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Add Users to a Canvas Course - Knowledgebase / Teaching Learning and Research / Canvas / Communication and Collaboration - OIT Service Center

Add Users to a Canvas Course

Instructors can only add users to a Canvas course if it is an Official University Course (available in Banner for registration). The person being added must have active Brown credentials and will receive one of the following four roles:

  • TA - Gradebook access and edit access. Only graduate students, staff members, and faculty can be added as TAs.
  • Undergraduate TA - Edit-only access; no gradebook access. Please note that only undergraduate students can be added as Undergraduate TAs.
    • If you attempt to add an undergraduate student as a TA, it will not work.
    • To request a UTA to have enhanced permissions for Canvas' SpeedGrader,  Instructors can fill out this form.  If you have questions regarding the form, please email
  • Designer - Edit-only access; no gradebook access.
  • Observer - View-only access. This role cannot submit assignments or post in discussion threads.

Important to note: 

  • Students officially registered for a course through Courses@Brown are automatically enrolled in courses. To protect the privacy of registered students and adhere to FERPA, students who have not registered cannot be added to a class in the 'Student' role manually.  
  • When observers, TAs, or designers are added to a Canvas course, they are also enrolled in other course tools, such as Google course groups.  
  • During the first two weeks of the term, a "Prospective Student" is someone that has added themselves using  While they are not officially registered, they have the same permissions and function as a registered student for the "shopping period"
    • All "Prospective Students" will lose access to any Canvas site at the end of shopping period, if they have not officially registered.

Note: DLD Support cannot add users to academic courses without the explicit written permission from the instructor of record's Brown email account.

For cases where access is needed to past courses and the instructor of record is not able to provide permission, in alignment with Brown's Intellectual Property Policy and FERPA guidelines, the department chair or the Dean's office can contact the DLD directly to request that a user be added to the course.


How to add a Brown user to Canvas

  1. Click People in the Course Navigation menu on the left side of your Canvas course.
  2. Click + People.
  3. Enter the Brown email address or username for the user(s).

    Email addresses and usernames can be entered one per line or separated by commas. Email addresses must follow the official Brown format, i.e., An alias address such as will not work.
  4. Select the role of the user in the Role menu.
  5. Select the section to which the user belongs. If the course only has one section, it is automatically chosen and the menu is not displayed here.
  6. Click Add Users.

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