What course roles are available in Canvas?

Canvas allows people to access a course in a variety of roles, depending on their instructor role in PeopleSoft. Use this reference to understand the level of access each role permits and their use cases. An individual may only be assigned to one role per course. A person's role in one course does not affect their role in another course or their wider system access. For example, a person can be a Teacher in one course and a Designer in another course.

All people are managed through an integration between PeopleSoft and Canvas. New people are keyed into PeopleSoft by the relevant academic department's scheduler at the department chair's direction. PeopleSoft enrollments and instructors are typically synced every 15 minutes to Canvas. Academic departments are responsible for managing access to courses based on an individual's affiliation with the university.

This article only covers the definitions and permissions for each role. For information on how to add someone to your Canvas course, see our course access guide or reach out to your department chair. The roles below are categorized by the role's intended function. To compare all roles side-by-side, refer to our roles and permissions comparison.

Teaching and Learning Roles
Course Associate Roles
Course Observer Roles
  • Peer Mentor
  • Faculty Peer Evaluator
Learn More about course observer roles

Overview of Available Roles

At Chico State, the following roles are available in the LMS:

  • Student - grants access to participate in the course, including submitting assignments, discussion posts, etc.
  • Teacher - grants full access to the course, including the ability to create, edit, and delete content. Users with this role can view and edit all student grades in the course.
  • TA - grants access to create and edit content in the course but cannot delete content. Users with this role can view and edit all student grades in the course. This role can manage all course settings.
  • Designer - grants access to create and edit content in the course but cannot delete content. This role can manage all course settings. Cannot view or edit grades.
  • Grader - grants access to view course content and the gradebook. Users with this role can view and edit all student grades in the course. This role can manage all course settings.
  • Faculty Peer Evaluator - grants the same access as Student.
  • Peer Mentor - grants read-only access to the course and the ability to send messages to the entire class. Cannot view or edit grades.

Protection of Student Data

The security of student information is a top priority of California State University, Chico. Choosing the appropriate role for course users added outside the regular process is critical to protecting this data. Our legacy LMS, Blackboard Learn, has offered instructors of record the ability to grant "backdoor" access into to other individuals. As we move to a new LMS, Canvas, we intend to prohibit this kind of untracked access.

With Canvas, not only is access to the LMS granted almost exclusively via assignment to a class Instructor Role in PeopleSoft (CMS-CS), but those Role assignments will be made only upon satisfactory completion of required HR paperwork which establishes the desired contractual relationship and proper vetting.

"Instructor" can, for example, mean the primary individual delivering course content to the class, student employees who are supporting the instruction or grading the course assignments, peers who need access to the course materials in the LMS for different reasons. These roles and their capabilities within a course are discussed below.

Learning and Teaching Roles

Teaching and learning roles are the most common roles in the Learning Management System and represent the most common use cases of Canvas.

Teaching and Learning Role Definitions
LMS Course Role Definition PeopleSoft Instructor Role
Teacher An individual that delivers the course content, often serving as the Instructor of Record on the Class Schedule and responsible for submitting final grades in PeopleSoft.

Primary Instructor

Secondary Instructor

Student An individual student for an academic course enrolled in a section. N/A

Permissions

The table below shows the permissions provided by Canvas that moderate how a person in one of these roles can interact with course content, features, and tools.

Permissions for Teaching and Learning Roles
Permission Student Teacher
Manage Course Settings No Yes
Allow Course Admin Actions No Yes
Edit Section Settings No Yes
View Own Analytics Yes Yes
View Others' Analytics No Yes
Publish/Unpublish Course No Yes
Manage People - Teacher No No
Manage People - TA No No*
Manage People - Designer No No*
Manage People - Observer No No
Manage People - Student No No*
Manage Groups No Yes
View All Group Pages No Yes
Manage Outcomes No Yes
Import Outcomes No Yes
Manage Proficiency Calculations No Yes
Manage Proficiency Scales No Yes
Manage Rubrics No Yes
Read Reports No Yes
Read Roster Yes Yes
Read SIS Data No Yes
View Audit Trail No Yes
View User Logins No Yes
Create Collaborations Yes Yes
Create Discussions Yes Yes
Moderate Discussions No Yes
Post To Discussions Yes Yes
Read Discussions Yes Yes
Read Announcements Yes Yes
Manage Assignments No Yes
Submission - Submit on behalf of student No Yes
Manage Grades No Yes
View All Grades No Yes
Moderated Assignments - Select Final Grade No Yes
Manage Calendar No Yes
Manage Course Content No Yes
Manage Files - Add No Yes
Manage Files - Edit No Yes
Manage Files - Delete No Yes
Manage Pages - Add No Yes
Manage Pages - Edit No Yes
Manage Pages - Delete No Yes
Send Messages Yes Yes
Send Messages to All No Yes

^ *Teachers can manage TAs and Designers in the following types of courses: Sandbox, Migrated Courses. Additionally, Teachers can manage students in Organizations.

