What is the Teacher Assistant role?

In Canvas, the Teacher Assistant role is most commonly used to enroll individuals who will work with and support a teacher in a course and who do not need to earn course credit. Teachers are also referred to as instructors in Canvas. Teacher assistants may view and moderate a course and direct daily course communications under a Teacher’s supervision. However, these permissions may vary among institutions.

Other course-level user roles with varying course-level access exist in Canvas. Designers may work with Teachers (who oversee teacher assistants) and together they create course content with which Students and Observers engage. For more information about course-level user permissions, view the Canvas Course Permissions PDF.

Teacher assistants may also use the Canvas Teacher app to view and participate in courses.

Teacher Assistant Role Use

The main use of the Teacher Assistant role is to support a course instructor. Teacher assistants can create course materials, access and manage Canvas course materials, and engage with others enrolled in the course. For example, instructors sometimes use teacher assistants to grade assignments in courses with large student enrollments.

Teacher assistant access to Canvas courses depends on the institution. Teacher assistants may have access to all past, current, and future courses. Alternately, Teacher assistants may only be enrolled in and granted access to individual courses. A teacher assistant may be enrolled in a course automatically by SIS import or manually by an instructor.

Teacher Assistant Access in Canvas

An institution may modify some Teacher assistant course-level permissions. Teacher assistants have access to Canvas courses as outlined in the Canvas Instructor guide.  

Teacher Assistants can:

  • Add and delete external applications (LTI) for a course
  • Create conferences and student collaborations
  • Create and edit rubrics
  • Customize Course Navigation links
  • Delete and lock discussions and edit others’ discussion posts
  • Generate observer pairing codes for students
  • Manage assignments, quizzes, course files and pages, and all other course content
  • Manage items in a course calendar, including Scheduler appointments
  • Manually add students to a course
  • Send messages to other course users and to all members of a course
  • View a list of users in a course
  • View all student group pages for a course
  • View and comment on student submissions
  • View and edit grades
  • View and link to question banks
  • View course analytics
  • View course announcements and discussions
  • View usage reports for a course

Teacher Assistants cannot:

  • Add, edit, and delete learning outcomes associated with course content
  • Create, edit, and delete course sections
  • Create, edit, and delete student groups
  • Publish, conclude, and delete courses
  • Read SIS data
  • View grade audit trail

Teacher Assistant Limitations

  • Teacher assistants can only view content for a course in which they are enrolled.
  • Teacher assistants cannot submit work on behalf of students, nor can they submit final grades for students.