Canvas - Adding/Removing People from Course Sites (for Instructors)


Introduction

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

  • Official courses are automatically created in instructors' Canvas accounts.
  • Enrolled students are automatically added.
  • Instructors can reuse teaching materials by importing them to a new course site.
  • Canvas provides 24-7 support by phone (833-639-7621) and chat (click Help on any Canvas screen).

The Canvas Instructor Guide has full instructions on using Canvas. These instructions are specific to Virginia Tech. To see other Canvas topics, please see How to Use Canvas at Virginia Tech (for Instructors).

Contents

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Instructions

Adding People

Videos by TLOS: Professional Development Network

 

Roles/Permissions

What you can do in Canvas depends on your role. Canvas comes with these default roles (see Canvas Course Role Permissions):

  • Teacher
  • TA
  • Designer
  • Student
  • Observer

Virginia Tech added more roles to meet our community's needs (see Permissions for Canvas at Virginia Tech):

  • Grader
  • Librarian
  • Tech Support

To change someone's role in your course, see How do I edit user roles in a course? 

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Adding VT Affiliates

  • You can add active VT affiliates - enrolled students and current university employees - to your Canvas site. 
    • You can add VT affiliates to any Canvas role - TA, student, teacher, observer, etc.  
    • Don't enroll your students in official course sites because they are added and dropped automatically.
  • Canvas is for teaching and learning.
  • Not everyone with a VT email address has Canvas.
    • To add alumni and former employees, see Adding (non-VT) guests.
    • To add visiting scholars and emeritus faculty, contact 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help portal. Enter the person's PID and ask for them to be added to Canvas. 
  1. Go to the course site in Canvas.
  2. Click People on the course navigation menu.
  3. Click +People.
  4. Under Add user(s) by, click Login ID
  5. Enter the person's PID in the Add People box.
    • Find the user's PID from Banner or departmental records.
    • Do not enter their email address because email aliases interfere with Canvas recognizing the user.
    • Their PID is not necessarily the same as what's before the "@vt.edu" in their email address. 
  6. Choose the person's Role and Section from the respective drop-down lists.
    • You can add people to the course as StudentsTeachersTAsGradersDesignersTeaching ConsultantsObservers.
    • You can check Can interact with users in their section only to limit access to a single section in a cross-listed site. 



  7. Click Next. Validate that you are adding the correct user(s).
  8. Click Add Users.
Bulk-adding VT affiliates
  • Use bulk add for symposiums, orientation, academic advising, and other academic activities that aren't through an official course. 
  • Do not add students to official course sites because they are added automatically.
  1. Collect the PIDs of the people you are adding. PIDs are not necessarily the first part of VT email addresses. 
  2. Create a file in excel. If you have multiple class sections, make a tab for each section.
  3. Enter the PIDs in a single column. You can enter names and email addresses in other columns. 
  4. Select and copy the column the PIDs. Do not include the column header. 
  5. Go to the Canvas site. 
  6. Click People then +People
  7. Click Login ID in the Add People popup. 
  8. Paste the column of PIDs in the window. Set the role and section. You can only assign one role and section per batch. 
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Add Users.

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Adding (non-VT) Guests

  • You can add guests in any Canvas role - TA, student, teacher, observer, etc.
  • Adding a VT email address as a guest will not work. 
  • Guests must create their accounts. 
    • The guests won't automatically appear in your site after you add them. They must create their guest account and wait up to a day for it to appear in Canvas. 
  • Only add non-VT affiliates as guests. Do not add someone as a guest if they have a VT PID or will soon get a VT PID. 
  • Canvas is for teaching and learning.
  • Only VT affiliated Teachers and TAs can add guests to a site.
    • A Teacher or TA with a guest account cannot add other guests.
  1. Go to the course site in Canvas. 
  2. Click People in the course navigation menu.
  3. Click +Guests in the top right of the screen. You’ll go to VT Add Guests tool.
  4. Click Authorize



  5. Click Request Guest to add a single guest (or multiple guests one-by-one) or Upload Guests to add a batch of guests. 
    • You can upload only 99 guests at a time. If you have more than 99 guests, add them in batches. 



  6. If uploading a list of guests, go to step 7. Otherwise, to add a single guest: 
    1. Click Request Guest. If the course site is unpublished, a warning will pop up. Click OK. You’ll go to the Add Guest screen.
    2. Enter the guest user’s full name and email address.
    3. If your course site has more than one section, choose which section to add them to.
    4. Set the guest's role in the site. 
    5. State your reason to add the guest user.
    6. Click Create Guest.
    7. Send instructions to the guest on how to make their account. See How guests make their accounts below. 
    8. Wait for the guest to make their account and for Canvas to update.
  7. To upload a list of guests:
    1. Click Upload Guests. If the course site is unpublished, a warning will pop up. Click OK. You’ll go to the Upload Guests screen.
    2. Open Excel and create a new workbook. Add one column with guest names (First Last) and another column with guest email addresses. 
    3. Add up to 99 guests. Split your guests into separate files if you have more than 99. 



