Canvas Roles

Last modified 2/16/2024

Instructors and students are added to official course sites automatically through Campus Solutions. The instructor of the course record will be added in the role of "Teacher"; individuals who are officially registered for the course will be added in the role of "Student"; secondary instructors of the course record will be added to the course as "TA-Grades Only." 


The roles "Teacher" and "Student" can be manually added to the course site; however, if users are added to these roles, they could be removed during the daily system update.  

Other Canvas Roles

  • Student (Unofficial/Auditor)

 For students who want to sit on the course or be able to view the course content. It could also be used for students who need to make up an incomplete.

  • Co-Teacher

 Can do everything that the teacher can do, and this role is suggested to use if you are manually adding another instructor to the course.

  • Teaching Assistant

 Can do most things an instructor can do, including adding and editing content. Cannot edit course settings or people (course members). Cannot publish course. 

  • TA-Grades Only

Can enter grades in the Gradebook and grade items in the Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes tools; cannot add, delete, or edit content in most tools

  • Designer

Can view most things and can create and edit content 

  • Observer

Observers cannot be added by an instructor. This role is used to enroll mentors, guests, or other users who need to observe a student's progress. Observers can be linked to specific students, and can view a student's grades, assignments, and posts, but cannot edit or post on behalf of the student.  

  • Canvas Roles Permissions

You can find more information about the permissions of each of these canvas roles by viewing Canvas Roles Permissions on the Center for Integrated Professional Development's website. 

Managing Participants

  • Add Participants

  1. Open Course
  2. Select People from the left navigation bar
  3. Select the +People button
  4. Select the Login ID radio button
  5. Type in a user's or,, for multiple users who need to be added.
  6. Select the Role from the Role drop-down menu
  7. Select the Section from the Section drop-down menu
  8. If you want to limit the user/s interaction to a particular section, select the check box next to "Can interact with users in their section only
  9. Select Next
  10. Select Next
  11. Select Add Users

  • Edit Participants

  1. Select the three more dots menu to the right of the users name
  2. Here you can choose the following to edit the participant: 
    1. Edit Sections (for all users in course)
    2. Edit Role (for users manually added to course in unofficial role i.e. Co-Teacher)
    3. Remove From Course (for users manually added to course in unofficial role i.e. Co-Teacher)
  3. Make your selections for your edits and select Update 
  4. If you chose to select Remove From Course select OK from the pop up notification to delete the user. 

Adding Roles to Existing Users

  • If a user is already a part of the course and you want to grant them higher/additional access roles (i.e. TA role to Teacher role) you will need to add them to the course again with their new role. To do this, follow the steps in the Add Participants drop down above. 

  • Elevating TA-Grades Only User

Since secondary instructors are automatically added in as TA-Grades Only users, you may want to elevate these users to Teachers Assistant or Co-Teacher. You would do this by following the Edit Participants section above. 

  • Adding and Removing Instructors

If a user in the "Teacher" role needs to be added or removed from a course, they would need to be added or removed in Campus Solutions. This process is completed by the Registrar's Office. If you have an issue with this role that needs to be reviewed please contact the Registrar's Office at 309-438-2188. 

How to Get Help

Instructional assistance and knowledge for Canvas is available through the Center for Integrated Professional Development by phone (309) 438-2542, or email at 

Technical assistance and knowledge for Canvas is available through the Technology Support Center at (309) 438-4357, by email at, or by Live Chat at