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Community Member

Creating a course with teachers as students

For professional development purposes and to ensure that teachers complete certain tasks, how do I add teachers as my students?

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7 Replies
Community Team
Community Team, if the Add People button is available in your course, you can use the instructions in How do I add users to my course? . Keep in mind that roles are not attached to users, which means that if you want to add a person who is normally a teacher as a student in your course (with only those permissions that are attached to the Student role), you would select the Student role from the dropdown when adding that user. On the other hand, if you want the user to have teacher permissions in your course, you can add the user as a Teacher.

On the other hand, if the Add People button is not available in your course, it means your school has disabled that permission for your role, which means that you will need to contact your Canvas admin to add users.


I will add that even if you don't have the permissions to Add People to your professional development course(s), you may still have the permissions to provide an enrollment URL. Check out How do I enable course self-enrollment with a join code or secret URL?


Wow.  Wasn't expecting to see a response until Monday!  Thank you so much.  I think I got it figured out.


Glad to hear it,​! Smiley Happy


To complement what Stefanie wrote:

If you already use SIS imports for your regular enrollments, you can use them here. Treat this like a regular course, but instead of adding middle-schoolers as the students, you add the teachers as students. That's what we do for our faculty training and resource courses.

There are two levels of roles in Canvas. Account level roles like admins have that role throughout the account and for all courses. Course level roles like students, TA, teachers, designers, and observers are assigned at the course level and can be different for different courses. That is, a teacher in one course can be a student in another course or an observer in a third. What are the differences between course-level roles and account-level roles?


And thank you, James, for your input, too.  This is all new to me, but I want to put together a class to demo for our leadership team to consider district-wide adoption eventually.  My staff is sold on the product.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Anna!

First, welcome to Canvas and the Community!​ is correct. Whatever method you use to add students to your courses can be used to enroll any users to your courses. And, Canvas has the features to set courses as self-enroll, and even make them public for your institution as others have pointed out above. Because you are new to Canvas, I wanted to add a bit about all the uses we make of Canvas classrooms at our school beyond credit courses for students:

  • Faculty professional development,
  • Staff training
  • Staff, faculty and student orientations
  • Committee/work group work/documentation spaces
  • Advising and counselling
  • Student clubs and groups
  • Collaboration across districts, regions, the country and even the world!
  • Program portals (shared space for all students in a specific program),
  • Content repositories (sometimes easier than the Commons)
  • Meetings (we have a Blackboard Collaborate integration)
  • Delivering student course evaluations
  • Much more!

Canvas is a very flexible tool that can be used for much more than just the delivery of instruction to students. With the vast array of LTI tool integrations available (many free), it's uses are stretched even more, and the only limit is your imagination.

Agent K