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wilma_chapman
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Archiving users at root level

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Is there any method for archiving and retrieving users? When we delete users, we are potentially running the risk with our regulators about data retention and we also have ex-colleagues return (or not leave) and would prefer the ability to retrieve previous information rather than start the whole process of enrollment to site and courses. If this isn't available, has anyone else suggested this as a development idea at all?

Thanks

Wilms

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Hi  @wilma_chapman 

For larger schools, an automated solution in Admin functions would be awesome! You could suggest this as a feature idea; although Admin-based feature ideas tend to linger a long tome without any action. I get why (students and teachers are the priority), but just saying!

Learn more at How does the feature idea process work in the Canvas Community?

Kelley

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6 Replies
Steve_Watts
Community Champion

Hi  @wilma_chapman 
This is an interesting topic and one we've been discussing recently at my institution. Although we have some ideas on what our policy should be, nothing practical has been implemented yet. First of all you need to consider what your aim is - when a user leaves, do you want to remove everything relating to that person from Canvas or simply prevent them from accessing it? Our general policy is that students should have access to all online content relating to their studies for the whole time they are with us, along with anything they created such as quiz submissions and discussion posts. So a final-year student would still see Canvas courses from their first year and all their assignment submissions etc in those courses. We also decided that content should be kept for an additional year after they leave as sometimes a student doing a postgrad course elsewhere asks if they can see something they submitted while they were with us as it would be useful for their new course. Because some of our degree courses last for five years and we've only had Canvas for five years, so far nothing has been deleted (user accounts or course content) although I realise there could be some legal issues if we're keeping data for too long after someone has left.

Whether a user can access Canvas after they leave depends on the authentication method you use when users log in. Our users have a central university username/password and this is used for single sign-on to most of our IT systems. User accounts exist in Canvas but no passwords are stored there. When a user goes to our Canvas login screen, it diverts them to the university's single sign-on then back to Canvas once their password has been checked. When a user (staff or student) leaves, the account is not removed from Canvas but our IT identity management team disable their central password so they can no longer log in to any of our systems. If that person then returns, they are given the same username and the password is reactivated so they will see all of their original content in Canvas. If a staff member leaves, you might not want to delete their account from Canvas as that account will have discussion posts etc that other users still need to see.

Hi Steve

Thanks for getting involved in my question. We are a UK based Apprenticeship provider. We chose not to use SSO as we are looking for this from an ePortfolio, whole system aspect currently so the user addition/ removal is currently manual but won't be moving forward (when still to be decided). We're in our first year and still ironing out the kinks, so to speak. Ideally, archiving users is preferential as you say - colleagues feedback etc still needs to be visible and we do have those (students and colleagues who either progress or leave and return). In other systems I've used previously, we are able to move the personal data to a specific location and retrieve if necessary without this impacting on data contained or linked to a student. 

Thanks 

Wilms

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @wilma_chapman 

What we do at our college is append letters to the long-time (faculty or staff) user's login ID (I won't tell you what letters, just in case). This functionally disables the user's account, but provides us with a tool to retrieve their data when necessary. If the user needs to be restored, we simply remove the appended letters.  Yep, it's manual, but we are a small school, so this is easily manageable.

For students, we deactivate them in their courses. If they pay their bill or whatever is needed, we reactivate them. Again, manual.

Kelley

Hi Kelley

Yes, this is the action we are now taking. It would be good if there was a method which would do so with better automation, so at least we are using the same methods as another institution.

Many thanks

Wilms

Hi  @wilma_chapman 

For larger schools, an automated solution in Admin functions would be awesome! You could suggest this as a feature idea; although Admin-based feature ideas tend to linger a long tome without any action. I get why (students and teachers are the priority), but just saying!

Learn more at How does the feature idea process work in the Canvas Community?

Kelley

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lars_vemund_sol
Community Contributor

I've proposed a general solution to this that i hope you'll support:

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/13428-delete-users-according-to-eu-gdpr-requirements 

Lars