Community Contributor

Way to Tell if Someone is a Student or an Instructor in the Community

Hi Chris,

Is there a way to tell if someone is a student or an instructor? I sometimes pop in here and answer questions if I know the answer - but it's hard to tell which answer is right when I can't tell if I'm answering a student or an instructor.  If there's an easy way to find this out, please let me know.


2 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @debra_mansperge ...

I decided to branch off this question into a separate topic because it didn't really flow with the conversation of the original posting.  Hope that was okay with you.  Now to your question...

It's a bit of a guessing game, to be honest.  What I usually do is hover over the person's name here in the Community, and then look at the bottom of my browser window.  It will usually show a URL of where the link is pointing to...often showing the user's e-mail address.  (Note, if it doesn't look exactly like an e-mail address, that's because the %40 that you see is the equivalent of the "@" symbol.  So, when I hover over you name, I see  Sometimes, however, only a username is shown.  Sometimes, it's pretty easy to tell who is a student an who is an instructor...just based on everything after the %40.  But other times, it's not as easy to tell this.  So, like I said, it's a bit of a guessing game.  I'm sure that someone like  @scottdennis  might be able to give a better breakdown of how many administrators/instructors/students there are in the Community...if that was of interest to you.

Finally, I am going to move this question over to the Meta Community Group‌ here in the Community because that is where discussions happen about stuff here in the Community space.  If you aren't following that group, just use this group link that I provided, and then click on the "Follow" link at the top right corner of the page.  Then, you'll want to also click on the "Actions" button and choose "Join group".  I hope this will be helpful to you, Debra.

Community Team
Community Team

Hi Debbie,

Good question!  Thanks for asking.

When someone creates  a user account in the community, Canvas passes their credentials and identity over to the community platform.  This includes their name, username and email address.  When first creating an account people have the option to modify these values as the account is created, but if they choose not to, the default values get passed through.  As you probably know, Canvas does not store a role for every user.  One person might be a student in one course and simultaneously a teacher in another course.  So, that is a long way around of saying that the default teacher or student role for a given user doesn't exist in Canvas to be passed over to the community platform.  We thought about having Canvas pass all the roles a given user might have and then doing some sort of if-then logic to give the person the highest role in the community that they have in all their institutional courses but ultimately decided that idea had too many potential pitfalls with misidentifying people or giving them labels they might not want.