Canvas - Using Canvas as a Departmental Administrator


Canvas is Virginia Tech's learning management system (LMS). Instructors use Canvas to manage teaching materials like assignments, quizzes, feedback, and student grades. 

These instructions are for Canvas college and department administrators (admins). For instructor instructions, see the Canvas Instructor Guide. For specific Virginia Tech instructions, please see Using Canvas at Virginia Tech (for Instructors).




Canvas is organized hierarchically by college, school/department, and course. Canvas account admins can access all courses in the Virginia Tech’s Canvas account. Canvas sub-account admins can access courses in the Canvas sub-accounts related to their college, school, or department. For simplicity, here we refer to Canvas sub-account admins as Canvas department admins. These admins are assigned by some colleges and departments to support continuity of instruction, manage rubrics and outcomes, view course statistics, and more.

Canvas department admin access is limited to relevant courses:


Example Job Role  Canvas Admin Level Canvas Hierarchy Level  Job Functions 
 TLOS support  Canvas account admin  All Canvas courses  Perform technical support
 Deans and/or designated staff  Canvas college (sub-account) admin  Canvas courses in respective college
  • Add/remove teachers for continuity of instruction
  • Undelete courses
  • Manage rubrics and outcomes
  • Manage Blueprint courses and other centralized teaching materials
  • View statistics
  • Teach classes
 Department heads and/or designated staff  Canvas department (sub-account) admin  Canvas courses in respective department
 Instructors of record  Teacher  Courses where person is instructor of record
  • Manage teaching materials
  • Teach classes
  • Receive SPOT evaluations

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Canvas Department Admin Access

Canvas department admins are chosen by their college or departments based on need and job role. Colleges and departments guide what actions their Canvas department admins perform.

Questions and concerns about Canvas department admin access:

Requests to add Canvas department admins:

Requests to remove Canvas department admins:

Questions about using Canvas department access to manage teaching materials, add/remove course users, and view statistics:

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Canvas Teacher and Department Admin Permissions

Canvas Teachers can:

Canvas department admins can perform the same actions as Teachers, plus:

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Adding and Removing Teachers

Finding Sites

Canvas course sites will not appear in Canvas department admins' courses menu. Instead, search for them using admin tools.

Search by CRN

For detailed instructions, see: How do I use the Courses page in an account?

  1. Log into Canvas and click Admin -> Virginia Tech
  2. Click Courses and enter the CRN in the search box. 
  3. CRNs repeat yearly, so make sure the course is the correct/current term. Filter by term using the All Terms drop-down.
  4. In the results, click the site. 
Search by current instructor (not the one you want to add)

For detailed instructions, see: How do I use the People page in an account? and How do I act as another user in an account?

  1. Log into Canvas and click Admin -> Virginia Tech
  2. Click People and enter their PID.
  3. In the results, click their name. You'll go to their Profile page. 
  4. Scroll down and view their Enrollments. Click the site.

Adding Teachers

  1. Go to the course site in Canvas. See Finding sites above. 
  2. Click People on the course navigation menu.
  3. Click +People. If you can't click +People, the site might be concluded: 
    1. Go to Settings and set the Ends term date to tomorrow. 
    2. Check the box for Students can only participate in the course between these dates.
    3. Scroll down and Save
  4. Under Add user(s) by, click Login ID
  5. Enter the person's PID in the Add People box.
    • Do not enter their email address, because not everyone's email address is
  6. Under Role, choose Teacher and click Next.

    Image of the above instructions.

  7. Click Add UsersIf you had to change the term Ends date to add the teacher, go back to Settings, set the Ends date to one in the past, and save. 

Removing Teachers

To remove a Teacher from a course site, college or department administrators MUST remove their teaching assignment in Banner.

Canvas enrollments automatically update four times daily with teaching assignment and student enrollment data from the Registrar. Teachers and Canvas department admins can add and remove people from courses. However, when Canvas automatically updates with Banner data:

When an instructor separates from Virginia Tech, departments should remove their teaching assignments from Banner as soon as possible.

For detailed instructions, see: How do I remove an enrollment from a course?

  1. Go to the course site in Canvas. See Finding sites above. 
  2. Click People on the course navigation menu.
  3. To the far right of the person's name, click the three dots then click Remove From Course.
  4. Click OK to confirm. 
  5. If the person is the instructor of record, repeat the removal until Banner is updated. 

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Canvas Department Admin Resources

Admin Tools

Analytics and Reports

Blueprint Courses

Courses and Sections




Question Banks


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Getting Help

For instructions on resolving common issues with Canvas, see:

Instructure, the creators of Canvas, provide 24-7 Canvas support, including live chat and a support hotline.

To get Canvas help, click Support on any Canvas screen and choose from help options:

In Canvas, use the new Help Docs button located near the Support button that will provide quick access to a knowledge base located inside Canvas.

Image of the above instructions

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