Canvas Roles

Within Canvas, various course-level permissions determine the type of access a person has to a Canvas course. By default, the university uses teacher and student, which correspond to the roles given through GET. Instructors of record for a course receive teacher access to that course in Canvas. Officially enrolled students are automatically added with a student-level role in that Canvas course. This page goes into more details about roles and what they can and can't do.

Teacher

The teacher level has the most permissions and is listed as instructors in a course so that students can message the instructor. Instructors have all permissions related to a course.

Student

Students have the opposite type of role. They have very few permissions in a Canvas course. However, these are all of the permissions that they need to successfully participate in a course.

Allowed Permissions in a course:

  • Announcements - view
  • Conversations - send messages to individual course members
  • Discussions - create
  • Discussions - post
  • Discussions - view
  • Student Collaborations - create
  • Users - view list
  • Web Conferences - create

LMS Support

This role was created to receive support with Canvas. This role is most similar to a teacher. However, they are not listed as an instructor for the course. If you work with our student assistants, they may ask you to add them to the course with this type of role for help with Canvas.

The only permission this role does not have when compared to a teacher is:

  • Grades - view audit trail

TA

The Teaching Assistant (TA) role was created for graduate assistants and teaching assistants that need access to your course. This permission level allows them to modify some course content and grade students.

Allowed Permissions in a course:

  • Analytics - view pages
  • Announcements - view
  • Assignments and Quizzes - add / edit / delete
  • Conversations - send messages to entire class
  • Conversations - send messages to individual course members
  • Course Calendar - add / edit / delete events
  • Course Content - add / edit / delete
  • Course Files - add / edit / delete
  • Courses - change visibility
  • Courses - view usage reports
  • Discussions - create
  • Discussions - moderate
  • Discussions - post
  • Discussions - view
  • Grades - edit
  • Grades - view all grades
  • Groups - add / edit / delete
  • Groups - view all student groups
  • LTI - add / edit / delete
  • Pages - add / edit / delete
  • Question banks - view and link
  • Rubrics - add / edit / delete
  • Student Collaborations - create
  • Users - view list
  • Users - view login IDs
  • Users - view primary email address
  • Web Conferences - create

Permissions that are not allowed:

  • Course State - manage
  • Grades - select final grade for moderation
  • Grades - view audit trail
  • Learning Outcomes - add / edit / delete
  • Learning Outcomes - import
  • SIS Data - read
  • Users - add / remove students in courses
  • Users - add / remove teachers, course designers, or TAs in courses

Non-Editing Teacher

The non-editing teacher has been used to add colleagues that wanted course access. However, this role is not allowed to touch student grades. For sharing content, we suggest loading course content into a sandbox so that other instructors don't have access to student data for your class.

Allowed Permissions in a course:

  • Analytics - view pages
  • Announcements - view
  • Conversations - send messages to individual course members
  • Courses - change visibility
  • Courses - view usage reports
  • Discussions - create
  • Discussions - moderate
  • Discussions - post
  • Discussions - view
  • Groups - add / edit / delete
  • Groups - view all student groups
  • Question banks - view and link
  • SIS Data - read
  • Users - view list
  • Users - view login IDs
  • Users - view primary email address

Permissions that are not allowed:

  • Assignments and Quizzes - add / edit / delete
  • Conversations - send messages to entire class
  • Course Calendar - add / edit / delete events
  • Course Content - add / edit / delete
  • Course Files - add / edit / delete
  • Course Sections - add / edit / delete
  • Course State - manage
  • Grades - edit
  • Grades - select final grade for moderation
  • Grades - view all grades
  • Grades - view audit trail
  • LTI - add / edit / delete
  • Learning Outcomes - add / edit / delete
  • Learning Outcomes - import
  • Pages - add / edit / delete
  • Rubrics - add / edit / delete
  • Student Collaborations - create
  • Users - add / remove students in courses
  • Users - add / remove teachers, course designers, or TAs in courses
  • Web Conferences - create

Designer

The designer role is a default role type provided by Canvas. This role has permissions around managing course content, but not all student-related permissions.

Allowed Permissions in a course:

  • Announcements - view
  • Assignments and Quizzes - add / edit / delete
  • Conversations - send messages to entire class
  • Conversations - send messages to individual course members
  • Course Calendar - add / edit / delete events
  • Course Content - add / edit / delete
  • Course Files - add / edit / delete
  • Course State - manage
  • Courses - change visibility
  • Courses - view usage reports
  • Discussions - create
  • Discussions - moderate
  • Discussions - post
  • Discussions - view
  • Groups - add / edit / delete
  • Groups - view all student groups
  • LTI - add / edit / delete
  • Learning Outcomes - add / edit / delete
  • Learning Outcomes - import
  • Pages - add / edit / delete
  • Question banks - view and link
  • Rubrics - add / edit / delete
  • Student Collaborations - create
  • Users - add / remove students in courses
  • Users - view list
  • Web Conferences - create

Permissions that are not allowed:

  • Analytics - view pages
  • Grades - edit
  • Grades - select final grade for moderation
  • Grades - view all grades
  • Grades - view audit trail
  • SIS Data - read
  • Users - add / remove teachers, course designers, or TAs in courses
  • Users - view login IDs
  • Users - view primary email address

Observer

The observer role is a default role provided by Canvas. They are typically meant for adding a parent type role in K-12 environments for a student. In our Canvas instance, if you add an observer to your course, you can have them observe nobody, and this person would only be able to see some content type.

Allowed Permissions in a Course:

  • Announcements - view
  • Discussions - view

OSD Service Provider

This role type was created to allow OSD to more easily access the portions of the course that are important. This role can only view content in Canvas and doesn't have access to see grades or students.

Allowed Permissions in a Course:

  • Announcements - view