Canvas How-To: People, Rosters, and Roles

This page contains information about Canvas course rosters.

Note: Canvas receives and applies any roster changes from PeopleSoft every two hours between 6 am and 6 pm seven days per week.

Adding Students to a Course

As a general rule, do not manually add students to live courses. Students are automatically added to courses and student registration and enrollment should be handled by the automated integration with PeopleSoft. Manually adding students bypasses this process. Students might falsely assume they are officially enrolled, when they are not. For urgent situations, contact

Adding Students from One Section Into Another

Do not do this. Instead, follow the instructions to combine course enrollments whenever it is desired that enrollments of more than one section have access to the same materials and activities.

Removing Students from a Course

Students who officially drop or withdraw from a course are automatically removed from the roster the next time Canvas syncs with PeopleSoft.  If a student is no longer participating in a course but has not officially dropped or withdrawn, contact for help.

Remove a Previous Instructor from a Course

Contact to remove a previously assigned instructor from the current roster of a Canvas course.  Instructors cannot remove those individuals themselves.

Adding a TA or Grader to a Course

Instructors can add users to a course roster in a variety of roles from the People page.  Simply select the role the user should have when adding the person.  The Teaching Assistant role can grade and has limited access to edit content. The Grader role can only grade and has no access to edit course content. 

How do I add users to a course?

Course Roles in Canvas

The following table summarizes the current course roles in Canvas.

Instructors have full authority to add individuals to a course in any of these roles from the course People page. Instructors can also remove individuals they've added manually.
Canvas Course Roles
Role Permissions
Teacher The primary instructor(s) for the course, who can manage and add content and activities, and access and grade student work.
Student Can access course content and participate in course activities and assignments.
TA Can manage most aspects of a course, including sending email to the class, creating announcements, modifying course materials, and grading students.
Grader Can grade students and view course content only. Cannot modify course materials or otherwise manage the course.
Supplemental Instructor Can view course materials, create course Announcements, create ungraded Discussion topics, participate in Discussions (post and reply), and contact students via Conversations. Cannot grade or otherwise manage the course.
Observer Can view course materials and participate in Discussions (post and reply only). Cannot grade or otherwise manage the course


* Note: there is not a generic 'Guest' role, though Observer might come closest to that.

Dropped Students

Students who are marked as dropped in the PeopleSoft record for the course section will be hidden entirely in the corresponding Canvas roster.  This is done automatically during the regular roster refresh process.

Withdrawn Students

When a student officially withdraws from a course after Census Date, they are still considered to be "enrolled" in PeopleSoft. However, those students will be removed from the Canvas roster during the regular refresh process.

Other Removal Situations

Specific individuals can be excluded from a Canvas roster, regardless of enrollment status, if the situation warrants that action.  Please contact for more information.

Handling Incompletes

If the instructor has allowed a student to discharge an incomplete in a previous course by participating in the current term, the instructor should create a special section called "Incomplete" and add the student to that section. This will allow the instructor to differentiate between the 'regular' students and those discharging an incomplete. Privacy rules generally go against the idea of adding an incomplete student to the current Canvas roster of a course.

How-To: Allow Incompletes to Finish a Course

Adding Non-Stan State Users to a Course

If an instructor wishes to add someone from outside the Stan State community to a Canvas course, the instructor must fill out the Exernal LMS User Request form. Once that request has been processed, the Canvas administrator will contact the new user with their access information and the instructor may add the user at that time.