How can my department automate enrollments for non-credit courses in Canvas?

Campus units with their own course registration and/or student information systems can make arrangements with the UITS LMS Development team to automate the provisioning of courses, enrollments, and guest users in Canvas. To learn more, contact the UITS LMS Development team.

For you to take advantage of IU's automated provisioning service, provisioning data must conform to the standards below. This information is based on Canvas's SIS Import Format Documentation, with modifications to accommodate specific use cases at IU.

Note:
Campus units are not permitted to create their own accounts (i.e., nodes in the organizational hierarchy) or terms, as described in the Canvas documentation mentioned above. If your unit needs a custom term or a new account in the organizational hierarchy, contact the UITS LMS Development team.

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File naming conventions

After you create your enrollment files, you'll transmit them to a secure FTP server where they will be processed by a batch job that runs at regular intervals. If two unprocessed files of the same type are pushed to the drop location, they will be processed in alphabetical order.

To avoid overwriting previous versions and ensure that files are processed in the correct order, include both the file type and a unique identifier in each filename. UITS recommends using the following format:

  filetype.YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM-SS.csv

Replace filetype with the type of data the file contains (e.g., users, courses, sections, enrollments) and replace YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM-SS with the date and time of the file's creation.

For example:

  courses.2016-12-03_23-30-15.csv

If you decide to use a different unique identifier, be sure to use only letters, numbers, hyphens, and underscores in your filename. Do not use spaces or special characters (e.g., ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) ` ; : < > ? , [ ] { } ' " / \).

Creating users

Canvas accounts are automatically provisioned for all users with an IU Network ID within 24 hours of the creation of the ID, so you should not need to include IU students, faculty, or staff in the users.csv file. Campus units can, however, use the users.csv file to provision accounts for individuals without a Network ID. If the user does not yet have an IU Guest account, when the file is processed, both an IU Guest account and a Canvas account will be created.

  • Filename: users.unique_id.csv
  • File format: Comma-separated values with the following column headings and values:
    Column heading Value
    user_id (required)
    Leave this column blank. When this field is processed, it will be populated with the IU Guest account sequence ID, a unique ID assigned to each IU Guest account.
    login_id (required)
    Email address of the guest account to add/create
    first_name (required) First name of guest
    last_name (required) Last name of guest
    email (required)
    Email address of guest; this should be identical to login_id.
    status (required)
    Leave this column blank. Every Canvas account will be created with "active" status.

Example

  user_id,login_id,first_name,last_name,email,status 
   ,joeschmoe1234@gmail.com,Joe,Schmoe,joeschmoe1234@gmail.com,  
   ,tomjones4321@gmail.com,Tom,Jones,tomjones4321@gmail.com, 

Creating courses

Departments can provision non-credit courses and credit courses that are not part of the standard SIS provisioning process.

  • Filename: courses.unique_id.csv
  • File format: Comma-separated values with the following column headings and values:
    Column heading Value
    course_id (required)
    A unique identifier used to reference courses in the enrollments data. This identifier must be globally unique. In the user interface, this is called the SIS ID.

    At IU, course_ids for SIS-provisioned courses take the form SEMESTER-CAMPUS-SUBJECT-COURSE_NUMBER-SECTION_NUMBER (e.g., FA15-IN-ENG-W131-99999). Departments that create their own course_ids are responsible for ensuring that they do not conflict with other course_ids in the system by developing a naming scheme that incorporates the department name or abbreviation into the section number portion of the ID.
    short_name (required)
    A short descriptive name for the course
    long_name (required)
    A long descriptive name for the course enclosed in double quotation marks (e.g., "long name for course"). This can be the same as the short name, but if both are available, users will have a better experience when you provide both.
    account_id (required)
    The account identifier for the node in the institutional hierarchy in which the course will be placed (e.g., BL-BUKD, IUSM-IN)
    term_id
    A unique four-digit identifier for the term during which the course will be offered; for standard SIS Term IDs, see Current Term Processing Dates (downloadable Excel file).

