Improving Impact User Groups

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After a thorough review of the issues surrounding the understanding, use and presentation of User Groups within Impact, the Product team has created this blog post in order to outline our plan to fix and improve this feature for customers.

This update will summarize the following:

  • Key definitions that enhance the understanding of each User Group
  • Current items that are being investigated by engineering
  • Future plan to improve the presentation of User Groups

In order to improve the overall understanding of the way User Groups are populated, the Impact team has provided the following tables with descriptions and explanations for each User Group type.

User Group Overview

These User Group types are visible in the User Group overview page in the Impact dashboard.





Subaccount Cumulative


Includes users directly aligned with the subaccount its and child subaccounts



Users directly aligned with a subaccount. This group does not include users in the child subaccounts

Course Role


User is enrolled in a course with this base role or a custom course role based on this base role.



A user’s primary role is determined by their highest ranking base role within all of their course enrollment (see ranking table below ).

Base Role


User is enrolled in a course with this base role. Does not include any custom course roles.



Account admin for a sub-account

Root Admin


Account admin on the root level of a Canvas account

Consortium Admin


Account admin for a consortium of Canvas accounts



User who is registered in Canvas

Primary Role Ranking

The order has been determined based on the number of permissions associated with each base role. The more permissions a role has, the higher the ranking. See the ranking table below.

Base Role ID

Base role name















Teaching Assistant









Root Administrator


Improving User Group Accuracy and Performance

In the past few weeks we have completed several items that are targeting the accuracy of user group counts. Below are items that we have completed on the engineering side:


Improving Primary User Count in Canvas

It was found that there was an incorrect count for Primary Users within the User Group overview. In some instances the Primary User count also replaced the base role count. This was resolved and the correct Primary User count was calculated and displayed using the Primary Role ranking table above.

Removing unrelated user groups from being pulled

It was found that unassociated Site Admin users were being pulled through Impact instances. This was resolved and only profiles related to the customer’s Canvas environment should be listed in Impact.

Custom User Groups: Improving performance to minimize lags when serving results

It was found that results in Custom User Groups in case of creating a new group or editing an existing one are often served with lags. This was resolved and custom user group loading times were reduced.

In progress:

Resolving discrepancies between Impact and Canvas User Group counts

When comparing User Group counts between Canvas and the Impact dashboard, it was found that there was a count discrepancy. Our engineering team is currently working on making sure that all User Group counts that are pulled are representing the accurate count of included users.

However, it is important to note that there will usually be a difference in Canvas statistics vs. Impact User Group count. The Impact User Group count includes all users that have been registered with each User Group during Impact’s installation, whereas the Canvas statistics reflects who is currently associated with each group.


Removing Instructure employees from appearing as users in User Groups

It was found that Instructure employees that had access to some instances were being included in the User Group count. This distorts the actual User Group count. Therefore, the solution that is being investigated is to limit Instructure employees to consortium User Group counts for the purposes of testing and remove them from other User Groups.

Correct Canvas base roles captioned as Primary roles

There are some instances in which Canvas Base Roles are being labeled as Primary Roles in the Role Name column of the User Groups Overview table. The plan is to do a clean up and label the correct Role Name for Canvas Base Roles.

Improving the Presentation of User Groups

In order to improve our customer’s experience with Impact User Groups, we have outlined several key issues and presented solutions to them. These improvements are our first run at addressing the limitations of User Groups within Impact.

Current Issues to Solve:

It is difficult to distinguish between different types of groupings in the User Group Overview due to:

  • Lack of information about each User Group
  • Lack of visibility of sub-account paths within the Role Name column in the User Groups Overview table
  • Readability of the User Groups Overview table (fields are not expandable to see all info)
  • Confusion about the way User Groups are being populated

Proposed Solutions:

In order to address these issues, this set of changes will be focused on improving the presentation of information on the User Groups Overview table, as well as areas in which users can assign user groups to content or reporting. We will be doing this by implementing the following:

  1. Based on the User Groups type table, we will be adding a ‘Type’ field to the User Groups Overview table so that users can refer to the definitions to see exactly the way each group is populated. This will also give more instant clarity into understanding counts and selecting the most appropriate target audience.

    Screenshot 2022-11-28 at 16.19.47.png

  2. We will also be taking this ‘Type’ field and applying it to areas of the dashboard in which you have drop down menus to choose User Groups. This refers to the following areas:

    • Assigning content


In areas where you assign content (messages, support articles, support center categories, walkthroughs, campaigns), right now we present user groups with information in parenthesis. We find that this information is not descriptive enough, so by adding the proper ‘Type’, we will be able to give users more clarity about what kind of users the User Group actually contains.

  • Report/Insights filters


There are inconsistencies in the way we show User Groups within the Insights filters, and with this improvement we want there to be the same presentation of user groups within all areas where they can be selected and assigned. We will be implementing the same improvement to demonstrate the ‘Type’ of User Group within these drop down menus.

  • Support Routing options


  • Custom User Groups assignment


  • Inline Editor (create mode and library)

    Screenshot 2022-11-03 at 14.45.24.png

    3. We will be reassessing and correcting the use of the word ‘Role’ throughout the dashboard to be more representative of the data being shown in each respective field.

    4. We will add flexibility to our User Groups Overview table. All columns of the table will be expandable, giving users the ability to easily see the subaccount paths.

    5. We will improve the presentation of subaccount paths so that users can clearly see which subaccount is presented within each User Group.

If you have any questions regarding the current items being worked on by engineering or our future plan to improve user groups, please feel free to reach out to your CSM or implementation consultant.

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