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Use Canvas as mark book without student interaction

I have some classes using Canvas (quizzes, assignments, etc.) but some classes are finishing their course (and leaving school) soon so I don't want to teach them to use Canvas, I just want to use the Canvas grade book as my mark book.

Can I add people without using their email address/ID?

I just want to add a list of names so that I can create assignments and add their prep (homework), classwork, and test marks, getting a useful running average and class ranking. They do not need to interact with Canvas at all; they do not need to be able to see their marks - I just want to keep my marks in all one place. I currently have to use Canvas then an Excel file for the non-Canvas classes, which is annoying.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi‌, nice to virtually see you again.

You can create assignments in Canvas that are set to "No Submission", but which still create a gradebook column. The trick here is that you likely do not want your students to be able to access this course, and there is where you might have a problem.

You (or your Canvas Admin) can manually enroll those students, but leave the course unpublished. Students will still see the course in their Courses list, but it will be grayed-out and inaccessible for viewing. You will need to briefly publish your course to populate the gradebook, but then when you unpublish it your student list will still be in the Gradebook.

For quizzes, still create an assignment (with the quizzes name), so that you can go in and add the grade.

Learn more about No Submission assignments at How do I create an assignment? 

Addendum: Looks like I need a reading lesson! I just noted that you also specified that you would like to enroll them without using their user ID.  I do not think this is possible, which is why I recommended leaving the course unpublished. However, perhaps one of our brighter Community members (one who can read) knows a tricky back-door work-round for this.

I hope this is helpful,



Thanks for this, this is just what I need 

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Learner II

I think you (someone) would need to use email address or other ID to enroll the students.  However, if you can work with a Canvas Admin at your school, they should be able to upload the students via a process that will not require students to access an invitation to join the course (which is what would happen if you added them to the course from the People roster). 

I think you would not ever need to publish the course, but the students would see it existed.  As noted elsewhere, you would just use "no submission" assignments.

Community Team
Community Team‌,‌ has given you great advice—but are you still using Free for Teachers? If so, the administrative solution wouldn't be available to you.

I have been mulling over this question, because I have a solution to offer, but frankly, it's going to involve as much time and effort as managing the grades in an Excel file would. 

So with that caveat, and with great hesitation, I provide this workaround. It is correct that Canvas requires email addresses to enroll the students. But if the students never have to interact with the courses in any way, and you're only maintaining the grades in Canvas for your own private use, those email addresses do not have to be associated with the students. I used to use (the free version) to create one-off email addresses that I would then use to create fake students when I needed to have a large number of students in a course so I could test features such as groups. You'd need to access each inbox at least one time, to respond to and accept the course invitation upon enrollment, but after that the email addresses are disposable and you would probably no longer need them. 

Hope this helps...?


That's a clever work-around. 

I was going to suggest that he go ahead and let these graduating students see their grades, even if they don't otherwise interact.  We hear from our students that seeing grades is one of the LMS functions they most value.


Thanks - this is the best idea. Since the course ends soon, I think I'll just muddle along with two mark books then get everyone using Canvas from the start of term next year.

Community Team
Community Team


Good to hear from you again!  Just to concur with the others who have already responded.  It sounds like you may be bumping up again the limitations of what is possible with the Free for Teachers instance.  😕

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