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Allow an instructor to suspend student users from a Canvas course

Allow an instructor to suspend student users from a Canvas course

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Based on behavior, our faculty can summarily remove a student from class for the day of removal and the next class meeting. The law that allows this was of course written without the online classroom in mind, and my college has struggled with how to handle this in our online classes. The ability to suspend a user from Canvas course access would make it easier for faculty at California's public institutions of higher ed to take our statutory role in supporting a safe learning environment.

Proposed workflow: The user details page that an instructor can access from the People page includes a Suspend User link. When selected, a window will display confirming the action. The user will not be able to access that Canvas course using any login method from any previously authorized tool, such as a mobile device. The user can be reactivated by selecting the Reactivate User link. A window will display confirming the action, as reactivation allows all logins for the user to log in to Canvas and regain access to that Canvas course.

suspend user workflow.png

Alignment with work in progress: This is already being proposed for sysadmins (User Suspension Link), so some of the work is already done. All that is needed is to expand its potential (make it a permission option for the Instructor role) and narrow its scope (make it apply only to an individual Course).


Community Champion

Hi @GregoryBeyrer ,

This may just be a terminology thing, but I think what you're requesting is to let faculty use the "inactive" status for an enrollment, similar to how on that screenshot they can conclude or delete.  Students with inactive enrollments are not able to access the course, but they are kept on the Canvas roster (with an inactive tag).

A complication with this is that depending how an SIS integration works, it may end up resetting the enrollment status (I know our SIS scripts would).

Now, the one thing I will stress to Instructure if this idea goes forward is that it *must* be something controlled by a permission that admins can set (and likely needs to be a granular permission, not bundled with any other functionality).  I am not against the functionality existing, but I know our institution would not allow faculty to have this kind of authority in the LMS.


Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks, @chriscas for your reply. Yes, the differences in SIS/Canvas integrations is something to consider along with the different permissions that institutions give to their instructors. This is a powerful enough option that I hope it always is a permission that can be disabled by sysadmins.