Community Participant

Non-Academic Uses of Canvas (sports, clubs...)

I have had a few coaches and sponsors reach out about using Canvas with their kids. The big idea is having one place for everything school related in one place. There could be a basketball course with all the plays and other info the coaches usually shared though emails or other sites. 

Is anyone else doing this? Is there anything we should know or get ready for as we move into this new area? 

9 Replies
Community Champion

Our high school have "student communities", a Canvas course where all students in the school are enrolled, assigned to a section for their graduating class that we provision through our SIS. Originally, the intent of these were to be a student-managed course with one or more staff members serving as the sponsor, with student content developers assigned a custom role that allow them to edit content but not have the full capabilities of a teacher. Some schools are still student-run while others have shifted to where teachers maintain/update content. For extracurriculars, we use Canvas's Group feature set to self enrollment. Club sponsors and coaches primarily use these to send out announcements. Information that's applicable to all students is updated and maintained in the main course itself.

Things that work well:

  • Students have one portal for all their nonacademic school activities
  • The SIS provisioning and Group self enrollment means rostering is largely hands-off
  • Over the summer, we delete and restore the courses to quickly wipe out the prior year's enrollments
  • Template pages were provided to give schools some starting points
  • The Student Leader role gives students ownership of the course
  • One course for all extracurriculars at a school is manageable (as the Canvas Admin) than dozens of manually-created courses for all the extracurriculars at each of our 12 high schools.

Some drawbacks of this approach:

  • Parents don't have access to Groups so they won't receive announcements
  • Course-level announcements would go out to parents, but your need one or more teachers as gatekeepers to post these. One school gave all its teachers the Teacher role (I advised against this); later they found that items had gotten deleted and couldn't track who'd done what.
  • With all students in the same course, we've run into student spamming issues with the Inbox, or students posting Spam announcements to a Group. This becomes a disciplinary issue the school needs to address.
  • The management of the course is different from a traditional course, with a few workarounds to make it happen, so the staff at the school overseeing it need a strong understanding of Canvas as well as some training so they understand the ins and outs here.

So many great points, I appreciate your insights. You gave us a lot to think about.

Community Team
Community Team

Oh! There's so much I can write! (Audra, great points!!) Smiley Happy

TL; DR - Having this information in Canvas simplifies things for families and students! They know where to go for information, regardless if it's academic or extra-curricular.

Every sport and activity has its own Canvas course, and we use sections for the various teams/levels within a particular group. It helps with differentiated announcements! Each coach/moderator is the "Teacher" in the course, and our Activities Director has a custom Admin role to help with enrollments and rosters.

One thing I want to point out is that many students will overload the maximum calendar count. The Calendar is only set to support 10 calendars, and often, by the time students have their whole schedule and their activities selected, they have more than 10! Students where I teach know about this, and they're used to it, but it can throw off new families. 

Community Participant

I had no idea about the max calendar entries, great insight. I appreciate you responding to this thread.

Community Coach
Community Coach


You might want to check out my blog post: Campus Clubs and Groups.  For our needs, we have now moved to giving each of these spaces a normal course shell so that they can utilize the join code option.  That way, they don't have to come to us (the Canvas admins) every time they want to add someone to their group/club.

Community Participant

Thanks for the idea about having each club/sport its own course. 

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

 @cdavitt , you might find this blog post interesting: Campus Clubs and Groups. Here's another discussion with a lot of ideas.

Community Participant

Thanks for taking the time to share these links. I appreciate the resources. 

New Member

Canvas is a versatile tool that can be used for more than just academics. It can be used for sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities.

Sports teams can use Canvas to keep track of their game schedule, practices, and other important information. Clubs can use Canvas to keep track of their members, events, and other important information.

Canvas can be used to create a central hub for all of your extracurricular activities. This can help you keep track of everything in one place and make it easier to stay organized.

If you're looking for a way to make your extracurricular activities more efficient, consider using Canvas. It's a versatile sportscollaborator tool that can help you stay organized and on track.

0 Kudos