    4. Save the spreadsheet as a CSV (Comma delimited) file. You'll see ".csv" as one of the Save as Type options.
    5. On the Upload Guests screen in Canvas:
      1. Choose which section to add the guests to, if your course site has more than one section. Upload different batches for different sections.
      2. Set the guests' role in the site. Upload different batches for different roles.
      3. State your reason to add the guest user.
    6. Click Upload File. Navigate to the CSV file you created in steps 1-3 of 6B and click Open. The file will be listed at the bottom of the Upload Guests window.
    7. Click Start Upload. The VT Add Guests tool will request guest accounts and go to the Guest Uploads tab. 
    8. Send instructions to the guest on how to make their account. See How guests make their accounts below. 
    9. Wait for the guest to make their account and for Canvas to update.
Tracking Guest Registration
  • Guest users must register their accounts within seven days of being added to Canvas.
  • You can track whether they've registered by looking at the Status column in the Add Guests tool. 
  • If a guest says they can't log into Canvas, first check their registration status. There are three possible statuses:
    • Pending – Waiting for guest to: respond, create account, and set their password.
    • Expired – Guest did not create an account with 7 days, and the invitation is no longer valid. Re-invite them.
    • Enrolled – Guest successfully created an account. It can take up to 6 more hours before the guest is added to Canvas.
  • If a guest already has a Canvas account from another Canvas site and cannot log in, their password has most likely expired and the login credentials are invalid.
    • To reset their password, contact 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help portal.
  • If a guest can’t remember if they created an account or not, have them go to Virginia Tech Account Manager to check.
How Guests Create Accounts

Send the below instructions to those you've added as guests: 

If you've been added to Canvas as a guest, you need to make a guest account with Virginia Tech before you can log into Canvas. 

To make your guest account: 

    1. You should have received an email with subject line Virginia Tech Guest Account Invitation. If you did not receive the email: 
      • Check all email accounts your VT sponsor might have for you, and check spam folders.
      • Contact your sponsor and make sure they added you. 
      • If seven days passed since you got the email, the invitation expired. Contact your sponsor and have them renew your invitation.  
    2. Follow the instructions in the email to create your Virginia Tech Guest Account and set your password.
      • You must do so within seven days of receiving the invitation, or it will expire. 
    3. Wait approximately six hours to be added to Canvas.
    4. Log in to Canvas.
      • Your username is the entire email address in which you received the invitation.
      • Your password is the one you set when creating your account.
    5. If you forgot your password, reset it. See Guest Account Management Service password reset and enter your guest email address. 

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Adding People to Concluded Course Sites

The +People and +Guests buttons in People will be grayed out if a course site is concluded.

  • You need to unconclude a course site to make changes to the site, such as adding people or editing teaching materials
  • Instructors can unconclude official course sites by changing the term dates so the end date is in the future. See Term dates under Configuring course settings
  • If the term dates are inaccessible and the Participation field is set to Course already instead of Term, a VT Canvas admin will have to unconclude the course for you. Request this through 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help portal.

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Removing People

Teachers cannot remove enrolled students or other instructors-of-record from an official course site.

  • They are added and removed according to their course enrollment status with the Registrar.
  • If you remove them, they will be added back the next time Canvas updates with registrar data. 

To remove someone you added manually: 

  1. Go to the course site and click People
  2. Find the user you want to remove.
  3. In their row, on the far right, click the three dots, then click Remove From Course
  4. Click OK to verify.

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Troubleshooting

I can't add people to an old site

  1. Go to the People tab on Canvas.
  2. Check to see if the +People and +Guests buttons are grayed out.
    • If it is, the course site is concluded.
  3. Unconclude the course site to add people.

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Script Blocker Problems

Canvas uses JavaScript. However, browser security settings or security suite software increasingly block JavaScript by default. If JavaScript is blocked, Canvas will not appear and function correctly, for example: 

  • The Canvas Dashboard shows flashing courses.
  • Clicking Help and Courses do not show the menus.
  • Clicking AssignmentsAnnouncementsDiscussionsGrades go to a blank page.
  • The +Guests button doesn't appear in People.
  • Videos in Files don't automatically play.
  • SPOT doesn't appear on menus.
  • Kaltura videos won't play.
  • Instructors can't add files to Canvas. 
  • Students can't upload files to Assignments.

To fix browser and script blocker problems:

  1. Check/update your browser. We recommend using an updated version of Google Chrome. 
    1. Click [...] in the upper right corner of your browser.
    2. Click Help->About Google Chrome.
    3. An automatic update may start. When it finishes, click Relaunch.
    4. To update, see Update Google Chrome.
  2. Check the Canvas URL.
    1. Click your Canvas bookmark in Chrome. Make sure it links to https://canvas.vt.edu, not the Instructure URL. If it links to the Instructure URL, update it to link to https://canvas.vt.edu
    2. If tools are malfunctioning in Canvas, check and make sure the URL is https://canvas.vt.edu. If not, go to https://canvas.vt.edu.
  3. Bypass/clear your browser's cache.
    1. To bypass the cache, go to the Canvas page where you should see the link to the LTI tool. Hold the Shift key while clicking the browser's refresh button.
    2. To clear the cache, see Clearing Browser Cache.
  4. Whitelist Canvas URLs in your script blocker; set your script blocker to allow JavaScript from Canvas and related URLs. 
    1. Go to your script blocker's settings for trusting/allowing/unblocking/whitelisting websites. Instructions for common script blockers: 
    2. Set your script blocker to trust/allow/unblock/whitelist the following Canvas-related URLs:
      • vt.edu
      • instructure.com
      • amazonaws.com
      • canvas-user-content.com
      • inscloudgate.net
      • kaltura.com
      • ops.cielo24.com
      • evaluationkit.com
      • cloudfront.net
      • jquery.com
      • bootstrapcdn.com
      • iclicker.com 
      • smc-service-cloud.respondus2.com

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Getting Help

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

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

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