Penn Online Learning

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What is Penn Online Learning?

Penn Online Learning is the new name for what was formerly known as Canvas Catalog. Penn Online Learning is a separate Canvas instance from Penn Canvas. Users do not need a PennKey, PennID, or be registered through the Penn Registrar’s office for access. Penn Online Learning has all the same features of Canvas Catalog, but with a new and refreshed look. Courses offered through the Online Learning Initiative (OLI) utilize the Penn Online Learning Canvas instance.

Penn Online Learning can also host special courses not offered through OLI, but on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact the Courseware Services Team at

How Can I Request a Site?

All Penn Online Learning courses are administered through the Online Learning Initiative at Penn in collaboration with various departments on campus. Participants only have access to their courses after payment is received and will receive an email notification with login instructions.

Other courses hosted in Penn Online Learning are special courses that are a collaboration between external stakeholders and special groups within the Penn community. Administration and creation of these courses are considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information, or to request a special site, please contact: Monique Breaux (Online Learning Support Librarian) with the Courseware Services Team.

Penn Online Learning Requirements

Access to Canvas

Users are required to have a PennPath login for Canvas access to view and participate in a course.

  • PennPath:
    • PennPath is for organizations with external populations who need access to Penn resources, like online learners, research collaborators, business partners, and other external affiliates.
      • Please note, in the sign-up form you will be asked for your Family Name and your Given Name.
        • Family Name is your last name
        • Given Name is your first name
    • For more information about PennPath, please see the PennPath Overview from Information Systems and Computing.
  • Other Users:
    • Login for faculty and staff with Penn-affiliated email addresses.
    • Users manually added to Penn Online Learning, and received notification via email.

Canvas Requirements

Please refer to the browser and computer requirements for Canvas.

Penn Online Learning Policies

Learners in the Penn Online Learning instance of Canvas should review the Privacy Policy established by the University of Pennsylvania Office of Audit, Compliance, and Privacy. The Privacy Policy describes the University of Pennsylvania’s information-collection practices, and explains how your personal information is used and protected.

In addition, learners should review the Acceptable Use Policy on Electronic Resources established by Penn Information Systems and Computing (ISC).

Access to, change of or deletion of your Personal Information

To the extent these rights are provided to you by applicable law, if you would like to request to review, correct, update, suppress, restrict or delete Personal Information that you have previously provided to us, object to the processing of Personal Information or if you would like to request to receive an electronic copy of your Personal Information for purposes of transmitting it to another entity, please contact the Penn Office of Audit, Compliance, and Privacy at

We will respond to your request consistent with applicable law.

Features & Third-Party Tools

The Penn Online Learning Canvas instance does not have all the same features and third-party tools as Penn Canvas. The only available third-party tool integrations are Panopto and

Only the Health Care Innovation and Ethics and Policy Online program has access to in Penn Online Learning.

The free version of Poll Everywhere can be used in Penn Online Learning Canvas sites. For more information, please see the pricing model for Poll Everywhere.

Penn Online Learning is an evolving Canvas instance at Penn. If you’re interested in incorporating a third-party tool in your Penn Online Learning site, please send an email to with your request.

How do I Log In?

Screenshot of Penn Online Learning page. Canvas login options displayed include PennPath Users or Other Users. An button for Chat support is also visible.
  • From the Canvas Login Options, choose either:
    • PennPath: If you’ve purchased a course through the Online Learning Initiative. This is the same email address used to sign-up and pay for the course.
    • Other Users: If you were manually added to a course, and received notification via email.

For PennPath Users: Enter the username created to sign up for the course and the applicable password. If you do not remember your password, please click “Forgot your password?”

Screenshot of PennPath login screen for Penn Online Learning.

If you do not remember what email is associated with your account, please email: and provide the following information:

  • First and Last Name
  • Course enrolled in
  • Email address being used for attempted login

For Other Users: Use the email address used when invited to the course.

If you are unsure of which login to use, or continuously run into errors while logging in, please email and provide the following information:
-First and Last Name
-Email address being used for attempted login

Canvas Student App

  1. From the Canvas Student app, click Find my school and type in UPenn Canvas Online Learning.
  2. You will then be directed to the log in page where you can select either PennPath or Other Users.
  3. Log in the same way when using an internet browser.

Common Penn Online Learning Canvas Issues

Uploading a Profile Picture

In order to upload a profile picture into Penn Online Learning, you must verify your email. To verify your email, please complete the following steps:

  • Login to Canvas
  • In the left-hand navigation, click Account 
  • Click Settings
  • In the blue box towards the bottom of the page, click “Re-send Verification Email”
  • You’ll receive an email from Penn Online Learning/Canvas; you’ll need to verify the email address prior to being able to add a profile picture.

I need help! Whom do I contact?

If you need assistance, please contact Penn Online Learning Support at