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nlatimer
Adventurer

Add New Account User as an Observer

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Hi Everyone,

We do not currently have a link for parents on our login page. I have a parent that I need to add as an observer for 5 courses. We are integrated with the PowerSchool SIS, and I am not familiar with doing something like this on the backend via CSV files. However, it's no problem for me to add the parent to each course. But - I am trying to simplify this on the parent's end by not having them have to deal with 5 course invitations, the first of which will require them to create a new Canvas account.

I thought maybe I could add the parent as a new user to our account, but there does not seem to be a way to specify a role for the user when doing that.

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 11.06.36 AM.png

My thought was I would add them as an observer account, and then link them to their student in each of the student's courses. It is my understanding that observer accounts are free, and so I do not want to set them up with an account that may count as one of our paid ones. Does this make sense?

Worst case scenario, I could have them create the account after the first course invitation and then ignore the rest, as they should be able to see the other courses after the first login. I was just wondering if there might be a better way of going about this.

Thanks for any ideas!

Nancy

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
abunag
Surveyor

Accounts, by their nature, do not have a specific role (other than Admin or not) but have their account flagged for certain roles based on their enrollments.  So you can manually create the account, and the observer permissions will come from the courses it's added to.  Unfortunately, unless you want to go through an SIS import, they're going to receive multiple invites, one for each course.  The only way to add a user to a course without an email is via SIS import.  I'd suggest creating the account in the way you are doing it, and adding the enrollments.  It also gives the observer individual emails with direct links to each course, so they can do a search in their inbox to get to each course if they want.  Not ideal, but usable.

As for how observers impact your FTE numbers - I'd suggest presenting that to your Instructure Customer Service Manager.  I don't believe it impacts the FTE, but I could be wrong.

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3 Replies
nlatimer
Adventurer

Actually, now I'm thinking about it, I guess I could just give her the first course invitation, let her create the account, and then add her to the rest of the courses as an observer.

But if anyone has a better idea, please let me know!  :smileygrin:

abunag
Surveyor

Accounts, by their nature, do not have a specific role (other than Admin or not) but have their account flagged for certain roles based on their enrollments.  So you can manually create the account, and the observer permissions will come from the courses it's added to.  Unfortunately, unless you want to go through an SIS import, they're going to receive multiple invites, one for each course.  The only way to add a user to a course without an email is via SIS import.  I'd suggest creating the account in the way you are doing it, and adding the enrollments.  It also gives the observer individual emails with direct links to each course, so they can do a search in their inbox to get to each course if they want.  Not ideal, but usable.

As for how observers impact your FTE numbers - I'd suggest presenting that to your Instructure Customer Service Manager.  I don't believe it impacts the FTE, but I could be wrong.

View solution in original post

Thank you  @abunag 

Observer accounts do not impact FTE numbers, but because I cannot specify the "observer" role when manually adding a new account, I do not know what role that account automatically takes on.