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kburkes
Community Contributor

A question about self-enrollment

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Our Canvas enrollments are run by SIS import, but some departments also allow community members to take classes without actually becoming a student (i.e. they don't have a user account/enrollment in our student information system).

If a course has students enrolled by SIS import, can the course also be set for self-enrollment so that a non-SIS user could enroll without having a user account?

Thank you for your help.

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chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi kburkes...

I may be completely wrong about this, but here is my observation/experience...at least from the front end, current user interface of Canvas.  If there is a way to programmatically do this, I'm not sure...

In a course shell, when you go to the course "Settings" screen, I would assume that you have some kind of course number in the "SIS ID" field, correct?  This is the number that your SIS looks at for enrolling students automatically into Canvas.  However, the only way (that I know of) to allow for self-enrollment is to remove that information from the "SIS ID" field.  Then, the Canvas course can be set up to allow for self-enrollment.  If the "SIS ID" text field is populated with information, the ability for self-enrollment is never available.  This Guide has some additional information for you to look at: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13116-415274473 

Again, I am not completely sure if there are any other ways to do this, so I would welcome feedback from others.

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3 Replies
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi kburkes...

I may be completely wrong about this, but here is my observation/experience...at least from the front end, current user interface of Canvas.  If there is a way to programmatically do this, I'm not sure...

In a course shell, when you go to the course "Settings" screen, I would assume that you have some kind of course number in the "SIS ID" field, correct?  This is the number that your SIS looks at for enrolling students automatically into Canvas.  However, the only way (that I know of) to allow for self-enrollment is to remove that information from the "SIS ID" field.  Then, the Canvas course can be set up to allow for self-enrollment.  If the "SIS ID" text field is populated with information, the ability for self-enrollment is never available.  This Guide has some additional information for you to look at: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13116-415274473 

Again, I am not completely sure if there are any other ways to do this, so I would welcome feedback from others.

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kblack
Community Champion

 @chofer ‌'s experience is mine, as well, kburkes .  However, removing the SIS ID field would--in our case, at least--completely kill off the ability of the SIS integration script that our IT department runs from successfully adding or removing students to the course.  So if your classes have a combination of students that get added automatically from the SIS integration along with outside community members, this will not be a good situation, because then the regularly-registered students will not get enrolled properly.  This all depends, of course, of just how the SIS integration is run, but my experience as been that the SIS ID field is pretty critical to that process.

Unfortunately, the only work-around for this is to have the faculty members add students to the course using the +People button in the site rather than self-enroll.  However, you may not allow faculty to do this in a course site.  We don't...because of that same SIS integration you mention!

That means--get ready for it!--that you, friendly Canvas administrator that I'm sure you are--may wind up having to add People on your own.  I imagine that may be what you're already doing.  

But like Chris stated, that self-enrollment feature is either/or, unfortunately, not a both/and!  And unfortunately, there does not appear to be a way to set up a separate section in a course:  one to self-enroll and ...

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

However, removing the SIS ID field would--in our case, at least--completely kill off the ability of the SIS integration script that our IT department runs from successfully adding or removing students to the course.  So if your classes have a combination of students that get added automatically from the SIS integration along with outside community members, this will not be a good situation, because then the regularly-registered students will not get enrolled properly.  This all depends, of course, of just now the SIS integration is run, but my experience as been that the SIS ID field is pretty critical to that process.

Oh yes...I agree with you.  Thank you for the clarification,  @kblack ‌.