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sigh
Community Member

Course access without visibility

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Is there a way to add an instructor or staff member to a Canvas page without them being visible to students?  We have two cases:

- An instructor available in case of emergency, but who normally would not want to receive messages but can check the site as necessary

- A staff member who needs to access the Canvas files from one Canvas site to create a summary document

We would not want students to be able to email them or even see that they are People on the course.  We just want the backup instructor or staff member to be able to access only and not be seen or interacted with by students. 

The two cases would not be people we would want to have full Canvas administrator access, or even any more access than a normal instructor in a Canvas course.

 

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nwilson7
Community Champion

@sigh The "observer" and "designer" roles are not visible to students.  The only catch is they also can't see the students or the student's submissions.  I have not tried to tweak the permissions of the designer role to see if they can get access to students but I know you can't change that permission on the observer.

Both roles would have access to the files in Canvas so both would work for your use cases if you do not need student interaction.

I am pretty positive that any role that can see students or student submissions, the students can also see.  Otherwise there would be like ghost graders which would not be fair.

Hope this helps!

-Nick

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nwilson7
Community Champion

The observer can be both.  It can be attached to a particular student (think a parent) or it can be for the entire course.  If the observer is just added to the course with no attached student, then they have access to everything without the ability to change anything.  We do this role for instructors that teach in a common program with others.  For example, I teach a 200 level course and want to know what was covered in the 100 level course that feeds into mine, we add them as an observer.  

the designer is basically the same but can make changes to the course content.

-Nick

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3 Replies
nwilson7
Community Champion

@sigh The "observer" and "designer" roles are not visible to students.  The only catch is they also can't see the students or the student's submissions.  I have not tried to tweak the permissions of the designer role to see if they can get access to students but I know you can't change that permission on the observer.

Both roles would have access to the files in Canvas so both would work for your use cases if you do not need student interaction.

I am pretty positive that any role that can see students or student submissions, the students can also see.  Otherwise there would be like ghost graders which would not be fair.

Hope this helps!

-Nick

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sigh
Community Member

Thank you, the important part would be to see course material and not student grades or do any grading.  

I thought Observer was limited to what the related student could see.  If the employee would need to see all Files, and students cannot look at the Files directory, I don't think the Observer role would fit.

In the case of a staff member, they would need full view and copy access to the course materials *except* the student names, grades, etc..  Until a backup instructor is needed to step in and be visible, they would only need the same access level as the staff member.

 

nwilson7
Community Champion

The observer can be both.  It can be attached to a particular student (think a parent) or it can be for the entire course.  If the observer is just added to the course with no attached student, then they have access to everything without the ability to change anything.  We do this role for instructors that teach in a common program with others.  For example, I teach a 200 level course and want to know what was covered in the 100 level course that feeds into mine, we add them as an observer.  

the designer is basically the same but can make changes to the course content.

-Nick