Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Participant

Where to buy fully developed online courses?

Greetings Canvas Community!

My institution is looking to purchase 15 university level courses for online delivery. We'll hire the online course instructor - we're just looking for the syllabus + course materials.

How would you tackle this challenge? Any advice on where I should begin?



9 Replies
Community Participant

Hey Ryan, your questions comes across as very...strange to me. Course are not typically "bought"; they're developed. They aren't "just" a syllabus and course materials--that suggests an approach that is very content-delivery focused (which misses a lot that leads to actually learning, like interaction and feedback). But to get to the core of your question, there are generally two ways to approach this: 1. to hire a curriculum developer to build the courses or 2. (which is probably recommended if you don't have institutional experience building online courses) hire a company that develops online courses (e.g., 2U, Wiley, etc.). Unless you hire someone with content area expertise, you will probably need a subject matter expert (perhaps the person you're going to hire to teach the courses) to consult on content.

Community Team
Community Team

 @rrichards , have you explored Canvas Commons‌?

Community Participant

Just another data point that I've never heard of buying online courses off-the-shelf, but rather hiring a course design firm or contractor to manage the process and develop the content, but that said, I'd also look into open educational resources. In addition to Canvas Commons linked above, OER Commons also has post-secondary content ranging from textbooks to full courses. Other links that might be helpful: 16 OER Sites Every Educator Should Know (Campus Technology), Open Educational Resources (EDUCAUSE). (Note that some OER don't allow for commercial use.)

How quick is your turnaround? When do these courses need to go live?

Community Member

You need an OPM...Here is an article that sums it up and will give the names of some organizations to reach out too. 

The reality is that your asking a really complicated question and you'll need to figure out a lot of variables before picking just one OPM. But I think this will get you going in the right direction. 

Community Contributor

I agree with all the replies. In order to create an impactful learning experience, online courses are not just a generic, packaged course. My advice would explore the Canvas Commons for ideas, but ultimately hire an instructional designer who has the design and learning theory background to create a meaningful learning experience. 🙂

Community Contributor

I would be very careful purchasing pre-built courses.  They need to be built by an experienced instructor with strong content knowledge.  I have experience teaching pre-built classes.  Many times the materials were not appropriate for the courses being taught.  In addition, copyright infringement was rampant.  The designers used content they found on the internet without proper attribution. For online courses, it's especially important to find a designer who will follow the Quality Matters system.

Community Participant

Thanks for the phenomenal advice, Canvas Community!

We decided to try and find an Online Program Management/Instructional Design company with which to partner. In case useful, here is an initial list of companies I found with a bit of web research:

A special thank you to:  @jlubkinchavez , stefaniesanders,  @jdick1 ,  @bradon_lewis , kbv7001,  @debra_mansperge ,  @nichole1 , wadempsay, kirstin.nokes, jeanderson,  @kbink ,  @kstewart1 ,  @tasha 

Hello, Ryan -

My college is also looking for university level courses for online delivery, specifically 10 liberal arts courses. Which company did you wind up going with, and were you pleased with the results?


Community Advocate
Community Advocate


We have a team that works with your SMEs to create high quality courses/online programs; not pre-built courses though.

Welcome to FIU Online Continuing and Professional Education 

Sky V.