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Community Participant

Parent observer unable to see course announcements

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I have had a parent bring it to my attention that he is unable to see the announcements for his daughter's courses.  When I have masqueraded as the user, and as other users, it has confirmed that parental observers cannot see course announcements. 

Is there something I can change in the observer account permissions that would allow a parent to see course announcements?  Has anyone else noticed this issue?  When I have looked up information about what parents "should" be able to see, the lists I have found include announcements.

Thank you!

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16 Replies
Community Contributor

Stefanie, you have provided a distinct clarification for me and I have misread Beth's intent.  She was referring to the Announcement view within the Course, I misread this as Announcements overall.  My responses are about getting announcements as an observer (with no permissions), not about the view in the course.  We cannot see announcements as you indicated, only get emails on them.  I am very sorry f5098c8e76d7c2c7d17160987716a92d171a4c57b7ea2caf08b13d5bca2d5ac5​ to have created confusion.  Thank you Stefanie for picking up on this.

Community Contributor

Scratch that, the Announcements view is blocked for our Observers, but the emails are going out correctly.  Your question was on the view within the course.  I missed the intent of your question.  I better check my eyes.

Oh, thank you,  @jjordan1 ​! I'm relieved to know that I understood both use cases. Smiley Happy f5098c8e76d7c2c7d17160987716a92d171a4c57b7ea2caf08b13d5bca2d5ac5​'s response is therefore right on point: as Canvas permissions are currently designed, observer viewing privileges for Announcements are intertwined with viewing privileges for Discussions.

Community Contributor

Yes, Beth's feature request is spot on.  The announcements tool is using the discussion engine ( "/discussion_topics/abc..." ).  At least the email portion is working, it is nice to know from the parent view when the announcements go out.

Beth, just a thought... For Parents to sign themselves up they use their email.  We know the email portion of announcements is working well.  Would that be a sufficient enough response to check their email (for the Parent(s) who wanted to see it within the course)?  I will be stating that to ours now if we get any requests like this.  I will vote for your feature request when it goes live.

Hi Jason,

Yes, knowing that the parents can view the announcement through a notification email is good work around! 

Thank you for your responses! 

Community Champion


I appreciate your post about this and your willingness to create a feature request, however I view this as a bug that should be addressed asap by Instructure.  The fact that Announcement and Discussion permissions are tied together may work for higher ed, but in K12, these two pieces of functionality need to work independent of each other. FERPA regulations preclude a parent from viewing course discussions involving children other than their own, so that needs to be turned off for observers.  However, Announcements are a key piece of valuable functionality for communicating with elementary and secondary school parents who are observers in the class.  Without this ability, a teacher has to user an alternative system or workaround which can really diminish the value of the product, especially in the lower elementary grades.