Canvas@Illinois , Extended Customization with DesignPLUS

This article describes what an extended customization course is and how it can be used to create and design customized content for subaccounts in Canvas@Illinois ( or Canvas Catalog/Open Canvas (


With DesignPLUS, our university has the ability to create different levels of customization. All courses in Canvas have access to customized content, such as banner images, content block templates, and template pages, through the use of a Primary Customizations course. Some departments and programs may have a need for additional, college/department-specific customizations and this can be accomplished with what's called an Extended Customization course.

What is an Extended Customization?

An Extended Customization is a Canvas course created for a specific subaccount that gives staff in a college/department the ability to maintain and create customized content for their subaccount (and any sub-subaccounts). This can be helpful when creating courses with consistent branding, formatting, and organization for a particular college, department, or program. The content added to an Extended Customization course is available to courses within the subaccount, in addition to content from the Primary Customization course.

For more information about what's possible with an extended customization course, see the Customizations Courses page in the DesignPLUS User Guide from Cidi Labs. 

Important Limitations

  • Although we can create extended customizations for departments within a college, we cannot create an extended customization course specific to a program. For example, we can create an extended customization for all SOCW courses but cannot create an extended customization only for online SOCW courses. Customizations would be available for all SOCW courses in the subaccount.
  • DesignPLUS supports only one extended customization at the sub-account level. If a different extended customization course is added at the sub-subaccount level, it will override the customization course(s) defined by the parent account.
  • Extended Customizations can be used in Canvas@Illinois ( and non-credit courses in Catalog/Open Canvas ( However, since these are separate instances, each instance of Canvas will require an extended customization and has to be maintained separately.

Current Extended Customizations

The following table shows which subaccounts or subcatalogs currently have an extended customization installed. 

Extended Customizations Table
Canvas @ Illinois ( Canvas Catalog/Open Canvas (
  • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (Primary customization; root level)
    • College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (subaccount)
    • Gies College of Business (subaccount)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Non-credit (Primary customization; root level)
    • College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (subcatalog)
    • College of Applied Health Sciences (subcatalog)

Request an Extended Customization Course

If your college or department is interested in creating an extended customization course, you must submit a ticket to the Technology Services Help Desk at An extended customization course cannot be requested through the Space Request Application (SRA) like a regular Canvas course. Requests for an extended customization course must go to the Canvas Support team in Technology Services.

In your ticket, please include the following information:

  • State that you need an extended customizations course in Canvas and need assistance from the Canvas Support team to complete that request
  • Subaccount where the course should be added (usually this is a department or college)
  • Indicate if this is for Canvas@Illinois ( or Canvas Catalog/Open Canvas (, or both
  • Name and NetID of at least one person who will manage the customization course 

Once we receive the ticket, someone from the Canvas Support team will reach out to you to coordinate implementation.

Managing an Extended Customization Course

If you are a staff member who is managing an extended customization course for your department, we recommend reviewing the following resources:

Important Note about the New DesignPLUS Sidebar

We anticipate updating to the New DesignPLUS Sidebar sometime during AY 2023-2024 (likely Spring 2024). This will require the creation of a new extended customization course for your subaccount to work with the new tools. However, upgrading to the new tools will not break content created with your current extended customization course. Transition plans for the New DesignPLUS Sidebar will be communicated when they are available.

Any questions about this upgrade, and how it will affect extended customizations courses, should be directed to the Technology Services Help Desk at or 217-244-7000 so your ticket can be escalated to the Canvas Support team.

Keywordscanvas, designplus, customization, subaccount, catalog, template   Doc ID127325
OwnerCanvas C.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2023-04-18 09:02:57Updated2023-08-16 11:10:21
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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