In Permissions, Separate "Add/remove other teachers, course designers, TAs, and Observers to the course" into 8 permissions

Please change each the "Add/remove other teachers, course designers or TAs to the course" from a single setting to 6 settings.


Add/remove other teachers, course designers or TAs to the course

Should become:

  • Add teachers to a course
  • Remove teachers from a course
  • Add course designers to a course
  • Remove course designers from a course
  • Add TAs to a course
  • Remove TAs from a course
  • Add Observers to a course
  • Remove Observers from a course
This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For more information, please read through the Canvas Release Notes (2021-03-20).

Community Contributor

I agree with Susan. Separating out just the "remove" permission would not be sufficient. We would never want a TA, for example, to add or remove anyone. It needs to be more granular so that we can modify each permission to fit our needs.

Community Participant

I agree with Susan- TAs should absolutely not be able to add anyone to a course... as an instructor that undermines my course management, and as an administrator it causes issues in compensation. All enrollments are handled through our PeopleSoft system for just this reason.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Ditto to what Susan said!

Community Champion

Hi Deactivated user Lumping these permissions together will once again limit flexibility and granularity, virtually guaranteeing another round of feature ideas related to this very idea.

Having these permissions be granular so that every institution can make these decisions for themselves based on their institution's needs and culture is the problem that these feature ideas are trying to address.  K12 is going to have different needs than higher-ed, large universities will have different needs than large colleges without graduate students, which will have different needs than a tiny college.  Having granularity and flexibility to use this system as needed is essential. Customers should not have to adapt business processes because of a lack of a secure method for providing access to tools.  We have had to stifle creative "outside of the box" uses of Canvas at our institution because there is not a way to grant a specific small permission without granting a large set of other permissions,. 

I agree with cms_hickss.  There are occasions where we may want TEACHERS to be able to add/remove observers.  Teachers should not be able to add/remove any other role.  At our institutions, TA and designer role should not have access to add anyone. 

However, there might be a few sub-accounts where we give someone with Teacher role this access, such as committees, clubs, etc, which have full course sites because the groups tool does not have all of the tools that they need.

Community Contributor

Cosme - this would not be sufficient for our needs and in my opinion does not address the spirit of the request.

Community Coach
Community Coach


I also have to ditto what Susan and Joni said.

The add/remove separation wouldn't be something we'd really use at UM-Dearborn.  What we desperately need is individual role-based permissions.  Like others have said here, there are huge FERPA concerns with letting teachers add other teachers and TA's, since those roles generally reveal student grades.  We also want all students to get into the class through our official registration system.  We would like to allow teachers to add observers to a course though.

I know Instructure is trying to keep the permissions page as simple as possible, but with the numerous different needs of the various K-12, higher ed, and other users of Canvas I really am in favor of much more granularity of permissions in general.  It's very bad when admins are put in positions where the technology (Canvas) limits how we can implement school policies and procedures.

I am very hopeful that you will be able to separate out the add/remove in the 8 ways originally suggested.  While the add/remove separation won't be useful to my institution, I know it will help plenty of others.  I'm hopeful those who would be ok with separating add/remove would also be ok with separating by role for the same reason.


Community Participant

This is the salient quote for product and leadership to talk about,

Christopher Casey wrote:

It's very bad when admins are put in positions where the technology (Canvas) limits how we can implement school policies and procedures.

Instructure has done a good job with building a system that empowers the instructors and students while keeping it simple.   More clear and granular permissions will also make their user experience better.  Admins, on the other hand, can take some complexity.  What we need is power and flexability.  Complexity is good to avoid of course but admin power in situations like this is key since as chriscas​ indicates, we need to be able to implement school policy and procedure and not be the ones to suggest changes to it due to the technology.  I will take complication of permission matrix over telling my dean's that we can't prevent their TAs from adding other to the course.

Community Contributor

Each permission really needs to be separated out as a distinct permission.  That provides the most flexibility for all.  Different institutions have different needs. I'd like to be able to choose who can do what, especially when we create unique user roles with unique permissions in our system: i.e. lab manager, department head, virtual tutor, admin assistant, etc.

Community Novice

Excellent point  @curtain    As an admin I agree.  I have no problem with complexity.  We need separate permissions.

Community Participant

Reading through the many comments, I feel as if the need for this distinct separation of Add, Edit, Delete has been clearly articulated. UW-Madison is also in need of this functionality.