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Community Participant

Student Adviser Permissions

Does anyone know of a way to have, or does anyone currently have, permissions set up to allow student advisers to review student progress in the courses that they are enrolled in?  When students meet with advisers to discuss  performance sometimes the student will not provide a clear picture.  If the adviser had the ability to access the student's course information such as assignment submission rates and the grade book, it would provide a clearer picture for the adviser.  The key however is to be able to make it so that they could do as read-only.  I do not want an adviser to "accidently" change a grade.  It looks as though this can be done at the course level, but the advisers would have to added to each course and every course.  I was looking for a way to do this at a more global level, perhaps in the account role.  

8 Replies
Community Champion

Hi Tom,

We do have a role like that here at my institution. We called it Success Coach and created it at the #account level It allows the the advisers to view all courses without having the ability to modify anything. 

permissions we have them are:

  • View Statistics
  • View the list of coures
  • See the list of users
  • View all grades
  • View all students' submissions and make comments on them
  • View analytics pages
  • View and link to question banks
  • View announcements
  • View course content
  • View discussions
  • View the answer matrix in Quiz Submission Logs
  • View the group pages of all student groups
  • View usage reports for the course

Hope this helps. 


Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @talway 

We have successfully done this using the Observer role in Canvas, then assigning the Observer/Advisor to their own student(s) in a course. Learn more at 


Community Participant

Thank you Brian.

Community Participant

Thank you Kelley

Kelley, I also attempted this for a student advisor in higher ed, but the issue seems to be that the observer role does not give you access to some important data, like logins and total activity. Am I missing these? I contacted Canvas support and they said observers do not have access to course activity, but I feel like this is vital info for an advisor (and parents) to have about their students. 

Community Participant

I actually ended up using an account role called "Advisor".  I was then able to select the necessary permission.  I then added the advisors to the root level account admin area using the "Advisor" account role.  I have the role set so they can see what they need to to do their job.

Community Participant

Hi everyone,

I have kind of an ancillary question on this topic. We know how to create custom account roles so that our advisors can track student progress. But in conversations at my community college, it was brought up that having access to *all* student grades in Canvas, not just advisors' assigned students, might be a potential FERPA issue. 

Does anyone have a sense of how broadly this sort of thing is done in higher ed? My sense from the comments here is that the simplest way to allow advisors to monitor grades is to give them broad "view" access in Canvas, as in Brian's example above.

Community Participant

My institution is using Canvas for the first time this term. We ran right into the issue that @luke_owens raised: the observer role is granting the advisor access to all grades in a course. This is problematic from a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) perspective. Our advisors are other faculty members, they cannot have access to the grades of students who are not their own students and not their advisees.

In addition, when we grant faculty observer role in their advisees courses, those courses then appear on the faculty members dashboard. Their dashboard then contains both the courses they teach and every course each of their advisees is in. This could lead to dashboards with dozens of courses on them, suboptimal for the faculty member.

So I too am interested in how other institutions are handling academic advising. Surely among over a thousand institutions using Canvas this is a solved issue, no?