What are user roles in Canvas?
User roles in Canvas provide the permissions that control who can do what in a Canvas course. As a teacher you can assign people different user roles to depending on how you expect them to engage with the course.
Users can have more than one role in any given course. If this is the case, that person will have the combined permissions of each role they’ve been assigned. However, it’s generally unnecessary and potentially confusing to assign multiple roles. You can simply change the user role to the higher level if necessary. Refer to the Further Help tab for instructions for adding users and editing roles in Canvas.
The roles described below are in reverse order of their level of control of a Canvas site.
What roles are there and what can they do?
The following are the most useful roles currently available. There are also a number of Mentor roles that are applicable only if your course is participating in Mentoring schemes such as SLAMS. These are not mentioned here.
Student roles are assigned automatically when students are enrolled in a Canvas course. Course Coordinators cannot, and do not have to, add students manually.
Students can view: published unrestricted content, discussions, announcements, course user list
Students can create: student collaborations, discussion topics, send messages to individual course users.
The Grader role is for tutors or lab assistants who need to provide marks and feedback to students, but who do not need to add course content.
Graders can view: grades, announcements, discussions, assignment submissions, student group pages, usage reports and analytics, course user list.
Graders can create/edit: grades, discussions, send messages to individuals and the whole cohort, comments on assignment submissions
TA (TEACHING ASSISTANT)
The TA role is for tutors or assistant teachers who need to be able to add and manage content and interactions with students, but who do not need to publish or unpublish the course, add other users or moderate grades.
TAs can view and create/edit: everything that the Grader role can, plus…
TAs can manage/moderate: Course content, discussions, rubrics, student collaborations, web conferences, groups, question banks.
The Course designer role is useful if you have someone else who is building your course, but who will not be using it for teaching.
Course Designers can view and create/edit: everything that the TA role can, except edit grades and view course analytics
Course Designers can manage/moderate: everything that the TA role can, plus manage learning outcomes and publish or unpublish the course.
The teacher role is the most powerful course-based role available in Canvas. Only Administrator roles have more functionality. Use this role for fellow teachers who need to add and manage content, users and build the course structure.
Teachers can view and create/edit: everything that the TA and Course Designer roles can.
Teachers can manage/moderate: everything that the TA and Course Designer roles can, plus moderate grades and add and manage other users.
ACCOUNT AND SUB-ACCOUNT ADMINISTRATOR ROLES
These roles are for managing the various levels of Canvas administration, and are held by Canvas system support staff, and by College ADG staff. They have access to all courses, functions and settings within their assigned domain. These roles cannot be applied by Teachers in courses.
For more information on assigning and managing staff user roles check the guides below: