Carter41
Community Participant

Custom Role Course Access Date

Is there a way to add an auditor with view-only access to a course prior to the course being available to students? For example, we would like a potential instructor to preview a future course that is in development but don't want them being able to edit anything within that course.

I started this process by creating a custom role called "Auditor" and set the permissions accordingly. I can't seem to find where to set the access date so the auditor can then access the course on any day prior to the students being able to view it.

Thanks in advance!

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Chris_Hofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @Carter41 ...

In my previous position as a Canvas administrator, we had a custom role called "Viewer" that we created which allowed our instructors to view a "master" course without being able to edit content in the course.  The "Viewer" could still copy content from the "master" to his/her own course, however.  I wrote a short blog on this process...which may sound similar to what you had set up with your "auditor" role:

Our Custom "Viewer" Role for "Master" Courses

When you are creating new roles like this as a Canvas administrator, you do not set access dates for that role on the "Permissions" screen.  For us, in our "master" term, we would just enroll people with the "Viewer" role as necessary.  (Our "master" courses didn't have any students enrolled in them...just instructors.)

I suppose one other option you could try would be to create a new section in each of the courses where students are enrolled.  The section might be called something like "Auditor".  You could then edit the start/end dates of the section....following the instructions in this Guide: How do I change the start and end dates for a cour... - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com).  Make sure to also select the option for "Students can only participate in the course between these dates".  Then, you would go to the people page of the course, and you would enroll the person with your new "Auditor" role and into the "Auditor" section.  You might want to first do some testing in your school's "Test" environment to see if this might meet your needs.

Then, if things work the way you want, you can then apply this configuration to your normal "production" environment.

Hope this will help in some way.  Sing out if there are any questions...thanks!

mzimmerman
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi @Carter41 

There isn't really any kind of "access date" setting associated with course role permissions.  When you create a custom role, it inherits some permissions from the "base type" role that you select when creating the role, and one of those permissions is whether or not users with that course role can access the course before it's published.

So, you might start by creating the role with a "base type" like TA that can access unpublished courses, but then remove all the permissions related to creating, editing, or deleting content/settings.

Carter41
Community Participant

Thanks for the quick reply. I took your advice and created a new custom role called Auditor, using TA as the "base type." I then removed all permissions for the Auditor role. I am noticing however, when I log into a course as a test user with the Auditor role, I can still access the "Settings" portion of a course and make edits there. Any idea how to prevent this role from having any edit access across the board?

Screen Shot 2022-11-02 at 3.43.31 PM.png

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@Carter41 ...

What about creating a custom role type based on the "Student" role and not the "TA" role?  Students don't have access to the course "Settings" page.  Have you tried that yet?

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Carter41
Community Participant

Thanks for the idea. I just tried that but then lost complete access to the course, as it hasn't started yet. I would need this role to view the class at any time prior to the student access date.

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@Carter41 ...

Did you happen to try my suggestion above about creating a separate section in the course and then enrolling that person in that section with the custom role (based on the "Student" role type?).  I'm just thinking out loud here, but if you take a look at the linked Guide that I provided, you could specify dates just for that section that are outside the start/end dates of the course, and I *think* you might be able to accomplish what you are looking for?  Again, you might want to first try this out in your school's "test" environment to see if everything works properly.

Just a thought...for what it's worth...

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Carter41
Community Participant

Just tried this: Created a separate section in the course and then enrolled this test auditor in that section with the custom role based on the "Student" role type. 

Result: Despite the section being set to "Runs from Nov 1 at 12am to Nov 9 at 12am" the course is still not visible.

Appreciate your efforts here, though!

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@Carter41 ...

Well, bummer!  And just to confirm, you also made sure to check the box for "Students can only participate in the course between these dates"?  Is there anything else in the general course "Settings" page related to the start/end date and access restrictions that might have an impact?

You might have to just live with this role having access to the "Settings" page but being absolutely sure folks using this role know not to go into that page and modifying settings.

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Carter41
Community Participant

I can now access the course today (Nov 3) as an auditor, but I believe that is because it aligns with the date students can access it, since we based permissions off a "student" role. Attached are screenshots of my course settings and access dates. 

I still need to figure out how to add an auditor whose access dates to the course are unique and don't align with the students.

Course Settings.png

Access Dates.png

 

 

 

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