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LMS Admin: Permissions - Course Roles: Teacher - Add/remove students for the course

More specifically, I am focusing on "remove student from a course" and giving the Teacher the permission to do this.

Why would you treat a student differently if they were enrolled manually or via SIS Import?  If a student is enrolled via SIS Import, the Teacher cannot remove them from a course.

I was looking forward to telling faculty that they could remove a student if they had dropped their course.  This was because Canvas made it relatively easy to restore the student to the course, if necessary, and even if the Teacher removed the wrong student, they could be restored easily.  But, most of our students will be added via SIS Import.

*What if... a Teacher enrolls a student into their course before the SIS Import runs that would place that student in their course?  The Teacher would have the ability to remove this student.  But after the SIS Import runs, would it change whether the Teacher could still remove the student?

4 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @bgibson ​, I don't have a full answer to your question, but I'll explain what we do and why. We have it locked down so faculty can't add or remove students. We do this (1) for the convenience to the faculty - they don't want to manage their own rosters and (2) because it has the potential to screw up our SIS programming. The way we have things set-up students are automatically added to a course as soon as the course is created; faculty are the ones who request their courses be created in Canvas. If a student adds a course to their schedule after the course is created (at any point before or after the start of the semester) then the student gets added within a couple of hours. Likewise, if a student drops the course then our programming will automatically either (1) completely remove the student from the course - this is before the start of the course or (2) conclude the student from the course - after the semester has started. In all honesty it is easier for the faculty if we manage it on our end of things because then they don't have to worry about adding or removing students. In addition, we know for sure that the students in the course (or who have access to the course content) are the correct students. This becomes more important when dealing with copyrighted course content and video.

Hope this helps!

Community Member

 @bgibson , Kona has explained it very well.  We want to have it locked down so faculty can't add/remove but we couldn't because taking that away also takes away the View Prior Enrollments. 

We use the SIS to take care of the add/drops/withdrawals.  Our enrollment export program looks for drops and also anyone who has a withdrawal - whether that is a student-initiated withdrawal or one assigned by the instructor for not attending.  This is noted as a completed enrollment on our SIS export file.  Thus the SIS is the authoritative source for the current status of enrollment. 

If we have a rare occasion of someone who needs to stay in the class despite being dropped, we would create a new section and add that student manually.  But this is rare because this needs to be fixed in the SIS before it's properly fixed and only in EXTREME circumstances. 

Our faculty have made many mistakes over the years in past systems with enrolling the wrong sections, wrong students, etc, which causes major problems.  Even enrolling students with teacher roles!  So, we prefer to take care of this via our automated enrollment processes from the SIS. 


Your descriptions of the automated SIS/LMS synchronizations is how we have also had it in Blackboard for years.  But, we are still working out the bugs for an automated SIS Import to add & remove users automatically matching our Banner (SIS) System.  Until the process is fully automated with Canvas, I am having to manually run a cleanup SIS Import to remove students that have dropped courses, or instructors that have been switched out.  The lag time means that I am getting more (some) instructor requests to remove students that are not showing in our SIS for their course. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @bgibson ,

We are giving the Canvas Admins area a little bit of love (especially questions that are really, really old) and just want to check in with you.  This will also bring this question new attention. 


Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.