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Ability to Totally Hide Some Members in Course

Ability to Totally Hide Some Members in Course

There are times when individuals have roles in the course that require "Teacher" functionality (setting up Gradebook or grading, for example).  Our instructional designers run into this concern - we need access to set things up and troubleshoot, but we do not interact directly with students with these individuals being visible and given the "Teacher" role.  In ANGEL, we were able to "hide" people if they worked on the course behind the scenes, but did not directly interact with students.  This way, only "visible" members of the roster are visible to students.

 

It would be beneficial to all instructional team members and students if that functionality could be added.

25 Comments
csm20
Community Member

Thanks so much for pointing this out, Renee! I was just thinking about this as I prepare for the launch of the first course in a new program this fall. Having this option would save students a lot of confusion and save instructional designers and instructors a lot of headaches. In addition to instructional designers, we often have other faculty members enrolled in a course for various reasons (e.g. to see how an online course flows, prepare to teach their own section of a given course, or develop a similar one). This was a very useful tool in ANGEL and I would love to see it in Canvas, as well.

mmb5199
Community Member

I would absolutely make use of this feature in Canvas, as I relied on it in ANGEL to prevent confusion about the instructor of record for my course.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @rjf227 ​, and thank you for submitting this great idea!

While I will definitely support this idea, I would like to point out some work-round that you may find useful until your idea becomes a reality.

  • First, the People link in the course menu can be hidden from students and does not impact their ability to use the Canvas Inbox.  The Inbox will display all categories of users that are actually enrolled in the course, but students tend to pick "Teachers" and ignore the users categories they don't understand.
  • You can create custom user roles to support the categories of Instructional Designer, course creator or what ever you wish to call them, and do not have to enroll folks in courses as Teachers for them to accomplish a course build How do I create course-level roles in an account? and How do I set permissions for a course-level role in an account?

My search did not turn up a similar feature idea, so I am going to recommend that your idea open for voting during the next period, and I will watch for it and vote for it. Anything that helps lessen student confusion works for me.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the voting process at How does the voting process work for feature ideas?

KLM

csm20
Community Member

I understand the use of other roles and agree that students do tend to ignore those in roles they don't understand or that don't seem relevant. Usually, if we enroll another faculty member who is not the instructor of record, we don't put them in the teacher roll because they don't need access to student grades/data. They just need to see the structure of the course/lessons. However, most instructional designers, at least at Renee's and my institution do need full access for reasons Renee mentioned. We often have to develop and troubleshoot all aspects of the course. The "designer" role as it is now does not give us the access we need. I think that role does serve a good purpose, but it doesn't meet the needs of designers who are involved in all aspects of course design and development. I was not aware that we can create custom permissions/roles. I will have to look further into that.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Catherine:

As I suggested above, create a custom course role with all the permissions needed. I expanded on the permissions of our Instructional Designer role and it now more closely matches the Teacher role.

KLM

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

I like this idea,  @rjf227 . Three or four years later, I still occasionally get messages from students from courses in which I was enrolled as a teacher for a valid reason, but I wasn't the "teacher of record," if you will. Sometimes students just pick a name they know or like from the list of available teachers. :smileysilly: This causes behind-the-scenes scrambling between the actual teacher and the sort-of-but-not-really teacher that this feature, if implemented, would eliminate.

csm20
Community Member

Thanks Kelley. Is it possible to create a custom role and use it across multiple courses/implement it institution-wide? If we had say, a "lead designer" role that would give us permissions more closely matching those of teacher role, it would be nice to have that option saved and available across all courses.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Absolutely Catherine!

The answer is found here How do I set permissions for a course-level role in an account?

KLM

csm20
Community Member

Awesome! Thank you!

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Not a problem!

Let me know how it works out for you.

KLM

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Hello  @rjf227 ​

Other than messages and notifications, are there other reasons (use cases) that you would want to hide roles from a course roster.  I ask, because, a feature idea like could also solve the use case you mention. 

Thanks.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hi  @rjf227 

Just following up on Renee's question.  Would this address your concerns or would you rather, as stefaniesanders suggested have a feature whereby some course members could be totally hidden from students?

biray
Adventurer III

Hi  @rjf227 ​ - Just a friendly follow-up to see any of the feedback helped.

rjf227
Learner II

We really need the "totally hidden" option for our context.  Thanks!

rjf227
Learner II

The feedback helps, so I appreciate the follow-up.  However, the feedback does not solve the bigger concern about wanting to truly be behind the scenes while doing what we need to do for our courses/instructors/students/departments.

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hello Renee,

I just added this feature idea to the cohort that will open for vote in September.  Thank you for coming back and providing an update.  I also took the liberty of modifying your submission title to, I think, more accurately reflect your wishes.  If you don't agree with my edit, by all means, please change it back.

jordan
Community Member

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. September 7, 2016 - Wed. December 7, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works! Smiley Wink

Jeff_F
Adventurer II

In what situation would someone with the course designer role need to appear on the People page?

rjf227
Learner II

It's very unusual, although there have been a few cases where an instructor has requested that the ID be listed as part of the instructional team and contacted for certain elements of the course.  That said, I would rather be completely hidden as the default setting.

jbrady2
Surveyor

I had a situation occur this summer where I was being contacted by students in a course in which I was enrolled as a designer.  The questions actually concerned assignment content not tool function, so I had to direct the students to contact the instructor.  In addition, even if the questions had concerned Canvas functions, due to the way in which the department for which I work is funded and structured, we do not provide direct support to students for Canvas, only faculty, so being able to hide my presence in the course would be ideal, especially for those instructors who, for whatever reason they see fit, choose to leave the People link visible.