Penn has a virtual shopping period in Canvas so that students can “visit” different courses as they finalize their course selections for the term. Read more at Penn's InfoCanvas site.

Penn GSE Faculty Opt-in Instructions

GSE faculty can opt-in and allow students to "shop" their course(s) by

  1. Changing the visibility of their course site to be viewable by Institution
  2. Copying and sending the course URL to the student who requested it


When students are visiting a course’s Canvas site, it is not the same as being registered for the course. Shoppers will not appear on the Canvas course roster and they will not be able to participate in course discussions or submit assignments. Therefore, students who shop a course’s Canvas site while not enrolled in it will need to ask the instructor for permission to “sit in” on any synchronous class sessions. 


Note: If you have scheduled a recurring Zoom meeting for your course, you can copy and send an invitation to a synchronous session to the student "shopper."


From your course site...

  1. Click on Settings to see the Course Details
  2. Scan down the page to find Visibility.
    The default visibility is Course; only students enrolled in your course can see the content.
  3. Click the Visibility drop-down and select Institution
    This means that anyone who is logged into Penn Canvas and has the course site URL can see the site contents.
  4. Click Update Course Details at bottom of page
  5. Go to your course home page. Select and copy the URL in the browser address bar formatted like this: https://canvas.upenn.edu/courses/1234567
  6. Paste the address in the message to the student who requested shopping.
  7. Set a reminder in your calendar to change the course setting visibility back to Course after the shopping period has concluded.



Scroll down the page for Visibility; set to Institution.


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