Deactivated user, here are the links to two great discussions about using Canvas courses and groups for non-academic purposes:
Also, this seems more like a discussion than a question (with a right or wrong answer). Would it be ok if I went ahead and switched this to a discussion? Thanks!
Great question! I provided some feedback in the first link that @kona referenced in her reply. Would it be ok with you if I shortened your topic title and tagged it with keywords, too? By doing these things, your topic will be easier for people to search in case others have similar questions. After I change the title, if it doesn't reflect what you are asking, we can always change it to something else. Thanks.
I created an account level group specifically for our online-only students. In this group, they can make their own discussions in which to interact outside of the classroom. Also, we have started a monthly "conference" where the students, whether in a class or not, can gather with us as the Distance Ed department and interact and get to know each other better. It's also a handy location to place a "Canvas Tips and Tricks" page that I created and which I'm constantly updating. Finally, it's how I let our online-only students know about upcoming Canvas updates/changes and to discuss whether or not a particular feature which I can enable/disable would be useful for them.