User Roles + Permissions

As an instructor, you are able to choose the roles of people you add to your course.  The role with full access is Teacher, while other roles have certain restrictions outlined below.

Generally, it’s important to know who has access to course information, particularly sensitive and legally-protected information like student work and grades. The Canvas administrators ( are available to discuss your options or answer any questions as you are thinking about granting access to a colleague. 

  • Student: Can view all published content and participate in discussions. Only people in the Student role can submit assignments and quizzes. If a student role is combined with another role, the student role is negated and that person will no longer be able to submit assignments. As a reminder, instructors cannot add students to courses. Students are added to courses automatically to match their registration through the Student Services course registration system. You can email if you need to add a student to your Canvas course.
  • Designer: Can upload content, create assignments and quizzes, create and participate in Discussions and Conference, and publish the site.
  • TA: Can upload content, create assignments and quizzes, view analytics page and usage reports, create and participate in Discussions and Conferences, and publish the site. People in the TA role cannot view grades or grade student submissions.
  • Grading TA: Has all the privileges of a TA and can create rubrics, view and comment on student submissions, and view and edit student grades.As a matter of general practice, and according to the Guidelines for Undergraduate TAs, undergraduates should not be given the Grader role. As practices vary across disciplines, faculty seeking to make an exception can contact the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
  • Grader: Can view and comment on student submissions and view and edit student submissions, but cannot manage the course or alter the site in any way.
  • Observer: Can view published content on the site but cannot contribute to or edit the site in any way.
  • Observer + Discussion: Adds the ability to participate in published discussions to the observer role.
  • Librarian: Can create and edit calendar events and pages, moderate and participate in discussions, and send messages to the class.
  • Teacher: Has all of the privileges listed above and some additional ones, such as the ability to add more people to the course. Only teachers of a course should have the Teacher role.
  • Administrative roles: You will also see the option to add “P&T Special” and “Syllabus” roles. These are for administrative purposes and should only be applied by Canvas administrators.