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ravmitterhoff
Community Member

Sub-accounts and Hidden Courses

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1. Can I use sub accounts to limited courses to specific users? I assume you can but I do not understand how it works.

2. Is there a way to offer the same course to two different sub-accounts?

3. I assume that each sub-account has it's own course catalog, right? 

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
James
Navigator

If you're new to Canvas, you'll find it easier to not make assumptions if you know that you don't understand how it works. One of the things that I've seen over my years of using Canvas is that people try to super-impose their previous experiences onto Canvas and because that's the way something worked with a previous LMS that they think it should work the same way with Canvas. That's often not the case. We all do it , though. We can only understand the frame of reference for which we are familiar. From the United States, I could not envision Sweden allowing their students to come back at any point and pick up a class where they left off 11 years previously. Now I'm not so quick to assume things, but look for the answer. Thankfully the Community is a great resource for finding answer -- both by asking questions but in the documentation that Canvas provides.

Let's start with What is the hierarchical structure for Canvas accounts?  from the Canvas Admin Guide. Another good document to read from there is What user roles and permissions are available in Canvas?  There is so much to administrating Canvas that you will probably want to read (or skim) through all of them rather than just cherry-picking the relevant one for the issue you're having at the time. Like a car mechanic, a Canvas admin has to have a general understanding of everything, even if it's not directly related to the current matter. Understanding how things fit together can cut down on problems later on.

Accounts (whether the root or a sub-account) contain courses and courses contain sections and sections contain users.

Users are a bit more complicated. I'm not sure where this is found to provide a link, but users belong to the root (parent) account, they do not belong to sub-accounts. 

There are account level roles that can be assigned to users within a sub-account to, for example, make a user an admin for just the nursing sub-account but not other sub-accounts. If a course falls in the hierarchy under the nursing sub-account, then the admin for that account could do administrative things in that course, but not in a course that fell under, for example, the mathematics department.

However, there are also course level roles, and this is where students and instructors fall. The users exist at the root level and can be placed into any course within Canvas. When you go to sub-accounts and view users, you are viewing the users who are either a) admins for that sub-account or b) users enrolled in a course that belongs to that sub-account, but the users exist at the root level account.

So, no, you cannot use sub-accounts to limit users to certain courses, although you can use sub-accounts to limit certain users to specific permissions within the course. 

Generally, you do not need to limit users to specific sub-accounts, you just don't add them to any sections in a course under that sub-account. People might want to limit them to make it easier to add students manually. SIS imports are highly recommended over adding them manually and then you can make sure they're in the right place.

There is no way for one course to exist under two different sub-accounts. Notice that's not exactly the question you asked, but it's because you asked the question in the wrong way. Courses belong to (sub)accounts, sections belong to courses. Content lives in the course but students are tied to sections. It is possible to have a section in a course from one sub-account be combined into a course from another sub-account, but there is still a course in each sub-account. See How do I use cross-listing in an account?  and How do I cross-list a section in a course?  for more information. 

We don't use Canvas Catalog and so I have no experience with it. There are guides for it though: Catalog Guide - Table of Contents . It does mention subcatalogs, but I'm not sure how that ties into subaccounts -- initial glances make it sound like two different things. The guide How does Canvas Catalog interact with my Canvas Account?  doesn't mention sub-accounts and skimming the documentation furthers suggests that they are two separate but related items and that sub-accounts in Canvas do not automatically translate to sub-categories in Canvas Catalog. Someone with actual experience can probably provide more insight than the guides do.

View solution in original post

2 Replies
James
Navigator

If you're new to Canvas, you'll find it easier to not make assumptions if you know that you don't understand how it works. One of the things that I've seen over my years of using Canvas is that people try to super-impose their previous experiences onto Canvas and because that's the way something worked with a previous LMS that they think it should work the same way with Canvas. That's often not the case. We all do it , though. We can only understand the frame of reference for which we are familiar. From the United States, I could not envision Sweden allowing their students to come back at any point and pick up a class where they left off 11 years previously. Now I'm not so quick to assume things, but look for the answer. Thankfully the Community is a great resource for finding answer -- both by asking questions but in the documentation that Canvas provides.

Let's start with What is the hierarchical structure for Canvas accounts?  from the Canvas Admin Guide. Another good document to read from there is What user roles and permissions are available in Canvas?  There is so much to administrating Canvas that you will probably want to read (or skim) through all of them rather than just cherry-picking the relevant one for the issue you're having at the time. Like a car mechanic, a Canvas admin has to have a general understanding of everything, even if it's not directly related to the current matter. Understanding how things fit together can cut down on problems later on.

Accounts (whether the root or a sub-account) contain courses and courses contain sections and sections contain users.

Users are a bit more complicated. I'm not sure where this is found to provide a link, but users belong to the root (parent) account, they do not belong to sub-accounts. 

There are account level roles that can be assigned to users within a sub-account to, for example, make a user an admin for just the nursing sub-account but not other sub-accounts. If a course falls in the hierarchy under the nursing sub-account, then the admin for that account could do administrative things in that course, but not in a course that fell under, for example, the mathematics department.

However, there are also course level roles, and this is where students and instructors fall. The users exist at the root level and can be placed into any course within Canvas. When you go to sub-accounts and view users, you are viewing the users who are either a) admins for that sub-account or b) users enrolled in a course that belongs to that sub-account, but the users exist at the root level account.

So, no, you cannot use sub-accounts to limit users to certain courses, although you can use sub-accounts to limit certain users to specific permissions within the course. 

Generally, you do not need to limit users to specific sub-accounts, you just don't add them to any sections in a course under that sub-account. People might want to limit them to make it easier to add students manually. SIS imports are highly recommended over adding them manually and then you can make sure they're in the right place.

There is no way for one course to exist under two different sub-accounts. Notice that's not exactly the question you asked, but it's because you asked the question in the wrong way. Courses belong to (sub)accounts, sections belong to courses. Content lives in the course but students are tied to sections. It is possible to have a section in a course from one sub-account be combined into a course from another sub-account, but there is still a course in each sub-account. See How do I use cross-listing in an account?  and How do I cross-list a section in a course?  for more information. 

We don't use Canvas Catalog and so I have no experience with it. There are guides for it though: Catalog Guide - Table of Contents . It does mention subcatalogs, but I'm not sure how that ties into subaccounts -- initial glances make it sound like two different things. The guide How does Canvas Catalog interact with my Canvas Account?  doesn't mention sub-accounts and skimming the documentation furthers suggests that they are two separate but related items and that sub-accounts in Canvas do not automatically translate to sub-categories in Canvas Catalog. Someone with actual experience can probably provide more insight than the guides do.

View solution in original post

ravmitterhoff
Community Member

Wow! That was helpful. Thank you for your thoughts and time!