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todd
Community Member

How are you collecting payments/enrolling students in Canvas courses?

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I offer self paced licensing courses where we need to collect tuition when someone registers. I currently use WooCommerce/Authorize.net for payment which creates accounts in Podio (My customer management system) and handle registrations/accounts inside Canvas mostly in a manual way.

I've explored Canvas Catalog (Which is way too expensive given a few hundred registrations a year) and I realize not too many people are using Canvas currently to sell individual courses, but I'm wondering the setup other people selling individual courses are using? I ask because I just don't see a lot of e-commerce type systems on the front end of Canvas.

Examples:

Are you using partners like GoSignMeUp as a pseudo student information system?
Are you using a full blown student information system with payment/registration capabilities?
Are you pushing payments/registrations to an external database which is creating accounts automatically in Canvas?
Are you connecting your existing programs through custom connections? (IE In my case developing custom code with a Podio developer) 

I'm trying to streamline things, but since there's not a low cost built in payment system inside Canvas, I'm just trying to think long-term and would like to hear other people's opinions/examples of what they are doing/why.

Todd

1 Solution
todd
Community Member

 @John_Lowe   Thank you for letting me know what you are using. I'm still in investigative mode, but really do appreciate your input. I'd like to use Canvas Catalog, but for low cost courses ($30 for 3 hours of CE) it's just not financially feasible to spend a large chunk of tuition just on registration.

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19 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @todd ​, unfortunately I don't have any suggestions for your problem, but I am going to share your question with the Canvas Admins​ group in the Community to see if they can help!

John_Lowe
Community Champion

You are not going to like my answer, but for normal courses for regular students, we use a full Student Information System.  For continuing education and other things targeting non-matriculated students, we use Canvas Catalog.

todd
Community Member

 @John_Lowe   Thank you for letting me know what you are using. I'm still in investigative mode, but really do appreciate your input. I'd like to use Canvas Catalog, but for low cost courses ($30 for 3 hours of CE) it's just not financially feasible to spend a large chunk of tuition just on registration.

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

Hello,  @todd ! It's been over a month since we last heard from you. Have you arrived at a solution yet, and if so, would you take a moment to update us on how you're addressing this? In the meantime, inasmuch as your initial prompt invites open-ended participation, I've flipped the format over to a discussion, and am adding this comment to "bump" the thread's visibility a bit.

jenny_hopf
New Member

I realized this is an older thread, but we have the exact same issue/question!  We are looking for a simple registration tool that can collect payment and user data, that then can integrate into our Canvas LMS which is used for online Continuing Education. We explored Catalog, but agree - too expensive and doesn't store user data.  Any updates would be so helpful! #registration #catalog

todd
Community Member

 @jenny_hopf  Sorry I didn't see your message earlier. I don't think there's a great solution unless you have some custom development work done. 

Go Sign Me Up is about 1/3rd the cost of Catalog, but it's not mobile responsive and I'm just not going to include a front end that doesn't function well with phones/tablets. It is more robust from a reporting standpoint, but it's really the only viable option I've found outside of Catalog. If mobile access is not important to you, then I'd suggest you check them out. 

Not many people are using Canvas the way we are, but it really shouldn't be this complicated to accept payments continuously/create their Canvas account, and automatically set people up with a defined enrollment period based on the date they enrolled. You shouldn't have to integrate a full blown SIS system because just about every other LMS system (particularly all the one's corporate types use) has an easy way to internally add a payment/enrollment plugin with a few clicks. (I rarely had any problems when I was using Moodle via a very low cost 3rd party plugin) This area is probably my single most frustrating pain point about Canvas. 

Okay Rant Over! 

P.S. If you find anything that works for you, please let me know.

Thanks  @todd ‌!

We are actually in the process of signing on with CVENT to manage our storefront, registration, certificates and evaluations -- AND e-marketing. It is quite the impressive tool and checks off all of our boxes.  Might be worth checking them out.  Pricey, but I think worth it!

todd
Community Member

Thanks Jenny. Love to see a report back once you get everything up and running particularly if the Cvent integration will automatically create a student account in Canvas with the received payment. I've signed up for other events using Cvent, but never have looked at it closely for my own front end since there's not much information (that I can find anyway) about LMS integrations. 

Jenny, does Cvent pass along registration information to Canvas, giving participants access to the course(s) they registered for? If so, is this 2-way, where a refund or removal can occur as well?

Ryan

todd
Community Member

ryan.hobbs‌  @jenny_hopf ‌  Ryan, I don't know for certain whether the integration can do what you ask, but I did ask Cvent for a callback and it appears any integration with Canvas is buying their system plus adding a full customization per client based on exactly what the client needs to be accomplished. I didn't really go further because I knew the cost/updating in the future wouldn't work for my own situation. I think Jenny may have even mentioned it was really expensive. I suspect her college might have already been using Cvent for other things or maybe looking to move marketing/etc. and decided to consolidate what services they could with Cvent. I doubt the functionality you are seeking would be easily accomplished, but I've been wrong before. 

