Canvas Non-Academic Listing Pre-Launch Checklist  

For non-degree non-credit offerings, it is the program’s responsibility to ensure all listings comply with the JHU guidelines. The facilitator or support staff should review and comply with these guidelines prior to launching a listing.  

Staffing Set Up 

  • Staffing: Do you have staffing secured for the course at least one month in advance and processed by HR?  
  • Credentials for Staffing: Do they have the proper credentials (e.g., JHED), activated email account, and access to Canvas?  
  • Training:  
    • Did staff receive support and guidance on these lifelong learning guidelines prior to development?  
    • Did staff receive Canvas training prior to launching the course?  

Basics Requirements 

  • Learner Credentials: Lifelong learning has a range of different account types that may be possible. The type of account determines costs, access to required and optional materials, and more. Be aware that many external learners cannot access all school services (e.g., JHU email or library).  
  • 3rd Party Tools:  
    • Review which third-party tools are permitted by your program. (The program should provide the list to the facilitator in advance).  
    • Do your learner account types work with all your desired 3rd party tools? How do you know? (Provide documentation) 
    • Only licensed third-party tools are planned for use in the course, and the facilitator is aware that using additional products may not be permitted or may be subject to additional costs. 
  • Privacy
    • Note: There is an ongoing discussion about whether lifelong learning user data is covered by FERPA. More information will be coming soon from legal. However, out of an abundance of caution, the expectation is that we will treat lifelong learning data the same as academic learner data under FERPA for data protection. 
    • Take measures to protect the PII of staff and non-instructor faculty.  
    • Ensure that all included data sets are free of PII or other protected data. 
    • Only use JHU-approved tools for the course. 

Developing a Listing 

  • Brand: All JHU offerings (i.e., listing pages, courses, and branded materials) must follow the university brand guidelines. Canvas’s theme is already compliant with the brand; however, websites and content are the responsibility of the program to develop in compliance with the JHU brand guidelines.  
  • Use of Name: All courses must comply with the use of name policy and, if needed, the course staff will seek official approval prior to releasing any materials.  
  • Expectations: The requirements and expectations of the learner are clearly stated on the listing and within the course (e.g., technology access, prior knowledge level, language fluency, and expectations for engagement).  
  • International Access: Does each listing explicitly state which countries this course will work in or which ones it will not work in? 
  • Certificates: If allowed by their division, programs are permitted to give “certificates of completion” that say that an offering has been completed or attended. They must state that the certificates are not posted to the JHU transcripts and do not count toward an academic record. If your offering offers a certificate, does the language mirror this guidance?  
  • Badges: The only approved JHU platform for both formal assessment tracking and badging is AEFIS. I understand that launching large-scale badging is not currently available in AEFIS but is on the roadmap. How do you ensure that your offering complies with this? 

Listing Requirements 

Check and confirm that listings have all the following prior to launch.  

  • Learning prerequisites (i.e., prior knowledge level, language fluency, international access, and expectations for engagement)  
  • Technical prerequisites (e.g., ability to save and upload files, OS, browser, bandwidth, camera, microphone, specific software) 
  • Course lifecycle and access  
  • Refund policy and timeline 
  • Technical support statement  
  • Accessibility statement 
  • JHU is not approved by Middle States for direct assessment credentials for academic credit or divisional approved language to this effect  

Listing Set Up  

  • Accessibility: Content must meet WCAG 2.1 AA Web Content Accessibility Standards. See “Accessibility Best Practices” below for a list of measures that should be adopted. 
  • Copyright: Abide by JHU’s Copyright Compliance Policy.
  • Intellectual Property: Respect and protect the intellectual property of JHU, its faculty, and students 
  • Licensing Limitations: Abide by the limitations in place for sharing licensed content. See “Library Resources Best Practices” below for additional information. 
  • Multimedia: All audio and video should not be stored on Canvas as it incurs additional charges. Audio and videos should be stored on a 3rd party tool such as Panopto, Kaltura, YouTube (if no PII), or Vimeo (if no PII). Permissions should be limited such that only course participants can access videos where appropriate. 
  • Learning Outcomes and Assessment: These should be clearly stated upfront in the course along with other learning expectations and they should not change. 
  • Course settings:  
    • Determining when learners can and can no longer access materials should comply with your group’s guidelines.  
    • Concluding the enrollment: Whenever possible enrollments should be concluded using section or course dates to ensure fees for external learners on Canvas are minimized to the greatest extent possible. Review the Setting Dates and Access for Non-Academic Courses page for more information.  

Help Resources on the Guidance

Allowable Content 

Owners and administrators of public course sites are responsible for ensuring that content shared on public course sites is accurately and appropriately cited and limited to works in the following categories: 

  • Original works by the course instructor(s) 
    • When posting their own original work, instructors should include a corresponding copyright statement: Copyright © [Year]. Johns Hopkins University and [Instructor Name]. All Rights Reserved [or appropriate open license].  
  • Public domain works 
    • Openly licensed works used in accordance with the license terms (e.g. Creative Commons License, GNU General Public License, Open Data Commons, etc.) 

Any works that fall outside of the above categories must meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • Permission to use the work on a public site has been granted in writing by the copyright owner. 
  • A fair use analysis has demonstrated that use of the work on a public site is permissible. 

Accessibility Best Practices 

All courses with public visibility must undergo a thorough accessibility review, including both manual and automated processes. 

The WCAG 2.1 AA Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are the authoritative source of information about web accessibility. Below are a few best practices that can be adopted to meaningfully improve accessibility. 

  • Document Templates (e.g., Word, PowerPoint, etc.): Ensure that content is prepared with a consistent set of templates that are designed in such a way to promote the use of recommended contrast ratios, alt text for images, accessible fonts, headings, tables, and logical reading order.  
  • PDFs: Produce and post PDFs that have been checked and remediated with the Acrobat Accessibility Checker. When this isn’t possible, original document types (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) are preferable to PDFs. 
  • Alternative Accessible Formats: Include alternative accessible formats for accessing the content of video and audio presentations. Post slide presentations, transcripts, and descriptions alongside video and audio content. 
  • Captioning of Video: Include human-generated (or edited) captions on video content. 
  • Alt Text for Images: Incorporate alt text into all informational images embedded in documents. 
  • Alternative Text for Complex Figures and Graphs: Long descriptions should be provided alongside the image on the slide. If space on the slide is a concern, this information may be provided in the slide notes section 
  • Images and Color Contrast: Avoid the use of images of text and presentation of data that relies solely on color. 
  • Ally: In addition to manually assessing content for accessibility issues, use Ally to identify and address accessibility issues

Library Resources Best Practices 

  • Please note the following best practices for sharing resources that came from licensed databases: 
  • Do share the full citation, including the digital object identifier (DOI) or PubMed number, so non-JHU students and researchers can search their own licensed resources to see if they have access. 
  • Do not include links from your course to JHU-licensed electronic resources. Those links will have JHU-specific proxy information embedded and will lead to a dead end for the non-Hopkins community. 
  • Do consider finding Open Educational Resources (OER) equivalents to your content. For help identifying OER, see the Open Educational Resources guide
  • Need help? Email [email protected].