Using the Free Canvas Course Sites at SJU


A guide for using the Free Teacher and Student Accounts for non-credit or community-centered courses for students who do not have Saint Joseph’s University Accounts.


What’s a Free Canvas Account?

This account lets you use the essential functionality of the Canvas learning management platform for occasions when your course is not listed in Banner and some or all of those in your class are not SJU students.  The Free Canvas Course Site should not be used for SJU classes which are tracked and managed within Banner. The Free Canvas Account is not just free for teachers—it's free for you, your students, their parents, and anyone else who wants to use Canvas learning tools. And it’s free forever. You'll have access to:

  • Course creation and importing

  • Personalized learning with MasteryPaths

  • Fully native mobile apps for you and your students

  • Standards-based grade books, a quizzing platform, and more

Access the Free Canvas Site


If you have already joined a course at you should use the email address that you entered when joining or were invited to join.

Instructor specific information:

  • New courses can be created by clicking the Start a New Course link on the right side of the Dashboard.

  • Students can be added by Navigating to Settings link then click on the “more options” link at the bottom of the screen.  and check the box for “ Let students self-enroll by sharing with them a secret URL or code”

  • Click on Update Course Details and you’ll be given a course code and a URL (e.g. to share with your students.

How do I enroll Students?:

How do I enable course self-enrollment with a join code or secret URL?


To customize the course for your use, you’ll want to set a new course image, course name, and course code.  For more information about how to do that see below.

How do I use course settings to set up and manage my course?


How do I communicate with my students

Communication within Canvas is easy.  You can email or message all your students through the inbox or Announcements(see posting a zoom link with announcements).

How do I use the Inbox as an instructor?

Sharing a Zoom link with Students


Your SJU Zoom account will not be integrated with the free canvas sites.  In order to schedule and share a zoom meeting with students please log into, schedule a new meeting and share it through Announcements in your Canvas course.

Where do I access Zoom

Schedule a new meeting

Post Zoom link via Announcements 

How do I add an announcement in a course?

Student Specific Information

Students can use any email address they choose to join the free Canvas course site.  The email address should be one that they check regularly.

Support information for the 2021 PMLA Conference 

Canvas Student Guide - Table of Contents

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Article ID: 102725
Tue 3/24/20 12:00 PM
Wed 6/9/21 11:29 AM