Getting the Library into the LMS: Canvas Self-Enrolling Courses

Poster Description: This poster will describe how two liaison librarians created and deployed Canvas self-enrolling courses in their respective subject areas to help solve some common teaching challenges. The poster will discuss affordances and limitations of these Canvas courses, as well as future plans for development.

Poster: View Google Slides.

Presenter Names: Lindley Homol, Northeaster University Library and Alissa Link Cilfone, Northeastern University Library

Presenter Bios: Lindley Homol is the Manager of Global Campus Engagement and Online Learning at Northeastern University Library, where she works primarily with online graduate students in the Graduate School of Education. She can be reached at

Alissa Link Cilfone is the Head of the STEM & Entrepreneurship department at Northeastern University Library, where she liaises to Biology, Biochemistry, and Bioengineering. She can be reached at

6 replies on “Getting the Library into the LMS: Canvas Self-Enrolling Courses”

Thanks for sharing your poster. How do students find these courses to self-enroll within Canvas? Is there a list of available courses to choose from or have you been able to limit it to show up for just those students within Education or Biology?

Hi Amanda! I believe students mostly find these courses based on our own outreach and promotion right now. I can’t speak to Lindley’s methods, but for myself, I distribute the link in every Biology class, share it on the Biology LibGuide, and it got sent around to all of the currently enrolled Biology students by the Director of the Undergraduate Curriculum. This is definitely a limitation though!

Hi Amanda,

Similar to Alissa, I started out by sharing the link with students during teaching sessions. Last term, I instead sent a course invite to everyone who signed up for an orientation workshop and found that worked really well.

Hello, Alissa and Lindley. Thanks for sharing such a well-informed and well-paced Google Slides poster! Quick thought — on your Limitations slide (#13), you mention the challenge of tracking student progress. We’ve encountered similar frustrations. Recently, we added Badges to our self-enroll, self-guided Canvas course sites. By associating a badge with each Module via the Badgr LTI, we’re able to take advantage of their Progress and Leaderboard features to better track completion. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this approach.

Hi Diana! I’m very intrigued by this approach! There have been a few instructors I know of across campus that have started experimenting with Badges, but I have to admit that I’m not one of them. It’s definitely something that I’d love to explore though, and I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on how it’s gone and if there are any major pros/cons!

Hi Diana,

Thanks for your kind words and sharing your workaround for tracking progress! This is the first I’ve heard of this approach and I’d be interested in learning more. Right now, most of my assessment of progress is indirect, since I can only see how long someone has been logged in to the course and if they pose questions in the discussion board.

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