It could also be a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but it appears they are not looking to create a standard type integration with Canvas in which they would update/expand functionality later on. I mainly wanted to post in case you or others didn't see much about Cvent integration with Canvas online and I believe that's why. 

Of course we can always hope for additional integration options in the future! 

amar
New Member

We are evaluating the open source version of Canvas now and since it doesn't come with Catalog integration, we are asking this very same question even though is was posted a year ago. We were looking into #zapier that has ways to integrate Canvas with eCommerce platforms including Shopify and WooCommerce. Can anyone attest to this kind of approach?

todd
Community Member

The only Zapier supported "Canvas" that I'm aware of is the mobile forms application and not the Canvas LMS. I seem to remember adding a feature request a couple of years ago that Canvas LMS add support for Zapier integrations (I was thinking more than just payments) but I don't think anything happened on that front. There is another feature request someone else added along these same lines more recently which you can vote for in the Partner Integration section. 

kevinw
Community Contributor

Hi Todd, 

I'm with a small non-profit who is selling courses to public schools. We have certainly had some growing pains figuring this process out as well, so I'll share our process with you and if you get some good ideas out of it then we'll all be better people for it. 

Right now our process consists of this: 

Schools request access to preview material. Some like it, some don't. However, for copyright infringement issues we do keep track of who views it to follow up at a later date if they choose not to purchase it. There is only so much you can do to prevent it, but by knowing who is looking at it, it narrows down the pool of who is using it illegally. 

Then when schools decide to go with it, we send them a quote for the number of students and instructors they want, then we require that they send back a purchase order. A purchase order is a legally binding agreement to purchase the material provided that the material is delivered. 

After we receive the purchase order we set up a course and enroll the teacher. Then the teacher enrolls the students and we monitor them on the administrative side to make sure they have the appropriate number of students enrolled. 

After we have enrolled the teacher we expect the payment to be made.

todd
Community Member

Thanks Kevin for posting your process. The issue I have with previewing material is that when I did it, I had a lot of requests and there's not great student management inside of Canvas. In Moodle, you can set a preview period of say 3 days and then an account becomes inactive automatically and it shows as grayed out in the student list so it's easy to identify the previews inside of the LMS. In Canvas, you can't have extra fields in profiles and there's no way without looking at the logs when an account was created. (At least that I know of) Since I have a small percentage of people who sign up relative to those who request a preview, (just the nature of real estate courses as people think about it for a long time and eventually pull the trigger) I was essentially creating more work removing students from Canvas. 

I actually went to a different system of using Wisita to deliver preview videos as you can track completion/receive detailed analytics. In my example, I'm also using Uberflip to manage the order of videos/add a call to action/add PDF's, aggregate other content, etc, but Wistia and embedded videos on any web page with an initial sign up by itself would also track what you needed concerning video content. 

kevinw
Community Contributor

Well for us, we don't give everyone who asks to preview it their own user name and password. We actually send them to our website and have them fill out a form. Then when they do I get an e-mail notification and I email them out the log-in credentials. 

Essentially everyone who previews our material uses the same user name and password. It's just that the request to preview the material tells us where they were coming from. It does make it more difficult to track who exactly is using it and when. But it does simplify the process and give us a general idea of who is checking out the material. 

gab21921
New Member

Has anyone considered using something like Samcart? They're pretty new. They just did a launch of their product anyway. It integrates payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe among many other important integrations such as email provider. Then, I'm thinking you'd just give the login details to students on Canvas after payment on Samcart? Refunds would also be handled via Samcart and then you'd have to manually disenroll a student from Canvas. Teachers would have to set up course descriptions and such on Samcart along with images. Could be time-consuming. I'm thinking of myself when I say that since I have over 20 classes I'd have to set up on Samcart in addition to setting up the pages on Canvas! I spent an entire year setting up a Wordpress site to sell my courses using the plugin LifterLMS. It's great, but, it would be soooo nice to have a FREE LMS with the cost of the small Samcart plan ($19 a month) since it's tough coughing up over $600 a year for the Wordpress LMS support AND the hosting fees. Sigh. I'm not sure if there are enough pieces to make this work with Samcart and Canvas, but, I wanted to throw this out there and see what you thought.

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GoSignMeUp
Partner
Partner

I know this is an old thread and our solution is more enterprise-level - but GoSignMeUp integrates with Canvas to allow you to manage on-line and in-seat courses in one place, as well as charge (or not) for them.  More info can be found here - GoSignMeUp Integrates with The Canvas LMS 

nicolopez77
Community Member

I found this tool as well: https://www.remote-learner.com/spotlight/lmscheckout/

Anybody using it?

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DDFletch
New Member

This is an old thread but I'm shocked that there hasn't been a better solution provided in 8 years.

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