^ Teachers can set specific pages as student-editable.

Course Associate Roles

Course associates are specialized faculty, staff, and students that assist instructors with one or more aspects of course construction, delivery, or grading. These roles offer varying levels of access to course content and student information depending on the specific role selected.

Course Associate Role Definitions
LMS Course Role Definition PeopleSoft Instructor Role
TA An academic student employee, typically a graduate student, working with the Teacher(s), assisting with course instruction and delivery. Responsibilities can include providing classroom and/or lab instruction, making assignments, preparing course materials, administering exams, assessing student
performance, tutoring students, and determining course grades.
Teaching Associate
Designer A professional that provides specific course design, content, navigation, and/or accessibility assistance for a course within the Learning Management System. Course Designer
Grader A graduate or undergraduate academic student employee that provides grading for course assignments, quizzes, and other projects within the course. Grader

The table below shows the permissions provided by Canvas that moderate how a person in one of these roles can interact with course content, features, and tools.

Permissions for Course Associate Roles
Permission TA Designer Grader
Manage Course Settings Yes Yes Yes
Allow Course Admin Actions No No No
Edit Section Settings No Yes No
View Own Analytics Yes No No
View Others' Analytics Yes No No
Publish/Unpublish Course No No No
Manage People - Teacher No No No
Manage People - TA No No No
Manage People - Designer No No No
Manage People - Observer No No No
Manage People - Student No No No
Manage Groups Yes Yes No
View All Group Pages Yes Yes Yes
Manage Outcomes No Yes No
Import Outcomes No Yes No
Manage Proficiency Calculations No No No
Manage Proficiency Scales No No No
Manage Rubrics Yes Yes No
Read Reports Yes Yes No
Read Roster Yes No Yes
Read SIS Data No No No
View Audit Trail No No No
View User Logins Yes No Yes
Create Collaborations No No No
Create Discussions Yes Yes No
Moderate Discussions Yes Yes No
Post To Discussions Yes Yes No
Read Discussions Yes Yes Yes
Read Announcements Yes Yes No
Manage Assignments Yes Yes No
Submission - Submit on behalf of student No No No
Manage Grades Yes No Yes
View All Grades Yes No Yes
Moderated Assignments - Select Final Grade Yes No No
Manage Calendar Yes Yes No
Manage Course Content - Add Yes Yes No
Manage Course Content - Edit Yes Yes No
Manage Course Content - Delete No No No
Manage Files - Add Yes Yes No
Manage Files - Edit Yes Yes No
Manage Files - Delete No Yes No
Manage Pages - Add Yes Yes Yes
Manage Pages - Edit Yes Yes Yes
Manage Pages - Delete Yes Yes Yes
Send Messages Yes Yes No
Send Messages to All Yes Yes No

Course Observer Roles

Course observers are people who are not formally enrolled in the course for credit but who otherwise need access to the content. Examples of this access can include tutors and SI Leaders who need to communicate with members of the class or faculty peers who need to evaluate online instruction.

Course Observer Role Definitions
LMS Course Role Definition PeopleSoft Instructor Role
Peer Mentor An undergraduate or graduate academic student employee that provides tutoring or supplemental instruction to students enrolled in the course. Peer Mentor
Faculty Peer Evaluator A faculty peer enrolled in the course to evaluate instruction. Faculty Peer Evaluator

Permissions

The table below shows the permissions provided by Canvas that moderate how a person in one of these roles can interact with course content, features, and tools.

Permissions for Course Observer Roles
Permission Peer Mentor Faculty Peer Evaluator
Manage Course Settings No No
Allow Course Admin Actions No No
Edit Section Settings No No
View Own Analytics No No
View Others' Analytics No No
Publish/Unpublish Course No No
Manage People - Teacher No No
Manage People - TA No No
Manage People - Designer No No
Manage People - Observer No No
Manage People - Student No No
Manage Groups No No
View All Group Pages No No
Manage Outcomes No No
Import Outcomes No No
Manage Proficiency Calculations No No
Manage Proficiency Scales No No
Manage Rubrics No No
Read Reports No No
Read Roster No No
Read SIS Data No No
View Audit Trail No No
View User Logins No No
Create Collaborations No No
Create Discussions No No
Moderate Discussions No No
Post To Discussions No No
Read Discussions Yes Yes
Read Announcements Yes Yes
Manage Assignments No No
Submission - Submit on behalf of student No No
Manage Grades No No
View All Grades No No
Moderated Assignments - Select Final Grade No No
Manage Calendar No No
Manage Course Content No No
Manage Files - Add No No
Manage Files - Edit No No
Manage Files - Delete No No
Manage Pages - Add No No
Manage Pages - Edit No No
Manage Pages - Delete No No
Send Messages No No
Send Messages to All Yes No

Details

Article ID: 113661
Created
Thu 10/12/23 1:47 PM
Modified
Wed 1/31/24 4:21 PM