What can Observers do in a Canvas course?
Canvas recently introduced a new page design called the New Canvas User Interface (UI). This lesson may include two images for specific steps to show the difference between the two designs. Unless otherwise indicated, the functionality and location of the components remain the same. The view available to you is determined by your institution.
In Canvas, the Observer role can be used to enroll Parents, Mentors, 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.
Observers are bound to the same prerequisites, requirements, lock dates, etc. as the student they are observing. Observers do not have the ability to view content that the student they are observing also does not have access to. Observers cannot see anything before the course is available to the student (before a semester/term begins). However, observers CAN see assignments even if the student has not completed them in a module with prerequisites, but if an assignment is created and is locked by date, the observer cannot see the assignment until the date that the assignment is unlocked.
You can learn more about registration and observing your student in this video.
This lesson will take Observers through the Course Navigation links and summarize what kinds of activities they can and cannot participate in.
Observers Can See the User Dashboard
When they first log in, Observers will see the Global Stream in their User Dashboard.
Observers Can Read Announcements and Discussions
Observers can read student replies to course Announcements and Discussions and see student profile images (if available), but they cannot add their own comments.
Observers Can See the Assignments Page
Observers Can't Submit Assignments
Observers Can Preview Documents in Course Pages
Observers can download documents to their computer and see the edit history for any course Page.
Observers Can Edit Some Pages
If the Instructor changes the permission of a Page so that Anyone can edit it, then Observers can contribute to course Pages.
Observers Can Preview and Download Some Files
Observers Can See the Syllabus Page
Observers can see the Syllabus page . They can also see how the final grade is calculated .
Observers Can See the Outcomes Page
Observers Can't Take Quizzes
Observers Can See the Modules Page
Observers can see how an Instructor has organized course content in Modules. They can also see the point values for individual assignments. Again, Observers can click on any of these links, but they won't be able to participate in Discussions, submit Assignments, or take Quizzes.
Observers Can Join Conferences
Observers Can't Join Course Groups
Observers Can See Grades
Observers can see Grades (including assignment comments) for the student(s) they are observing. They can also filter the Grades view by grading period , filter by courses they are enrolled in , view assignment scores and due dates , and print grades .
Note: Observers who are not linked to a student cannot view Grades.
Observers Can See the Calendar
Observers can see all Assignments due on the Calendar, filter the calendar view by the different courses they are enrolled in, view undated events and assignments, and even grab an iCal feed from the global Calendar.
Observers Can Access Conversations
Observers can click on the Inbox link to access Conversations, but...
Observers Can't Send Messages to Students
Observers Can't See Course Rosters
Observers Will Not be Able to Access Some Pages in Canvas
Course Navigation Links May be Modified
Observers Can't See Unpublished Courses
Like students, Observers cannot view a course until it is published and the course has started.