How do I add students to my course shell?

As part of the course setup process, Canvas will invite you to add students to your course shell. As soon you have finished building your course and it is published, Canvas will automatically send course invitations via email to all added users.  

If your institution uses SIS imports, your student list will be populated by your admin, so you will not need to invite students to join your course. However, you may need to manually invite users who may not officially be part of your institution's records for the course, such as an observer, TA, or designer.  

Note: Adding students is a course permission. If you cannot add students to your course, your institution has restricted this feature.

Open People

In Course Navigation, click the People link [1]. You can also use the Course Setup Checklist; click one of the Add Students to the Course links [2].

Note: Checklist items are moderated by user permissions and display appropriately. For instance, if an institution does not allow instructors to add students to the course, the Add Students checklist item will not appear.

Add People

Add People

Click the Add People button.

Submit Email Addresses

Submit Email Addresses

The Add People page shows you how to submit an email address to Canvas and invite them to your course. Names are not required as part of this process.  

Note: If you are copying and pasting from a spreadsheet or other type of list where names are included with email addresses, you may want to check that they are formatted in the same way as one of the gray examples in the text field. Otherwise the names may not import correctly.

To submit an email address, type or paste the user's email address in the type field [1]. You can also type or paste several email addresses at one time.

In the Role drop-down menu [2], assign the user(s) a role for the course: Student, Teacher, TA, Designer, or Observer.

In the Section drop-down menu [3], assign the user(s) a Section in the course.

Note: If you are submitting multiple email addresses at the same time, all email addresses inherit the same role and section.

Click the Next button [4].

Check People

Check People

Canvas will verify that the email is a valid email address [1]. If you are not ready to add the user, click the Start Over button [2]. Otherwise click the Add Users button [3].

Note: If the user has previously created a Canvas account with the email address you are using, the user's name will populate in the name field [4]. Otherwise the name field will remain blank.

Confirm Enrollment

Confirm Enrollment

Canvas will verify the student enrollment and automatically send an invitation to the course.

To send more invitations to your course, click the Add More Users button [1]. If you are finished inviting students, click the Done button [2] to return to the People page.

View Pending Enrollment

View Pending Enrollment

Until the user accepts the course invitation, the student's status will display as pending.

Once the user has accepted the course invitation, you can interact with the student in the course. You can also send messages to the student via Conversations.

Note: It could take up to 24 hours for users to receive their invitations. Canvas will not consider the student to be enrolled—and won't recognize the student anywhere in Canvas—until the invitation has been accepted. If necessary, you can resend course invitations.

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Please let us know if any information in this lesson appears to be incorrect in terms of Canvas functionality only (please do not submit feature requests here). This is not a help site, and submitted comments cannot be answered. If your Canvas course/account is having trouble completing any of the tasks outlined in this lesson, please contact Canvas Support by submitting a HELP TICKET via the Help Link within Canvas or emailing Thank you.

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