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How do I start a new course from the Dashboard as an instructor?

How do I start a new course from the Dashboard as an instructor?

If you are allowed to add new courses in Canvas, you can start new courses from your Canvas Dashboard. New courses are created as course shells which can host course content and enrollments for your institution.

When you create a course from the Dashboard, you are automatically added to the course as an instructor. No other enrollments exist in the course, though you may be able to add users to a new course. Additionally, new courses do not contain course content. In the new course, you can create new content and add existing content using the course import tool and by sharing content from an existing course.

Alternatively, you can create a new course to use as a sandbox. A sandbox is a course without student enrollments where you can create, modify, and preview course content and structure  without student interference. You can then share or import your sandbox content into live courses.

Note: If you are not able to start a course as shown in these instructions, your institution has disabled this feature. Some institutions provide courses to faculty automatically via SIS (student information system) imports. For assistance creating a new course, contact your Canvas Admin.

Start a New Course

Start a New Course

In the Dashboard sidebar, click the Start a New Course button. You may need to scroll down to see this button.

Note: If you do not see this button in Canvas, your institution has disabled this feature.

Add Course Details

Add Course Details

Add your course name by typing in the Course Name field [1].

If your course name is longer than 21 characters, you can create a course code in the Short Name field [2]. If your course name is too short to create a Short Name, a short name will automatically be created for you. The short name will be displayed at the top of the Course Navigation menu and in the course card in the dashboard. If you have permission to edit the course name, you may be able to change the course name and code later in Course Settings.

If you want to set a content license, select the content license drop-down menu [3]. This setting will help Canvas keep track of the default license for content inside of your course. By default all content is considered copyrighted, but you can also release your content to the public domain or choose a Creative Commons license. You can also learn more about licenses and set the license at any time in Course Settings.

If you want to make the course publicly visible, click the Make course publicly visible (student data will remain private) checkbox [4]. This option will make the course public to anyone with the URL. You can change the course visibility setting at any time in Course Settings.

Create Course

Create Course

Click the Create course button.

View Course

View the new course. Depending on your institution's preference, you can use either the Course Setup Checklist or the Canvas Course Setup Tutorial to populate your course at any time.


It says I don't have access to do the record thing for meet the teacher and I have no idea how to use I will have to work on that.

I'm a TA and don't have access to do this task.

Hi @bradyll 

If you are unable to create a course from the Dashboard, your institution has disabled this permission for the TA role (or whatever role you are assigned). If this is something they expect you to do, please contact the Canvas admin at your school so they can adjust your permissions accordingly.


Hi @s9700343 

Have you been able to talk to your school for assistance? They may be able to help set you up for the recording.


I created a course; however, the course I need is already populated on my dashboard. 

@kkent3 is it possible that your local school admin created the course for you?  

it says I do not have access.


What is telling you that you do not have access?  Are you trying to enter a course? Has your schools send you directions for logging in?

These comments are posted to the global Canvas Community,

NOT your Canvas course.

  • Have a question about using Canvas? Visit the Q&A page.
  • Have an idea to improve Canvas? Visit the Idea Conversations space.
  • Need to reply to a course discussion? Log in to your Canvas course and add your comment there (Tip: Visit your school's website to log in to Canvas).
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