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How do I view a course as a test student using Student View?

How do I view a course as a test student using Student View?

You can view a course the same way that your students view your course through Student View. Enabling Student View creates a Test Student in your course. You can also activate Student View in your Course Settings.

To see the student's perspective on Canvas, use Student View to view the course, post and reply to discussions, submit assignments, view grades, view people, view pages, view the syllabus, view quizzes, view the calendar, and view the scheduler (if enabled).

You can reset Test Student data at any time; however, Test Student activity that involves interactions with other students cannot be removed, such as discussion replies. Test Student data that involves interactions with other students are retained even if the test student is removed from section enrollments.

Attendance, conferences, conversations inbox, collaborations, differentiated assignments, external apps, groups, peer reviews, and profiles do not work for the Test Student. You will see only what you, as the instructor, allow your students to see.


  • Each Canvas course has a separate Test Student account. Whenever you move to a new course you will need to enable Student View for that course.
  • Submissions and scores for the Test Student do not affect course analytics.
  • You can only view the course layout as it is seen by your students. You cannot view student-specific information, such as conversations between students.
  • Student View should not be used to test MasteryPaths in the beta or test environment.
  • Once you activate Student View, the Test Student is shown at the end of the Gradebook and SpeedGrader and is automatically added to every section in your course. If you want to remove the test student completely, you will have to remove the test student from your section enrollments.

Open Student View

In the couse home page sidebar, click the Student View button.

View Course

You can now view the course as a student user would see it. For example, students cannot see the Settings navigation link like instructors can.

You will know if you are in Student View because of the persistent box on the bottom of the screen indicating you are logged into Student View.

Reset Student

You can also reset the Test Student by clicking Reset Student. This action will clear all activity that does not include any student interaction.

For example, if you created an assignment and submitted it as the Test Student but then forgot to add a certain submission type, you can click the Reset Student button and submit the assignment again as the Test Student.

Leave Student View

To return to your course in the instructor view, click the Leave Student View button.




I was struggling to post an assignment without realizing that it was on student view. Go to extreme right bottom of the page to see leave student view. It is better to view as student to see if every thing is posted perfectly.


Glad you found a helpful solution. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. 


When I try to view an assignment with an external tool in Student View, I am asked to log in and then it says it can't authenticate my account. Is this a local issue, or a limitation of the Student View? I want to see what it looks like for my students to use the tool. 

Hi @RFeiler,

You are correct that external tools are not compatible with Student View (as stated in the description of this lesson.)


My very first Module, which I can see in Instructor View,  is not seen by my students; indeed, when I go to Student View, my first Module is missing.  I thought they automatically synced.

Thanks for any help.

Dear Canvas Forum/Community,

No need to respond to my query above this message.  I hadn't published the Module...just happened to chance upon the tiny circle with a diagonal line in it.; this published the module so students could see it.  WHY would CANVAS make such an important symbol/button so small?!?! (rhetorical question, but if someone in Canvas could make it bigger for the next bozo like me, I'm sure it would be greatly appreciated.)

Hi @jmcguire5,

Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear you found what you needed. 


I created a Module that requires students to complete the tasks in order as they go, but now I can't preview any of the work as a test student because the first assignment uses an external tool.  Any suggestions how to leave the module requirements, but also allow me to use the test student feature?


There are a few ways you can go about this. If you're able to add students to your course, you could enroll yourself in the course using a different email address than the one you use for your teacher account and test your course using that method. Or, you can contact your school's Canvas Admin and see if they have any test accounts you can use. You can also copy the content to a test course and create a test student using a different email address in there and test your modules in a separate course. If you're unable to create a separate account, you could ask a colleague or TA to test it and enroll them just to test the modules. Whatever you choose, be sure to remove any test student so you don't mess up grades/groups/etc. later on in your course. Let us know if you have any other questions.


- Nathan

Hi @Awalk,

Just wanted to see if you were able to read Nathan's response and try any of this out on your own. Just for your information, we remove comments periodically, so this may be removed in the coming weeks. Have a great weekend!



Thanks for the work arounds.  I would be interested to know in the future if there is a way to do this without making a separate account.  It would be wonderful to use the built in test student feature for everything.

My course is set up with each previous Module as a prerequisite for the next Module.... so I have found I cannot jump in at Module 4 and use the Student View to view the Module 4 assignment, without completing all the previously required work for Modules 1-3.  Is there a way to turn on and off the perquisites for an instructor in student view?  I see the benefit of having them on when testing the flow of the course, but would be great in order to check individual assignments. 

Hi @bbishop3

I'm not sure if this is something your institution's made available, but you may be able to use your school's Canvas beta instance to test this without impacting your course. Check out this guide for more information. 



These comments are posted to the global Canvas Community,

NOT your Canvas course.

  • Have a question about using Canvas? Visit the Q&A page.
  • Have an idea to improve Canvas? Visit the Idea Conversations space.
  • Need to reply to a course discussion? Log in to your Canvas course and add your comment there (Tip: Visit your school's website to log in to Canvas).
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