Details on Canvas Course Role Permissions

Quick Links

Role Comparison between LMSs

Course RoleCoursePlusBlackboardCanvas
Primary and other faculty of the course​Instructor​Instructor​Teacher
Guest Faculty​Guest Faculty​No equivalent role​Guest Facilitator
Student​Student​Student​Student
Waitlisted StudentNo equivalent role​No equivalent role​Waitlisted Student
Teaching Assistant ​TA​TA​TA
Grader​Grading TA​Grader​Grader
Program staff that build the course​Site Content Editor ​Course Builder​Designer
Guest​Guest​Guest​Observer
Community Site InstructorNo equivalent roleLeaderLeader

Role Details

Teacher

Summary

Can access all course content, manipulate course content, and grades; only added to academic courses through SIS.

What can this user type do?

  • Can create and post to announcements and discussions
  • Add or edit the course calendar
  • Email the whole class or users in the class
  • Publish a course
  • View course reports
  • Edit and moderate grades
  • View and create student groups
  • Create and manage assignments and quizzes
  • Create and edit pages and modules
  • Add, edit, and delete rubrics
  • View the users in the course and their email address
  • Can view prior enrollments
  • Can upload SCORM Packages
  • Can use most LTI integrations.

What can’t they do?

  • They cannot enroll the “student” role in courses since that is managed by SIS. However, if a student is on the waitlist, they can temporarily add them as a “waitlisted student” and then remove them after add/drop period.
  • Cannot add or edit course sections (since that is managed by SIS)
  • Cannot edit “Learning Outcomes” or “Mastery Paths” (since this conflicts with some of our other tools)
  • Cannot install unapproved LTIs in a course
  • Cannot change course visibility to institution or public since there are additional approvals required
  • Cannot conclude courses (from Settings)

How are they enrolled?

  • SIS only, all faculty must have a faculty profile in SIS and must be assigned to the course
    • Academic Courses: SIS only
    • Stage Courses: Admins

What roles can they enroll?

  • TA
  • Grader
  • Guest facilitator
  • Waitlisted student
  • Observer
  • Designer

Student privacy considerations

  • The instructor of record is responsible for teaching and managing the course, responsible for submitting final grades in SIS
  • Point of contact for students
  • Responsible for complying with FERPA and JHU policies
  • Responsible for only allowing appropriate and approved people to see content in a course

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

Instructor of record for academic courses or accessing a “staging” (STAGE) course to prepare content for a future course.

Student

Summary

Can view and participate in all published course content, and view their grades; only added to academic courses through SIS.

What can this user type do?

  • Can access all published course content
  • Submit assignments and quizzes
  • Participate on the discussion board
  • View their own grades
  • Can participate with most LTIs (depending on account type – e.g., JHU user or non-JHU user)

How are they enrolled?

  • Academic Courses: SIS only 
  • Community Sites: Leaders, Admins (Manually)

What can’t they do?

  • Cannot edit any content, make any course changes.
  • Cannot see any student data beyond course interaction.

What roles can they enroll?

Cannot enroll anyone.

Student privacy considerations

Behaves as a student in the course with access to discussion forum content.

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

The actual student of record in the course for Academic Courses via SIS, extended with Community Sites.

Leader

Summary

Can access all course content, manipulate course content and grades in Community Sites, enrolled manually by Admins.

What can this user type do?

  • Add or edit the course calendar
  • Email the whole class or users in the class
  • Publish a course
  • View course reports
  • Edit and moderate grades
  • View and create student groups
  • Create and manage assignments and quizzes
  • Create and edit pages and modules
  • Add, edit, and delete rubrics
  • Can view the users in the course and their email address
  • Can view prior enrollments.
  • Can manage students in courses – user’s settings menu and user details.
  • Can resend course invitations from the Course People page.
  • Can manage students for Community Sites (not Academic Courses)
  • Can conclude courses (from Settings)
  • Can upload SCORM Packages
  • Can interact with most LTIs.

How are they enrolled?

  •  Community Sites by Admins (Manually)

What can’t they do?

  • They cannot manage course sections.
  • Only for Community Sites, not for Academic Courses
  • Some LTIs will require the Teacher or Student role work properly, varies by tool

What roles can they enroll?

  • Guest Facilitator
  • TA (Community Sites)
  • Grader (Community Sites)
  • Waitlisted Student (Community Sites)
  • Designer (Community Sites)
  • Observer (Community Sites)
  • Student (Community Sites)

Student privacy considerations

  • Point of contact for all in the Community Site
  • Responsible for complying with FERPA and JHU policies
  • Responsible for only allowing appropriate and approved people to see content in Community Site

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

Managers or instructors of Community Sites

Teaching Assistant (TA)

Summary

Can access all course content, manipulate course content and grades, enrolled manually by Teachers, Leaders, Admins, and cannot enroll.

What can this user type do?

  • Create and post to announcements and discussions
  • Add or edit the course calendar
  • Email the whole class or users in the class
  • Publish a course
  • View course reports
  • Edit and moderate grades
  • View and create student groups
  • Create and manage assignments and quizzes
  • Create and edit pages and modules
  • Add, edit, and delete rubrics
  • View the users in the course and their email address

How are they enrolled?

Teachers, Leaders, Admins, Manually

What can’t they do?

