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Pairing Codes - FAQ

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Pairing Codes - FAQ

This document answers some of the most common questions about using pairing codes in Canvas.


This document includes some of the most frequently asked questions about pairing codes, organized by user role. If your question is not answered below, please reach out to Canvas Support for assistance.

All Users

 

What are pairing codes?

Pairing codes are six-digit codes that are used to link students to observers in Canvas. Pairing codes are alphanumeric and case sensitive.

 

Who can generate pairing codes?

Pairing codes can be generated by a student or on behalf of a student by another user with the appropriate permission. Once generated, the pairing code can only be used to link the student who created the code or had the code created on their behalf. Additional pairing codes must be created for each student that will be linked to an observer.

Pairing codes are only available to users at institutions that have enabled self registration. If your institution has not enabled self registration and you need assistance linking an observer to a student, reach out to your institution for assistance.

 

How long are pairing codes valid?

Pairing codes expire after seven days or their first successful use.

 

How many pairing codes can be active for a student at one time?

A student can have five active pairing codes at one time. If a student has five active pairing codes and a new pairing code is generated, the oldest pairing code will become inactive.

 

Observers

 

Can I generate a pairing code as an observer?

No. Observers cannot generate pairing codes. In order to receive a pairing code, observers have two options:

  • Ask the student they want to observe to log into their account and generate a pairing code.
  • Ask the student’s teacher, school admin, or other user with appropriate permissions to generate a pairing code for the student.

Note: Depending on institution permissions, teachers may not be able to generate a pairing code.

 

Can I generate a pairing code from the Parent app?

No. The Parent app does not support generating pairing codes.

 

How do I use a pairing code as an observer?

Observers can link to one student using a pairing code when creating an account in the Canvas Parent app or web browser. Observers can link to additional students using pairing codes from their User Settings in a web browser and in the Parent App. Learn more about these options in the lessons below:

 

What happens after I use a pairing code as an observer?

After an observer enters a valid pairing code, the observer will be linked to the student. The observer can then view course content for the student. For more information, view the Observer Visibility and Participation resource document.

 

Can I link to multiple students using pairing codes as an observer?

You can link to multiple students as an observer, as long as you use a unique pairing code for each student. When creating an account, you will only be able to enter one pairing code. Additional pairing codes can be entered from your User Settings.

 

Can a single pairing code be used by two observers?

No. The student will need to generate a different pairing code for each observer. For example, two parents of the same child will each need to use a unique pairing code.

 

Students

 

Can I generate a pairing code as a student?

If self registration is enabled at the institution, students can generate pairing codes from their User Settings. Students can have up to five active pairing codes at one time. For more information, view the lesson How do I generate a pairing code for an observer as a student?.

 

Can I generate a pairing code from the Student app?

Students can only generate pairing codes from a web browser and in the Canvas Student iOS app.

 

How can I use a pairing code as a student?

Students cannot use the pairing code to link to an observer from their own Canvas account. They must give the pairing code to the Canvas observer who will link to their account. An observer may be a parent, guardian, mentor, counselor, or another individual who needs to view the student’s Canvas courses.

 

What does it mean if the Pair with Observer button doesn’t display in my User Settings?

If the Pair with Observer button doesn’t display in your User Settings, self registration has not been enabled in your account. For assistance with pairing with an observer, please contact your institution.

 

Teachers, Admins, & Other Users

 

Which non-student roles can generate pairing codes?

The ability to generate pairing codes on behalf of a student is managed by the Users - generate observer pairing code for students permission. This permission can be managed in Account Permissions and Course Permissions. For more information on this permission, please view the Canvas Account Role Permissions resource document or Canvas Course Role Permissions resource document.

If this permission is enabled, a user can generate a pairing code on behalf of a student from the student’s User Details page. For more information, please view the lesson How do I generate a pairing code for an observer as an instructor?

 

Can I generate a pairing code from the Teacher app?

No. The Teacher app does not support generating pairing codes. Observer pairing codes can only be generated from the Canvas web browser.

 

How can I use a pairing code as a teacher or admin?

Teachers and admins cannot use the pairing code to link to an observer from their own Canvas account. They must give the pairing code to the Canvas observer who will link to their account. 

 

Can I use an alternate way to link a student to an observer as a teacher or admin?

If you have the correct permissions from your administrator, you can link a student to an observer from the People page of a Canvas course. For more information, please view the lesson How do I link a student to an observer in a course?.

 

What is the difference between linking from the People page and using a pairing code?

Linking a student to an observer from the People page allows the observer to view student information from the course where they were linked. Using a pairing code allows the observer to view information from all of the student’s courses. 

 

What does it mean if I can’t see the Pair with Observer link?

If the Pair with Observer link doesn’t display in a student’s User Details page, you do not have the correct permissions or self registration has not been enabled in your account. For assistance with pairing with an observer, please contact your institution.

 

Can I generate a list of pairing codes for multiple students?

Yes. In the Options menu on the People page, you can export a list of new pairing codes for all students in your course. These pairing codes work in the same way as generating individual pairing codes. For more information, please view the lesson How do I generate a pairing code for an observer as an instructor?


Last update: 2020-09-11

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