculty at scale can be challenging. With Catalog, all educators and admins can register for courses in one place and complete them at their own pace. At Salisbury University, they created a Catalog programme with five online PD courses in a series for faculty members to participate in. Taking a more flexible online approach than they had previously allowed them to reach more faculty with limited staff and resources.

Get involved: Join the “Catalog User Group” in the Canvas Community.

You don’t have to go it alone! In fact, Jessica leads a Catalog User Group and invites all educators to join in on her bi-monthly group meetings and online discussions. Joining the group also provides access to helpful resources and guides to help you start using Catalog as a standalone or with Canvas LMS.

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