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Canvas LMS Administration and Protocols

Canvas is the Learning Management System adopted at Montclair State University. All faculty, staff and students with Montclair State’s official NetID credentials have access to the Canvas system. All courses listed by the Registrar’s office in a given semester/term at Montclair State have their responding course shells in Canvas. Canvas is integrated with the University’s course registration system, Banner/NEST. Banner feeds course and enrollment information to Canvas, and Canvas then automatically generates course shells accordingly for all courses with instructor teaching assignments and student enrollments. In addition, Canvas is also utilized to help serve some administrative tasks for the University, such as research collaborations, resource sharing, and others.

Canvas Accounts

Canvas Accounts for Faculty, Staff and Student

Canvas accounts for faculty, staff, and students are automatically provisioned. Any member of the Montclair State community will be able to log into Canvas between 4 to 8 hours after setting up their initial NetID password. New accounts and account updates are imported five times per day per feeds from Banner.  Access to Canvas will continue until the user departs the University.  Account access in Canvas follows the University departure policy. 

Members of the Montclair State community are each granted one Canvas account. For individuals who are both faculty/staff and a student, the faculty/staff NetID will remain or become your username to log into Canvas.

If Montclair State faculty or staff need to request to add a non Montclair State user (as a guest speaker, research collaborator, etc.) into a course or community in Canvas, the request should be approved by their department chair (or unit head). Upon their approval, the requester or approver should send the request to, and ITDS will process the request and create a temporary Canvas account accordingly.

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Course Roles and Permissions in Canvas Courses and Communities

Academic courses (automatically generated in Canvas according to the automating feed from Banner) may have the roles as below.

Teacher Role:  Teachers are automatically added to Canvas courses based on teaching assignments entered in Banner by the Registrar’s office.  Teachers have full access to their Canvas course and can add/edit content, view, create and edit assignments, quizzes, pages, discussions, etc.  

Students Role: Students are automatically added to each Canvas course based on course registrations in Banner/NEST.  Students may not be able to access their registered courses for a newly coming semester until 3 business days prior to the first day of class or when the courses are published by the instructor.

TA Role: Teaching Assistants (TA) are manually added to Canvas courses.  TAs can be added by the course Teacher or a Canvas administrator. TAs have similar access to a Canvas course that Teachers have except TAs cannot add other users.

Designer Role:  The Designer role is primarily used to assist with course content management, but not grading.  They have the ability to create discussions, announcements, quizzes and other content.  Designers cannot view or modify grades or add teachers or TAs to a course, but they can add students.

Grader Role: Based on TA Graders are manually added to courses. This role is designed for an individual who needs to grade but does not need to add, edit, or delete content. Graders can be added by the course Teacher or a Canvas administrator. 

Retention Support Based on the Teacher role, the Retention Support role is designed for the retention support specialists who support online programs.

Librarian: The Librarian role allows faculty members to add their designated liaison librarian from the Sprague Library. In this capacity, the librarian is free to share content and materials with students in a Canvas course.  In addition to their course-level role, Librarians also have limited administrative privileges for file sharing purposes. 

Observer:  Observers are only able to view course content.  They are not able to submit assignments, take quizzes, or take part in discussions.  This role can be linked to a student in a course to monitor their progress.  When this occurs, the Observer is then enrolled in ALL that students’ courses, not just the one course.  This role is primarily used by parents from K-12.

Elevated Access

Elevated Access to Canvas is in accordance with the  Montclair State University Guidelines for Responsible Computing. This includes access to data defined as greater than “minimal risk” by the University’s FERPA policy.  

The use of Elevated Canvas Access should be consistent with an individual’s role or job responsibilities as prescribed by Director/Department Chair. When an individual’s role or job responsibilities change, Elevated Canvas Access should be appropriately updated or removed.  In situations where it is unclear whether a particular action is appropriate, and within the scope of current job responsibilities, the situation should be discussed with the Director/Department Head/IT. 

Roles and Permissions in Canvas Communities

Canvas communities are manually-created Canvas courses upon requests from faculty, staff and recognized student organizations where groups benefit from having an online space to share resources, and/or provide training, workshops and orientations.

Leader Role: A leader role in a Canvas community is equivalent to a Teacher Role in a Canvas course.

