Support Center

Canvas User Roles: Employees

Last Updated: Feb 08, 2017 12:17PM PST

If you would like to add someone to a live Canvas shell who is not enrolled in the course, please make sure to read this article on requesting additional users.

You can view this screenshot of our current user permissions for more details about which permissions are available for each user role. For a detailed discussion of each permission, refer to this user permissions document from Canvas


This role is appropriate for anyone you would like to have full control over the content of the course. Teachers must be Canvas certified. In a co-teaching situation, only the teacher of record is automatically added to a course. The teacher of record must request that the additional teacher be added to the course.


The TA role is limited to interacting with students in discussions, web conferences and collaborations. TAs have no access to grading, nor can they create or manage course content. This role is appropriate for mentoring. 


A Designer in the course can manage all content, but they cannot see student grades, nor can they view analytical data on student activity. They can see student submissions to assignments. 

Tenure Team

The Tenure Team role is intended for members of the tenure committee of a tenure-track faculty member. This role allows users to observe the course and teaching practices of a tenure candidate.  


Observer is an appropriate role for an external course reviewer, or for someone who needs read-only access to a course.

The Observer role is not appropriate for students who are on the waiting list, using a fee waiver, or dealing with other enrollment issues. Instead, the course should be made publicly visible until the issues are resolved. Public visibility also offers the same sort of read-only access as the Observer role. For more information, see the article on Managing Enrollments in Canvas at the Start of the Term.


The student role is reserved for students who are officially enrolled in courses with the college. Unless there is a technical issue with the automatic enrollment processes, eLearning will not manually add anyone in the student role to any live courses. Enrollment changes in the Student Management System generally take 20 to 40 minutes to propagate in Canvas. This is normal and does not constitute a technical problem.

If you would like to create faculty or staff training, or an administrative shell for a program, and you need access to the student role in order to manage the course properly, please consult with eLearning.

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