    Note: The term must be available in Canvas before it can be referenced in the courses.csv file.
    status (required)
    Status of the course; accepted values are "active", "deleted", or "completed". Use "active" unless you want to delete or conclude the course.
    start_date
    The course start date; if the start_date is set, it will override the term start date. The date should be in ISO 8601 format (e.g., YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ).
    end_date
    The course end date; if the end_date is set, it will override the term end date. The date should be in ISO 8601 format (e.g., YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ).

Example

  course_id,short_name,long_name,account_id,term_id,status,start_date,end_date 
  1516-IN-IUSM-G730-154778,1516-IN-IUSM-G730-154778,OB/GYN CLERKSHIP,IUSM-Clerkships,1516,active,, 
  1516-IN-IUSM-K710-154046,1516-IN-IUSM-K710-154046,PEDIATRICS CLERKSHIP,IUSM-Clerkships,1516,active,, 
  1516-IN-IUSM-M720-154304,1516-IN-IUSM-M720-154304,INTMED CLERKSHIP,IUSM-Clerkships,1516,active,,

Creating sections

For users to be enrolled into a course, the course must have at least one section. By default, when you attempt to enroll a user into a course with no sections, Canvas automatically generates a section with the same name as the course. Sections generated in this manner do not have a unique identifier that allows them to be called and manipulated via the Canvas API. For this reason, even though the sections.csv file is optional, generating at least one section for each course is recommended. A sections.csv file is required for you to add multiple sections to a single course shell.

  • Filename: sections.unique_id.csv
  • File format: Comma-separated values with the following column headings and values:
    Column heading Value
    section_id (required)
    A unique identifier used to reference sections in the enrollments data. Each section ID must be globally unique, but can be identical to the corresponding course ID.

    At IU, section_ids for SIS-provisioned sections are identical to course_ids, taking the form SEMESTER-CAMPUS-SUBJECT-COURSE_NUMBER-SECTION_NUMBER (e.g., FA15-IN-ENG-W131-99999). Departments that create their own section_ids are responsible for ensuring that they do not conflict with other section_ids in the system by developing a naming scheme that incorporates the department name or abbreviation.
    course_id (required)
    The course identifier (from courses.csv) with which the section is associated
    name (required) The name of the section
    status (required)
    Status of the section; accepted values are "active" and "deleted". Use "active" unless you want to delete the section.
    start_date
    The section start date; if the start_date is set, it will override the course and term start dates. The date should be in ISO 8601 format (e.g., YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ).
    end_date
    The section end date; if the end_date is set, it will override the course and term end dates. The date should be in ISO 8601 format (e.g., YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SSZ).

Example

  section_id,course_id,name,status,start_date,end_date 
  1516-MU-IUSM-N720-154932,1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154219,MU 04-25,active,, 
  1516-MU-IUSM-N720-154931,1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154219,MU 03-29,active,, 
  1516-MU-IUSM-N720-154930,1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154219,MU 02-29,active,,

Creating enrollments

The enrollments.csv file associates users with specific courses or sections.

  • Filename: enrollments.unique_id.csv
  • File format: Comma-separated values with the following column headings and values:
    Column heading Value
    course_id (required)
    The course identifier from courses.csv
    user_id (required)
    For users with an IU Network ID, accepted values are the user's 10-digit University ID (also known as the student ID or emplID) or IU username. For IU Guest account holders, provide the user's IU login name, which should be the same as the user's email address.
    role (required)
    User role in the course or section; accepted values are "student", "teacher", "ta", "observer", "designer", "Librarian", or a custom role defined by the account.
    section_id (required)
    The section identifier from sections.csv; if none is specified, the default section for the course will be used. Required if course_id is missing.
    status (required)
    Status of the enrollment; accepted values are "active", "deleted", or "completed". Use "active" to add or keep an enrollment, "deleted" to remove an enrollment, or "completed" to conclude an enrollment and leave the user in the course.

Example

  course_id,user_id,role,role_id,section_id,status 
  1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154219,0009999999,teacher,1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154219,active 
  1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154219,astudent,student,1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154226,active 
  1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154219,joeschmoe1234@gmail.com,student,1516-IN-IUSM-N720-154226,deleted 
  1516-IN-IUSM-X720-154693,tomjones4321@gmail.com,student,1516-TH-IUSM-X720-154740,active

This is document bfqc in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-02-06 13:56:28.

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