  • Cannot upload SCORM to courses.
  • Add or edit course sections (since that is managed by SIS)
  • Cannot edit “Learning Outcomes” or “Mastery Paths” (since this conflicts with some of our other tools)
  • They cannot install unapproved LTIs in a course
  • Change course visibility to institution or public since there are additional approvals required
  • Some LTIs will require the Teacher or Student role work properly, varies by tool

What roles can they enroll?

Cannot enroll anyone.

Student privacy considerations

  • Responsible for complying with FERPA and JHU policies
  • Responsible for only allowing appropriate and approved people to see content in a course

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

This role is best for a “head” TA that supports the Teacher in managing content and grading.

Grader (based on TA)

Summary

Can access the course gradebook and view published content; enrolled manually by Teachers, Leaders, and Admins.

What can this user type do?

  • Can view all course content but not edit (Pages and Modules)
  • Can edit assignments and question banks 
  • Can see the discussion board but not post
  • Can see People including email addresses
  • Can message students in the class
  • Can update grades

How are they enrolled?

Teachers, Leaders, Admins, Manually

What can’t they do?

  • Cannot moderate a final grade
  • Cannot make changes to the Calendar
  • Cannot upload SCORM Packages
  • Some LTIs will require the Teacher or Student role to work properly, varies by tool

What roles can they enroll?

Cannot enroll anyone.

Student privacy considerations

Can see and update grades, can message whole class, and can see email addresses.

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

This role is best for TAs that are only responsible for grading a course or section.

Designer

Summary

Can build course content, but not see roster or gradebook; enrolled manually by Teachers, Leaders, or Admins 

What can this user type do?

  • Create and edit pages and modules
  • Create and manage assignments and quizzes
  • Can change any course content
  • Can access student posts on the discussion board/announcements
  • Can upload SCORM Packages

How are they enrolled?

Teachers, Leaders, Admins, Manually

What can’t they do?

  • Cannot access the gradebook
  • Cannot access People
  • Cannot view who is in what group
  • Cannot message students in the class
  • Some LTIs will require the Teacher or Student role to work properly, varies by tool

What roles can they enroll?

Cannot enroll anyone.

Student privacy considerations

  • Can access student posts on the discussion board/announcements
  • Should be removed from the course by the start date to avoid conflicts

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

Used by program or department staff to build course content 

Waitlisted Student (based on Student)

Summary

Can view published content, submit assignments, and quizzes; enrolled manually by Admins.

What can this user type do?

  • Can access all published course content
  • Submit assignments and quizzes
  • View their own grades

How are they enrolled?

Admins, Manually

What can’t they do?

  • Cannot view or participate on the discussion board
  • Some LTIs will require the Teacher or Student role to work properly, varies by vendor

What roles can they enroll?

Cannot enroll anyone.

Student privacy considerations

Waitlisted students cannot view other members in the class through the People tab or access the discussions to protect officially enrolled students’ privacy. If Microsoft Teams or certain other 3rd Party Tools that allow student interaction are used for the class, this role is not recommended since they would be able to see officially enrolled student information.

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

To temporarily add students to participate in aspects of the course while complying with FERPA, financial aid, and other university systems

Observer

Summary

Used for internal or external users to view course content without seeing student information due to FERPA (with some exceptions).

What can this user type do?

Can view all course content that is published

How are they enrolled?

Teachers, Leaders, Admins, Manually

What can’t they do?

  • Cannot see Announcements
  • Cannot change content
  • Cannot access or view the discussion
  • Cannot interact with content
  • Cannot view student submissions to assignments
  • Cannot view quiz submissions
  • Cannot access the gradebook
  • Cannot message students in the class
  • Cannot see People
  • Cannot upload SCORM Packages
  • Some LTIs will require the Teacher or Students role to work properly

What roles can they enroll?

Cannot enroll anyone.

Student privacy considerations

Observers cannot view other members in the class through the People tab or access the discussions to protect officially enrolled students’ privacy. If Microsoft Teams or certain other 3rd Party Tools that allow student interaction are used for the class, this role is not recommended since they may be able to see officially enrolled student information.

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

Tutors, Interpreters, Advisors, Future Instructors for Past course access

Guest Facilitator (based on Observer)

Summary

Allows non-SIS faculty or guest speakers to interact with the class.

What can this user type do?

  • Can view all published content in Canvas
  • Can view and interact on the discussion board, see student responses
  • Can view and reply to announcements, see student responses
  • Can see the course People without email addresses
  • Can use the Canvas Inbox to message the whole class
  • Can message individual students

How are they enrolled?

Teachers, Leaders, Admins, Manually

What can’t they do?

  • Cannot view the gradebook
  • Cannot view student submissions to assignments
  • Cannot view quiz submissions
  • Cannot upload SCORM Packages
  • Some LTIs will require the Teacher or Student role work properly, varies by tool

What roles can they enroll?

Cannot enroll anyone.

Student privacy considerations

Guest Facilitators can see student information through the discussion board, People page, and message students through Canvas. The guest should only be added for the length of time that they are actively interacting with the class, and be advised of FERPA and other JHU policies by the instructor.

Scenarios: What is it best used for?

Suggested for guest speakers, faculty (not in SIS) who do not need to grade, or for emergency faculty adds while SIS catches up