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asatkins
Community Participant

Hidden Canvas Permissions

Hi all,

While we're voting for more granular permissions (vote here!) I wondered if it would be helpful to share the things we've learned the hard way on canvas permissions. Please clarify the type of permission (course level- student/teacher/observer or account level- various admin access) because some are named the same thing but do not behave exactly the same way.

Here are some we have found:

Course Level:

"Manage all other course content" - if this is disabled and you have set prerequisites on the modules page (must submit/must view/must progress in order, etc) the teacher or TA will also be subject to the prerequisites that were designed for students. This will force the teacher to complete the course in order to view the next page. If you enable it, it gives them access to edit any part of the modules page (add/remove content, add/delete modules). Our teachers work off of set content developed by course designers, so we try to lock down things as much as we can.

"View discussions" - if this is disabled all course level announcements will show on the student's dashboard, but when they click on it Canvas will give them the "page has been disabled" top banner. It doesn't seem to warn teachers when they post them, so our teachers kept posting them for several days before any of our students let us know they could no longer see them. You can turn off all of the other related discussion permissions if you don't use them (we don't because of moderation issues with online and underage students) but you have to leave on this one if you want announcements.

Account Level:

"Add/Remove admins" and "Become other users" - this only allows you to interact with other admins at or below your level. Canvas seems to determine "at or below" as you having every permission they have or all of them plus. If a permission level has a single permission you do not, you can't add people to that level and you can't masquerade as anyone in that permissions level.

"Manage (add/edit/delete) courses"- this must be enabled for a user to be able to publish or conclude a course. The technical permission for publishing is "Change course state", but with that selected a user still cannot publish/conclude. We actually disabled Change state and it seems to have no affect on ability to publish at all, so I have no idea what that permission does, but you can't publish without Manage courses.

There are certainly more... but I've spent all day trying to write this around office traffic, so if people are interested in discussing I'll add a few more tomorrow Smiley Happy

Thanks!

22 Replies
John_Lowe
Community Champion

Yes, please share more!​

harker
Community Participant

Agreed. I have already voted for this. Instructure should have a fine print guide of what each permission does (a definition) and its effects.

John_Lowe
Community Champion

harker, check with your CSM about this.  Deactivated user​ sent me a PDF guide that has a fairly decent list of each permission, what it does, and the features affected.  It didn't answer all of my questions, but it helped.  At the time, Ben called this guide a work-in-progress and wasn't made generally available yet.  Perhaps times have changed and this document is released somewhere.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @scottdennis ​ posted this in another forum and I think it's what you're talking about - https://s3.amazonaws.com/tr-learncanvas/docs/Canvas_Permissions_Account.pdf 

asatkins
Community Participant

We do have access to that, but we've still found it to be incomplete and at some times inaccurate (It lists 'change course state' as the required permission to publish, for example). Have any of you found other permissions shortcuts? I still have to look through some of my old notes to see what else we've found.

Amanda,

If you are finding inconsistencies, please let us know. Permissions is a complicated beast and we're trying to give everyone the most accurate information that we can.

Thanks!

Erin

erinhallmark​, I was searching for this exact information (detailed explanation of the impact of each permission setting) and turned up several guides but not this discussion (though I probably didn't scroll down far enough or was searching in Canvas Guides rather than across all of Jive). Would it be possible to provide the information contained in these PDF's as official guides with regular updates and version history?

awilliams
Community Champion

Thank you very much  @kona ​. I had been searching for this today and wrote my own question before finding this discussion. I sure hope we can get guides with this info in it with regular updates as things change.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Yes, yes, yes!!