Canvas Communities

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Communities are a non-academic course shell in Canvas designed for activities that fall outside of academic courses, yet that still align with teaching and learning at TAMU. Communities are not associated with course sections maintained by the Office of the Registrar and do not have a connection to Banner/Compass, so the process for managing enrollments will vary based on the use case.

The concept of a Canvas Community is like the “organizations” that were available in eCampus (Blackboard).

The university gave the unit-level academic liaisons, (`Jon Jasperson and Ben Haymond for Mays), permission to request canvas communities on behalf of the units and programs in their college. This page has information about the types of communities available, the roles for community members, and the request process (including the request form). Please review the information carefully.

Communities should be used within the scope of the five typologies listed below. Please note that grades associated with a Community are not considered official academic grades as determined by the Office of the Registrar.

If your organization or use case is outside of the scope of current typologies, you should consider the following options:

  • One Drive: To store and/or share files with TAMU faculty staff, and students as well as individuals external to the university
  • Google Drive: To store and/or share files with TAMU faculty staff, and students as well as individuals external to the university
  • Microsoft Teams: To share files, interact, and collaborate with TAMU faculty staff, and students as well as individuals external to the university

While much of the information on this page is borrowed from the university Canvas Communities page, additional Mays-specific details for how to request a Canvas Community are provided below.

Community Typologies

When you request a new Canvas Community, you must choose one of the five typologies below for your community.

Orientation (CORT)

Academic Augment (CAAG)

Placement Exams (PEXM)

Faculty Training (FACT)

Certifications (CERT)

A course shell used to deliver orientation materials to student populations. The Orientation shell will only be visible for the length of time needed to complete the orientation. A course shell used to deliver program content, instructional design resources. The Academic Augment shell is available across one to multiple terms. Enrollments are organized in a group (or section). A course shell used to test students before placing them in a program or testing out of a course/program. Enrollments are pre-determined by an academic program. A course shell used to deliver faculty training. Faculty may be organized in a cohort and/or enrolled individually to complete training independently of others. A course shell used for student certifications for non-academic credit. The certification shell will only be visible for the length of time needed to complete the certificate

Community Roles

When you request a new Canvas Community, you must assign one (and only one) role to each member of the community.





Leaders are responsible for enrolling participants, creating the content, promoting/ communicating about the non-academic course to participants, and facilitating the participant experience. The community Requestor will have this role within the Canvas community. Individuals acting as an assistant working with the leader within a community and responsible for content, features, tools, and/or grades. Individuals enrolled and engaged with activities in the non-academic course. Individuals that provide grading of specific community assignments, assessments, and other projects within the community.

Community Membership Roster

When you request a new Canvas Community, you must specify the roster of individuals who will be members of your community. You will need to provide the following information for each community member. Use the Mays Community Roster Template as a guide for submitting the roster with your request.

  • UIN
  • Last Name
  • First Name
  • TAMU Email
  • Role (see above)

After adding the information for your community members to the roster template file, you should save the file on your TAMU Google drive, set the share permission to “anyone at Texas A&M University can view,” and submit the URL for the shared file on the Mays Canvas Community Request Form (see below for instructions).

Submitting Canvas Community Request

You can request a canvas community by submitting the Mays Canvas Community Request Form. You will need to submit one request form for each community you would like created. The request form asks for the following information.

Requestor Information

  • UIN
  • First name
  • Last name

Community Information

  • Community type (see above)
  • Community title (or name)
  • Description of community purpose and how the community benefits the TAMU teaching and learning mission
  • Community start date (your community will be created within five business days after your request is received and reviewed)
  • Optional information
    • Community end date – date the community will no longer be used (if known)
    • Community delete date – date the Canvas content will be deleted (if known)

Community Membership Roster

  • URL for your community membership roster (see above)

Manging Your Canvas Community Membership

After your community is created, you can manage the members of your community using the Online Course Request Administration system (ORCA).  Use the video below to learn how to add, edit, or remove members from your Canvas Community. You will know your community is created when you login to Canvas and see your community on the dashboard. The Academic Innovation team usually approves and creates your community within 48 hours of your request.


If you have questions about requesting a Canvas Community, please contact `Jon (Sean) Jasperson (