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Community Member

What would change if we go to one district instance?

Right now, each school in my district has their own Canvas. The district wants to migrate this into one and break us into sub accounts. As the admin, I am concerned about what I will lose. Are these concerns real:

Not able to customize help menu

Issues with LTIs one school purchased (will we all need to)

Ability to make an announcement in Canvas

Settings set by institution

What else?

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9 Replies
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Learner II

Hi dkemp@fullcoll.edu Welcome to the Canvas Community. 

Great question. Our instance of canvas involves all government schools in the state - over 200 of them K-12. It's brilliant. makes things so much easier. 

To address your points:

  • We have groups of sub accounts, 'schools' is one of them. Then different departments and other sub accounts that just evolve. Works fine.
  • As admin you ought to be able to customise your help menu, some collaboration would be good here.
  • LTIs - you will probably save money streamlining all LTIs into one instance. But others might have different opinions. We have a general list of LTIs that all schools have access to, then some schools have asked for specific ones to be added. 
  • Global Announcements works well but need to be kept to an absolute minimum. 
  • Settings by institution, perhaps a discussion for your team to decide on. 

Just my humble opinion.

May I encourage you to join the  https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/strategies Group. Well worth it. 

Sing out if you need a hand. And let us know how you get on. 

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Community Member

What you might lose really depends on the decisions the district makes. Most administrative permissions can be delegated at the sub-account level. Enrollments, announcements, LTI, custom CSS are all things you can keep control of.

There are really only a couple of exceptions, most of them revolving around users. Users exist at the root account level, so to add, delete, or masquerade as users, do SIS imports, etc., You need those permissions at the root account level, for the entire district (or build some custom integrations).

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Community Member

One big issue we have is related to LTIs. Some LTIs only work at the "root" account, even when not all of the campuses have access to them. So we see things in our subaccount that don't apply to us and it's kind of frustrating sometimes. We also don't have a main district person who is in charge of our root account, so there's a lot of confusion surrounding who's job it is to make sure root-level things work. 

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Learner II

There is a document available that describes some of the differences: https://tr-learncanvas.s3.amazonaws.com/docs/AccountandSub-AccountRoleComparisons.pdf 

Issues with LTIs one school purchased (will we all need to)

   - LTI tools can be applied at a sub-account level, if they have only been licensed for one school

Ability to make an announcement in Canvas

   - Announcements can be made at a sub-account level

   - Any posted at the top account level will display to all sub-accounts

Settings set by institution

   - Yes, you will lose access to some of these

I think the big ones that we've seen for sub-account admins who wanted access...

1) No SIS_Import

2) No Term access

3) No User admin

Masquerade as Users is not available by default, but you can create an account role with just that access permission and assign sub-account admins to it at the top-level.

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Community Member

Thank you Todd! I think my biggest loss then will not be able to act as a user. This is is so helpful in diagnosing issues. 

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Community Member

I had that though about it not being anyone's job last night so you confirmed that fear Tracy. Right now, it is my job. 

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Learner II

Also to clarify, when the account role with one permission (masquerade) is applied to a user at the top level, they still only have access to the users that appear in courses within the specified sub-account where they have full (sub-acct) admin role. 

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Community Member

So to clarify this further, if those of us that are the admins at the schools currently asked to be given that permission at the district level, but then we only exist in the sub account for each school, we would still be able to masquerade but only see our school?

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Learner II

Correct. Which is what you'd likely want. This addresses the concern of the top-level admin, who might worry that by granting the access to you at that level, that you might be able to masquerade as users from other schools (sub-accounts). 

Everyone technically "exists" as a user at the top-level, but you only have masquerade authority/access to the users that have an enrollment in courses within your sub-account (for which you are admin).