Adding Guests to a Live Course Site as an Instructor - Canvas Skip to main content

Adding Guests to a Live Course Site as an Instructor

Academic and non-credit student rosters are enrolled into sections created for a live course site. Instructors should not be adding guest students into these sections. Instead instructors should create a new section for guests enrollments.

This page will explain why and how to create new sections inside a course site for guests/auditors.


Why is new section for guest students necessary?

Academic rosters using REGIS or BANNER assigns a unique ID to a Canvas Section. This ID is used for other applications and auditing purposes. If there are additional “students” manually added to these sections, it will submit inaccurate data to the University services. A few examples include:

  1. GradeSync will send guests as pending enrollments into REGIS. The University Registrar’s office has to resolve each guest user that is not on the official roster.
  2. Before the beginning of each term, an audit is performed and if the Canvas roster does not match the University Roster, guest students may be removed. This will require the teacher to re-add the guest students manually.
  3. Analytics and reports will provide inaccurate numbers for reporting the number of active users for a given term.


How Courses and Sections are related

When students are enrolled in a course [1], students are actually enrolled in a section [2] of that course. It is possible to place more than one section in course and students in more than one section in a course, but it is not possible to put sections within sections.

When instructors cross-list (merge) sections, they are moving a section that contains all of the teachers and students

hierarchy illustration of how canvas course (1), sections (2), and students are related.Courses in Canvas are the virtual classroom where all the content resides and where student users can learn and interact with instructors and peers.

Sections are a group of students that have been organized for administrative purposes. All sections of a course share the same content.


How to add a new Sections

Step 1: Open Course Settings

In Course Navigation, click the Settings link.
screenshot of Name and Course Code fields

Step 2: Select the Sections Tab

Click the Sections tab near the top of the Course Settings page.

canvas course setting tabs with sections highlighted

Step 3: Add a new Section

In the section field [1], type the name of the new section. Click the Add Section button [2].

canvas add section popup

Step 4: Add Guest to Sections

Once you have added sections to your course, you can add users to sections from the People page in your course.

Or if you have already added guest, you can edit their Sections from the People page.

canvas people page with menu option to edit section