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tim_odonovan
Community Participant

Allow teachers to remove teacher/ta enrollments created by sis import?

Hi all,

We're currently migrating to canvas. 

We want our teachers to be able to add and remove other teachers/TAs from their course, and we have the  " add / remove teachers, course designers, or TAs in courses"  permission enabled for teachers. This works well for enrolments that have been created within the canvas GUI. 

Unfortunately, we do not have authoritative teaching enrolment data in our SIS, so we are copying over the teaching enrolments as they exist in our former LMS, which has been built up over many years.  As part of our migration, we then built a once-off SIS enrolment file from this data, and loaded into canvas. This was intended to be a starting point, and teachers could then add or remove colleagues as needed.  

Unfortunately the data uploaded via SIS import with the teaching enrolments is now tagged as being owned the SIS, and there is no option for teachers to remove theses enrolments, which will mean that an admin has to do it. 

Anybody else come across this, and come up with a workaround?  

Thanks,

Tim

8 Replies
jcoehoorn
Community Participant

> "Unfortunately, we do not have authoritative teaching enrolment data in our SIS"

That sounds like a real problem that would also impact your ability to do things like provide accurate transcripts. Maybe it's time for a project to clean-up the SIS, first, such that the canvas sync is no longer a problem?

tlampley
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Greetings Name-brother!

In all candor, I would highly discourage permitting faculty, the capability of making such autonomous decisions. 

Based upon experience, and witnessing the degree of havoc that teachers can wreak on an instance of Canvas--especially if sub-accounts are not being used to isolate the degree of damage that can be done in the instance--not to mention the absence of a "check" to promote both the integrity of the instance, and your Admin's sanity: I would strongly recommend leaving this to the Admin or a designated Admin Role within the sub-account in question.

Save Yourself!  Don't Do It!

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @tim_odonovan  

We do not permit faculty to add or remove anyone from a course, and agree with  @tlampley  , too dangerous!

This really is an SIS issue, and it you depend on integration to create term shells and add enrollments, then that SIS needs to be cleaned up.  We always have a few hicups every term where the appropriate department assigns or doesn't assign the correct faculty, and we have to manually adjust those. But, the numbers are small and manageable.

All that being said, there may be help through the use of Canvas open API structure to at least clean up your existing Canvas courses quickly. I am going to share your question with the Instructional Designers‌ group where such expertise lives. Although, in looking back at the date you posted this question, you are likely done after an extensive use of manpower.

Kelley

jsavage2
Community Contributor

Hi  @tim_odonovan ‌,

This is a pretty common scenario for migrations at places that do a lot of team and collaborative teaching, or that use a cohort model for certain programs. The SIS is authoritative for student enrollments, but what budget faculty get paid out of doesn't always reflect how they teach, especially if they embrace innovative pedagogies.

If you re-run the import with the "process as UI changes" box ticked, that should remove the "sis stickiness". If for some reason that doesn't work, another approach would be delete the current enrollments with the SIS import function, and then write a quick script to re-enroll them via the API (https://canvas.instructure.com/doc/api/enrollments.html#method.enrollments_api.create)

--j

tim_odonovan
Community Participant

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the input.  Yes, it's been a real bugbear of ours for many years when managing the LMS.  Thankfully, as it happens, we have a tender out to replace our SIS, (along with with a big change management effort too) so the problem will hopefully be mopped up in the next year or three. In the meantime, we'll struggle on with the manual intervention!

Tim

Hi again,  @tim_odonovan  !

Bummer! that hand-work is so tedious when there is a lot of it.

If you have input on your new SMS and the transition to it, then think about your naming conventions for courses. In too many places, Canvas truncates the fields with course names, and this can present some serious challenges to your faculty in trying to identify the correct courses.  If you don't have input, then get it.

While our Canvas pilot schools in our state system were just getting started in Canvas more than six years ago, the first thing they noticed was how useless our course naming convention were in Canvas. Our CTC system uses a state-wide SMS; and luckily our State Board listened, and the naming conventions were changed so that the key info needed was at the beginning of the course names.

Kelley

tim_odonovan
Community Participant

Yep -  I've had a few meetings with the project team , and they know my shopping list :smileysilly:

I found the same issue with course names when we were setting up canvas.  Many of our courses have the same name (e.g. we have 32 courses called 'Research Project'), so for our SIS imports, we prefixed all our courses names with the course ID, which I think really helps distinguish. 

jsavage2
Community Contributor

Unless it’s already part of the course ID, I recommend putting the term and department in the sis_id field, too.

It’s often the case that one ends up with more real parts of term than one wants to maintain in the Terms feed, and more programs/departments than sub-accounts.

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