Requesting a Manually Created (Test) Course


Canvas courses are created in two ways. 

1. Automatic data feed

An automatic data feed that creates an Academic course for all credit courses listed within the student information system (PeopleSoft).  Courses are created and made available to instructors 8 weeks prior to the course’s start date.  Students are automatically enrolled in the Canvas course two weeks prior to the course’s start date. 

2. Manually created course

All instructors at Ohio University are given one Canvas test course automatically. Test courses can be leveraged to explore Canvas features or used to build content for future “real” courses. In addition to this initial test course, instructors can request as many of these courses as needed.

Manually created courses (formerly known as a Course Shell or Test Course in Blackboard) can serve multiple purposes.  These courses are not associated with a specific academic term and do not have expiration dates.  Enrollment in the course is managed by the indicated instructors in the course.  You can use and reuse this development space as needed.

Blackboard offered a feature known as Organizations that many faculty and staff used for some of the below purposes.  Canvas offers the same organization functionality through the manually created course option. 

Manually created courses can be used to: 

  • Learn how to use Canvas and test out new features 
  • Create content that will be copied into my own future courses 
  • Create content that will be copied into courses that other instructors will use to teach.  (Prime Course – formerly known as Master Courses in Blackboard) 
  • Deliver Training or Professional Development 
  • Provide Continuing Education
  • Provide Orientation content


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All Ohio University faculty and staff are eligible to request a manually created course in Canvas. Additionally, all instructors of record, including graduate students, can request manually created courses. Faculty can also request manually created courses on behalf of graduate teaching assistants or as part of a required teaching assignment for a course.

Request a manually created (test) course by clicking the Create Ticket link in the top-right corner of this page and include a description about the purpose of your manually created course(s)

Note: You may request multiple manually created courses in a single ticket. 

Outcome: Your manually created course request has been submitted

Get Help from Canvas

  • Live chat with Canvas support (Faculty) 
  • Get 24-hours/7-days a week Canvas support  
    • Dial the Canvas Support Hotline number located under "Get Help" in the Canvas Global Navigation Menu 
    • Contact OIT at 740-593-1222 for questions related to logging in, test courses/manually created courses, or third-party tools (Panopto, VoiceThread, Inclusive Access, etc.) 

Get Help from OIT

Additional Resources 

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Article ID: 651
Mon 10/9/23 3:39 PM
Tue 5/21/24 10:49 AM

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Canvas is an online Learning Management System designed to facilitate communication and the sharing of course content between instructors, teaching assistants, students, and guests.