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What You Wish You Knew as a New Canvas Admin

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What You Wish You Knew As a New Canvas Admin

Gathering Ideas for Canvas Certified Admin

What’s Included in This Post?
• We're building Canvas Certified Admin (yay!)
• We want to hear what your advice to new admins is
• We have a few ways you can share your ideas


Are you a Canvas Admin? Have you helped to roll out a small or large-scale implementation and adoption of Canvas? This post is for you. The Canvas Certified Team is building a new offering - Canvas Certified Admin - and we need your input! We want to hear all about what you wish you knew, mistakes you made along the way, and what you think is important for us to include in a certification program that specifically targets new Canvas Admins. 

Something New Is Coming!

We launched Canvas Certified Educator in November 2020, and it wasn't long before we heard, "When are you going to offer Canvas Certified Admin?" We've always known this was the next big thing we wanted to build in the Canvas Certified suite, and now is the time!

Right now, the Canvas Certified team is starting to build this new offering, focusing on Canvas Admins, to guide them through implementation and adoption. We can't do this alone, so this is where you come in!

Tell Us What You Think We Should Include

We need your input. When you began your journey as a Canvas Admin, what did you wish you knew ahead of time? What were the skills you needed? What programs did you use? How did you keep it all organized and run like a well-oiled machine?  

In addition, what advice would you give to any new Canvas Admin before beginning this journey?

PRO TIP: When we say Canvas Admin, we mean anyone with the Admin shield in a Canvas instance who has permissions to make changes to the Admin area of an instance, including subaccount admins and those with limited admin access. 



We're ready to hear all of your ideas for what we need to include! You can respond in two ways:

  1. Complete this form and/or
  2. Respond below and tag @erin_keefe_1  and/or @KC_Testerman 

Either way, you are helping to guide the future users of Canvas, and we thank you for that!

Final Thoughts


We really can't do this without you. Thank you for considering adding your valuable advice so we can make sure all of the new Canvas Admins are ready to be awesome.  


Our Canvas Certified team is committed to creating asynchronous, facilitated professional learning that is high-impact and meaningful. We currently offer Canvas Certified Educator, and are working on additional offerings. If you would like to learn more about our Canvas Certified Educator, you can visit our Canvas Certified Educator FAQs or send us an email at

Done and done! Good luck! Excited to see what you got in store. 


I just want to say how exciting this is!!  And thank you!!!

Community Participant

This is pretty cool. Looking forward to learn more!


For those that respond, I'd love to see everyone post here their #1 "Thing I Wish I Had Known"!

New Member

Tagging @erin_keefe_1

Looking forward to hearing more about this work. 


@erin_keefe_1  and @KC_Testerman  Submitted! And so excited about this!


New Member

Count me in ! !  Can. Not. Wait. 

New Member

Like everyone else, excited and can't wait. 

Community Contributor

I completed the survey but I wanted to provide suggestions about what to include in the Admin training course. Here’s what I suggest (in order of importance):

  1. Course access: Know how dates work between term, course, and section. Course Settings: How to control access or participation with the dates and checkboxes. The documentation isn’t detailed enough so I had to figure it all out by running my own tests. It took me 20+ hours to test all the different scenarios before I fully understood how the various settings for section, course, and term actually worked.
  2. Subaccount structure: Provide a few samples of how subaccounts could be structured (by term, by discipline, by program, etc.).
  3. Permissions & Roles: Account and Course level. Know how the permissions work, especially for roles that need to see or not see grades, feedback, SIS ID, user information, or have (or not have) edit/delete access. Explain how some permissions are dependent on other ones.
  4. Account level Settings: Determine what you want users to do or not do.
  5. LTI Overview: Explain how LTIs work, developer keys, tokens, Client ID, etc. How to troubleshoot to determine if the problem is with Canvas or in the vendor’s LTI.
  6. Help Support: Setup help menu, know how to use Service Cloud and use the KB.

Thank you for working on this @erin_keefe_1 and @KC_Testerman .  I went to an in person half-day admin training by an Instructure trainer, but it wasn’t as in depth as I needed. I assumed my implementation consultant would spend lots of time with me to help me plan my subaccount structure and default settings, but I guess that wasn’t in the scope of his role.


@Sylvia_Ami thank you so much for this thorough list. We are adding it now to our doc. We really appreciate you taking the time on this. 

Community Champion

@erin_keefe_1  and @KC_Testerman  Sent in the survey, would love to be a beta tester of the course 😉


@nwilson7 Thanks for volunteering. We'll keep it in mind.

Community Champion

Great that you're doing this. Wish it was in place when we started. 🙂 @erin_keefe_1  and @KC_Testerman in the form I shared the course I made to train sub-account admin, hopefully that's useful to you.

#1 thing I wish I had known would be how impactful the sub-account structure could be when you consider the LTI use, organization, and reporting features that all leverage the sub-account.

(close second would be more info on how and when LTIs expose student PII to vendors so we know when to get a data sharing agreement or not use certain LTIs)

Community Contributor

@SHEBENEI'm glad you brought this up. I think explaining LTIs and making sure you are following best practices for security, FERPA, etc. could be an entire course itself.