Technology Resource Center

Canvas Roles

What your role is in a Canvas course dictates what actions you can take.  There are seven (7) different roles that an account in Canvas can have for a course.  This page provides details about those roles and what types of actions that each role can take.

Faculty and Staff can refer to the list below for a description of each role we have established at Edmonds CC for Canvas.

Request Access to a Canvas Course

A request must be generated by the Lead Instructor of the course, the Department Chair, the Division Dean, or Office of Instruction authorizing the addition of a non-enrolled users: non-employee, faculty, or student to a Canvas course.  Completing the Canvas Course Add/Drop form will satisfy this requirement.

The Canvas Course Add/Drop form has been created to assist authorized staff and faculty to initiate the course enrollment request process.  Staff and Faculty will need to log into their @email.edcc.edu account in order to use the form.

Notes:

  • A user cannot have multiple roles in a Canvas Course, role conflicts within Canvas always default to the role with higher permissions.  For example: if you are enrolled in a course as a student and as a teacher, Canvas will ignore your student enrollment.
  • Access to a future and past Canvas Course is available only to the ‘Teacher role’. Teachers (instructors) have access to assigned courses for 8 quarters (2 years).
  • Access (or enrollment) to past Canvas courses can only be established by the Canvas Administrator.
  • CAUTION: Please use the TA or Designer role for users that need course editing rights. The Teacher role should only be used in cases where the individual will be taking over as an instructor for the course. With the implementation of EvaluationKit adding an individual in a teacher role will initiate an instructor course evaluation for students to complete.
  • It is highly recommended that you add Deans, Department Heads and other faculty you are training to the Teaching Observer Role of your course, this gives them additional view only rights that are not available for the Course Observer or Student Observer Roles.

 Canvas Course Roles

  • Student - Participant in the course between the Term Start and Term End dates.
  • Teacher - Add, edit, and delete events on the course calendar, Manage course content, Create and edit assessing rubrics, Manage (add / edit / delete) assignments and quizzes, course files, groups.  Lead Instructor and Team Teacher are placed within this role. Instructor teaching for another instructor who is taking  Extended Leave. Lead Instructor is responsible for submitting grades to Instructor Briefcase.
  • TA (Teacher Assistant) - TA’s support course work and work with students as necessary to achieve course outcomes.  TA’s have similar permissions as a Teacher, but cannot edit some core settings of the course (e.g. modify Start/End Date, Unpublish/Publish Course, modify rubrics or outcomes, etc). Team Teachers can be placed within this role, if it is necessary to manage access to specific content in the course. TA can access or edit Student Grades
  • Designer (edits only, no grading) - Add, edit, and delete events on the course calendar, Manage course content, Create and edit assessing rubrics, Manage (add / edit / delete) assignments and quizzes, course files, groups.  Designers cannot access or edit Student Grades.
  • CA (Class Assistant - limited) - Create student collaborations, Create web conferences, Manage (create / edit / delete) groups, Manage wiki (add / edit / delete pages), Post to discussions, See the list of users, Send messages to individual course members, Send messages to the entire class, View all students' submissions and make comments on them, View discussions, View the group pages of all student groups. CA cannot access or edit Student Grades
  • Teaching Observer (Elevated Observer role for Dean/Faculty/Staff only) - See the list of users, View all grades, View all students' submissions and make comments on them, View analytics pages, View and link to question banks, View discussions, View the group pages of all student groups, View usage reports for the course.
  • Observer (Read Only) - Observer can observe the course OR can observe a student within the course. Observer Role: Learn more about the Observer role on Canvas Guides. 
      • Observer (the course) can be specified for the entire course (audit the course).  See the Course and/or Section, Send messages to individual course members, View DiscussionsThis role works like a student allowing view only access to assignments, quizzes, discussions, etc.
      • Observer (a student) could be Advisor, Dean, Auditor, or other instructors/teacher interested in a specific student’s progress for a given course. See the Course and/or Section, Send messages to individual course members, View Discussions

Learn how course-role and account-role permissions work in Canvas.