User permissions are roles that are assigned to individuals when they are added in to a Canvas course. These permissions allow and restrict different abilities in Canvas depending on what the function of that user is. For example, students can view course content, submit assessments and post in discussions. Teachers are able to mark assessments and create and publish content.

The Canvas tech team has been working with schools to discuss improving the options for user permissions at RMIT. Currently, there are five standard roles that come with Canvas, and six additional roles that have been customised just for RMIT.

Schools have been requesting additional user roles in Canvas, however, it is important to create a consistent approach for the management of roles across the university. After meeting with schools a solution has been agreed that will allow additional roles specific to each college/school, which can be created at sub-account level on request. Shortly, we will be communicating what the new process will be for requesting changes to user permissions in your area. Stay tuned!

Read below for a break down of the current different types of user permissions.


Students have the ability to submit assignments and view course content, including announcements and discussions. RMIT also allows students to create student collaboration, post discussions and send messages to other users within a course.


Teachers are basically course admins that have control over the course. RMIT Teachers have the highest course level access, and are entitled to most of the Canvas course role permissions.

Teaching Assistant

TAs have permissions very similar to the teacher role, except TAs do not have access to add users to a course. TAs are there to provide support to teachers.


They have access to the course content, can create discussions, announcements, assignments and quizzes. Designers are not able to edit grades or view course and user analytics.


Observers can be linked to a student or multiple students and view the student’s data in a course. For example, parents, guardians, and/or mentors may wish to be linked to a student to view the student’s progress. Observers also can be added to a course without being assigned to anyone. In this case the user can read course content such as pages available to students, announcements and discussions. They can also read assignment but not submit assignments. Canvas users who need read/ but not participate access can be granted with this Course role.


Grader is created based off TA. A grader can edit grades but not change any content within the course.

Course Curator

A Course Curator role allows a staff member to request access to a previous course. This is for the purpose of reusing content in a new course, or term, in the instance where they previously did not have access. It allows access to copy course content only.


Mentors have read access to course content, post discussions and message students, but no access to view and edit grades.

SLAMs Coordinator

The Student Learning Advisor Mentors (SLAMs) Coordinator role  is based off the designer role and has limited access to manage course content and no access to student grades.

SLAMs Mentor

This is a mentor role designed for SLAMs.

Discussion Participant

This role is created based off the Observer role. They have read access to course content, but with an added ability to post discussions.

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