I noticed some odd behaviour today in our beta instance in regards to a course with visibility is set to institution. Multiple accounts who can view the course in PROD could not in BETA and were given the error "Students are not allowed to access test installations."
I can rationalise this as any user viewing the institution visible course who doesn't have account or course level access is basically considered a student with view only access. Students are not allowed in beta, therefore you cannot view anything about this institution visible course in BETA without specific account/course level access.
While I think this is likely the reason, this is also frustrating as this is another component of our setup that we cannot fully test/try things out on in beta. We have the same complication with LTIs, particularly SCORM packages, as we cannot test those in beta.
How is your institution using the BETA and TEST environments?
We have a hard time understanding when we can rely on testing something in BETA or TEST as we often come across scenarios where we cannot use it fully. We are considering perhaps getting a second environment as a true test environment, but that presents it's own challenges as well.
I am a Canvas administrator for our institution and we have been using Canvas for a little over a year.
@KathyPalm I understand your frustration and have run into limitations with the Beta and Test environments since you can't really log in as a student in them. You can "act as" as student but depending on what you are testing such as an LTI, this may not work. Here are some guides that help explain the purposes of both.
While I am sure each institution has their own reasons for using each, we use Beta purely for testing new features that have not been released into production yet. This helps us see how our users are potentially going to use the new feature as well as prepare documentation ahead of time. This is also a great opportunity to find limitations in the new feature(s) based on how your institution would use it.
Hope that helps!