Participant Role: A participant role in a Canvas community is equivalent to a Student Role in a Canvas course

Granular Roles Permissions Table
Permissions Student Teacher Retention Support TA Librarian Grader Designer Observer
Analytics – view pages N Y Y Y Y Y N N
Announcements – view Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y
Conversations – send messages to entire class Y Y N Y Y Y Y N
Conversations – send messages to individual course members Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Course Calendar – add / edit / delete N Y N Y Y N Y N
Course Content  – add / edit / delete N Y N Y Y N Y N
Courses – change visibility N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Course – view usage reports N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Discussions – create Y Y Y Y Y N Y N
Discussions – moderate N Y N Y Y Y Y N
Discussions – post Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Discussions – view Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Grades – edit N Y N Y N Y N N
Grades – select final grade for moderation N Y N N N N N N
Grades – view all grades N Y Y Y N Y N N
Grades – view audit trail N Y N N N N N N
Grades – view all student groups N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Item Banks – manage account N N N N N N N N
LTI – add / edit / delete N Y N Y Y N Y N
Learning Outcomes – add / edit / delete N Y N N N N Y N
Learning Outcomes – import N Y N N N N Y N
Manage Assignments and Quizzes  – add / edit / delete N Y N Y Y N Y N
Manage Course Files – add / edit / delete N Y N Y Y N Y N
Manage Course Sections – add / edit / delete N Y N N N N Y N
Manage Courses – add / edit / delete N Conclude and Publish N N N N Conclude and Publish N
Manage Groups – add / edit / delete N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Manages Pages – add / edit / delete N Y N Y Y N Y N
Outcome Mastery Scales – add / edit  N N N N N N N N
Outcome Proficiency Calculations – add / edit N N N N N N N N
Question banks – view and link N Y N Y Y Y Y N
Rubrics – add / edit / delete N Y N Y Y Y Y N
SIS Data – read N N N N N N N N
Student Collaborations – create Y Y N Y Y N Y N
Users – Designers – add / remove in courses N Y N N N N N N
Users – Observers – add / remove in courses N Y N Y N N Y N
Users – Students  – add / remove in courses N Y Y Y N N Y N
Users – TAs – add / remove in courses N Y N N N N N N
Users – Teachers – add / remove in courses N Y N N N N N N
Users – allow administrative actions in courses N Y N N N N N N
Users – generate observer pairing codes for students N N N N N N N N
Users – manage students in courses N Y Y Y N N Y N
Users – view list Y Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Users – view login IDs N Y Y Y N Y N N
Users – view primary email address N Y Y Y N Y N N
Web Conference – create N N N N N N N N

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Canvas Course Terms, Creation, Publishing, and Conclusion

  • Course Terms: Academic Courses in Canvas are associated with Terms, which mirror the four academic semesters defined by the Registrar’s office each year:  
    • Fall Term
    • Winter Term
    • Spring Term
    • Summer Term
  • Course Creation in Canvas: Academic courses will be automatically created/populated and made available to faculty in Canvas according to the following schedule: 
    • Fall Semester – 1st week of May
    • Winter Session – 1st week of November
    • Spring Semester – 1st week in November
    •  Summer Sessions- 1st week of March
  •  Course Publishing in Canvas: Courses are automatically published 3 business days prior to the start of a semester.
    • Online Program courses will be published one week prior to the start date.
    • Winter and Summer session courses will be published 3 business days before the start of each session.
    • Individual course faculty may publish courses earlier if desired.
  • Course Conclusion: Faculty are able to switch between academic term defined dates and course specific dates they define.  Courses by default become read only after the deadline for incomplete grade change passes. Faculty are able to override this setting prior to the grade change deadline by changing the course “Participation” setting to from ‘Term’ to “Course”.

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Canvas and Final Grading

Final grades must be posted through NEST. The Registrar regularly emails memos of instruction at the end of each term to guide faculty through this process. For more information, please consult FAQ’s for Final Grade Submission.

Canvas is a learning management system and it does not necessarily display students’ official course final grades; however, faculty are encouraged to keep final course grades in Canvas aligned with what is submitted through NEST.

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Preferred Names in Canvas

Canvas is configured to display preferred names; however, preferred name designations are configured through HR or the Dean of Students office. Canvas will automatically update once the preferred name change update is made in Banner.

If you are faculty or staff, please refer to the Preferred Name Policy

If you are a student, For more information on preferred names, please consult the Preferred Names FAQ.

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The University is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have an opportunity equal to that of their non-disabled peers to participate in the University’s programs, benefits and services. The Montclair State University Disability Accessibility Policy states that “all electronic content that is generally available to University employees, students, applicants or the general public must be available to those with disabilities such that they are able to experience a similar experience or outcome.” All content in Canvas is expected to be accessible and in line with this policy. For more details, please refer to the policies and procedures on the Digital Accessibility Initiative website.

Instructure is committed to ensuring its products are inclusive and meet the diverse accessibility needs of our users. Canvas LMS strives for WCAG 2.1 Level A/AA and Section 508 conformance. Regular testing (both internal and by a third party) is conducted to identify conformance issues, with processes in place for timely remediation of accessibility issues that are identified. For more information about Canvas Accessibility refer to Instructure’s Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and Accessibility Statement.

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Guidelines for Responsible Use of Canvas

Montclair State University Guidelines for Responsible Computing are applicable to the use of Canvas. This policy includes the following statement. Please refer to the full guidelines for more details:

Additional University policies may be found at

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