What is the Observer role?
In Canvas, the Observer role can be used to enroll Parents, Mentors, Auditors, and Guests who would like to participate in a Canvas course but do not need to earn course credit. Observers have limited permissions that allow them to see what is going on in a course without interrupting the flow of daily course communication. Like students, Observers cannot view a course until it is published and the course has started.
Special Permissions for "Linked" Observers
Observers can be linked to Students. Unlike regular Observers, "linked" Observers can see the grade summary pages for their student. Parents are often enrolled as "linked" Observers, especially in K12 environments. Parents cannot submit work in behalf of their children, but they can see their grades, upcoming Assignments, and interaction in the course.