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Community Member

Student enrollment issue

Hi everyone, I have a group of students that have been manually enrolled onto a course (asking on behalf of the teacher here). All bar one student have accepted the invitation and have joined/ set up accounts. 1 student however hasn't and therefore not a user or contributing to the course. Several invites resends have happened to no avail. Is there a way to overwrite this and accept on behalf of the student as they are falling behind? We don't have SIS imports currently, so that's not the problem and other students have accepted. Any help as always greatly appreciated.


#studentenrolment #studentaccess 

19 Replies
Community Team
Community Team

Hi,  @wilma_chapman ‌, from a mechanical standpoint, what you've asked for is easy to do. A Canvas Admin can masquerade as the student, navigate to his/her Dashboard, and accept the course invitation on his/her behalf (the course invite message will appear at the top of the Dashboard).

But the bigger question is "why." At my school, if a student doesn't accept a course invitation, we send the student reminders through the school (external) email for a limited period of time, and if the student doesn't respond to any of those communications, the student misses the work (and usually ends up dropping the course).

The part of the question that isn't clear is what else, if anything, you want to accept on behalf of the student who is in danger of falling behind. Again, it's easy for an admin to accept the student's course invitation, but do you also want to submit assignments on behalf of this student (which is technically feasible, but only by an admin masquerading, and that process if used repeatedly or consistently or indiscriminately opens up audit risks--i.e. the audit trail of who was actually doing the work is muddied). Where I taught, we did not accept course invitations on behalf of students, nor did we prevail upon our admins to submit any work on their behalf. Instead, we provided support to our students in the form of training (teaching them how to do it themselves) and counseling (why are they falling behind or unable to submit their own assignments).

Is this student completely incommunicado, or is the student communicating regularly with the teacher, but not in Canvas?

I'd be curious to know the rationale behind accepting the course invitation on behalf of the student.

Hi Stephanie

Thanks for getting back to me. The student hasn't accepted the enrolment to Canvas at all. Whilst she hasn't accepted enrolment, she doesn't exist in Canvas to masquerade as her account.



 @wilma_chapman ‌ can you see the students account in your Admin view? 
At our institution students need to have a Canvas account in order for them to be enrolled in a course. I would check under Admin and Users and look up the user with either user ID or name. 

Hi Cristina 

When a student hasn't accepted enrollment, they don't appear. An account is created by user when they accept enrollment. We cannot invite students unless we create a basic account however, they must accept enrollment to gain access.

 @wilma_chapman I agree. 
That basic account does however appear in the Admin view under Users right? I thought that's where one needs to go in order to masquerade as another user (or is there another way?)

Hi Cristina 

Students do not appear unless they create an account. If student (user) is not in the system when we add them to a course, they are emailed the link to course and asked if they have a user account. As they wouldn't on initial course enrollment, they need to create their own (see above). If your institution has another method, I've love you to share with us.


I think the confusion here is that if the student's account already exists (due to creation through SIS feed, or due to accepting a previous course invite), and is invited to to a course, the account is already visible and can be masqueraded.  However, if this is the student's first time in the system, and you don't have an SIS feed creating your users, then it would be invisible until the student accepts the invite.  The account is visible only to Instructure, and can't be interacted with by any school admins.

The account is visible only to Instructure

Thank you for adding that clarification,  @abunag ‌! With that in mind,  @wilma_chapman , and given this relatively unusual use case, I recommend that you ask Canvas Support to accept the student's course invitation as a one-off (‌).

I've actually tried to get Canvas Support Tier 1 to interact with those accounts, and they're usually very reluctant to do so.  They wouldn't even confirm what email addresses they were seeing - their logic was that since I couldn't see it myself, I wasn't authorized to know that information.  It may have just been that one support person though.