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Canvas Enrollment Options

This page will cover how to add users to courses in Canvas and what roles are available. There are also instructions for changing a user's role and section.


In general the roles available to all courses are Designer/Librarians, Observers, and TAs. The roles of Teacher and Student are by the Registrar in Colleague/MU-HUB courses. If you are wanting to add a Teacher or Student to one of those, contact the Registrar (or Dr. Sarah Zahl if the course is in COM).

For more information on the roles that are available (including an analysis of everything they can and cannot do), click on the name of the role.

Roles Available in Every Course


These users are able to create and edit content but they cannot see student information (such as grades or submissions). Designers and Librarians have the exact same permissions but users should only be added as Librarians if they are Mother Theresa Hackelmeier Library staff.


These users have view-only access to Canvas courses. They can see pages and files but cannot edit or participate.

Teaching Assistant (TA)

These users have almost complete access and control of the courses in which they are enrolled. They can edit content, grade assignments, and see student information. Instructors are highly encouraged to view this link and become familiar with what these users can do before giving them access. Also, it is important to note that due to their access to grades and grading, Instructors are responsible to ensure that their TAs are educated in and bound by FERPA regulations.

Non-Colleague/MU-HUB Courses

Courses that are not enrolled via the Registrar (typically development courses, sandbox, or club courses) have the roles listed above as well as the ability to add Teachers and Students. Keep in mind that if you give someone a Teacher role, you are giving them the same permission level you have with the course.


Add Users to a Canvas Course

  1. Go to the course in Canvas.
  2. Click on People.
  3. Click on + People
  4. Add in the email address of the user(s) that you want to add.
    • You can add multiple users at the same time as long as they all have the same role. If you need to add users with different roles, add them separately.
  5. Select the role that you want them to have and the section that you want them to have that role in. See Sections below for more information. 
    • If Teacher and Student are not available (and it is not an MU-HUB/Colleague-enrolled course) contact Blake to troubleshoot.
  6. Click the Next button
  7. The next screen show the results of the attempt to find the account in the system.
    • If it shows an orange banner that says it cannot find the account, click on Back to try again. This occurs when it cannot find the email address in our system. Double check the email is correct and if the problem persists, contact Blake.
    • If it shows a green box and check mark, it successfully found the account (and should also be showing their name/names). Click Add Users to finish the addition process.

Removing a User from a Course

NOTE: This process only works with users that have been added manually. Users added via MU-HUB/Colleague cannot be removed manually. Contact the Registrar for more information.

  1. Go to the course in Canvas.
  2. Click on People.
  3. Click on the three dots to the right of the user's name.
  4. Select Remove from Course NOTE: Removing a user from a Canvas course, removes their ability to see the course and the Instructor's ability to see their participation. If you wish to keep those records available but still remove the user's access, select "Deactivate User" instead.
  5. When asked if you are sure, click OK.

Change a User's Role in a Course

  1. Go to the course in Canvas.
  2. Click on People.
  3. Click on the three dots to the right of the user's name.
  4. Select Edit Role.
  5. Choose the new role that you want them to have.
  6. Click Update


Instructors may also have the ability to change a user's section (the group of students they interact with during a particular course). Multiple sections of students allow the Instructors to post the same content for different groups at the same time.

Colleague/MU-HUB Courses

Usually MU-HUB/Colleague courses are enrolled one section of students per course. Instructors can cross-list sections, which moves multiple sections into the same Canvas course. For more about cross-listing, click here.

Unfortunately, since these courses are enrolled via Colleague/MU-HUB teachers may be unable to change their student's sections manually. If you are needing to do this, contact the CTL directly for assistance.

Non-Colleague/MU-HUB courses

For non-MU-HUB/Colleague courses, Instructors can use sections to identify different groups of students (such as those that are graduating in different years, or different cohorts in the same club or organization).

NOTE: When you give users access to your course, you also select which section they have access to. If you want them to have access to multiple sections, you will need to add them to each section separately.

Creating a Section

  1. Go to the course in Canvas.
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Sections
  4. Type in the name of the section you want to add.
  5. Click + Section to create it.

Edit a User's Section

  1. Go to the course in Canvas.
  2. Click on People.
  3. Click on the three dots to the right of the user's name.
  4. Select Edit Sections
  5. This menu will allow you to search the sections you have the course. Everyone is assigned a default section. Selecting a different one will put the user into both sections. After assigning them to another, though, you can remove them from the default. NOTE: Users must be in at least one section.

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