Add a TA or other MCC Employee to Canvas

Instructors of Canvas classes can add a TA or other MiraCosta College employee to your Canvas course with TA, designer, or observer permissions.

DO NOT add students to your course on Canvas. Students are automatically enrolled from SURF to your Canvas course several times a day.

You should not add anyone to Canvas as a teacher. Teachers are assigned via SURF.

For Canvas access for other special cases such as faculty evaluators, tutors, writing center supplemental instruction leaders, or community education students, please see this post.

Add a TA or other MCC Employee to Canvas

  1. Enter your Canvas course
  2. Click People on the left course menu
  3. Click the +People button at far right
  4. Select Login IDAdd People
  5. Enter SURF ID of the user in the box.
    • You can enter one user at a time.  Example: jjulius
    • Or multiples with a comma and space between eachExample: jjulius, mparks
  6. Select the appropriate role for the user. ‍
    • Available role options are TA, Teacher, Designer, and Observer (see below for details on these options)
  7. Click the Next button
    • Some IDs may already be used in Canvas at other colleges. If you get a prompt about this, select the ID that is associated with MiraCosta College.
  8. Click the Add Users button

Add user from MiraCosta College

Course Roles Explained

Note: None of the following should be used for evaluators, tutors, SI leaders, or community education students. See separate instructions if you need to add any of those.

Teaching Assistant (TA) Role

  • Primary use: TAs assigned to a specific class to help the instructor.
  • Permissions: TAs have permissions equivalent to the Teacher role. They have all course-level permissions, including the ability to add, edit and delete all content in a course; grade students; edit course settings; and manually add individuals with active Canvas user accounts.
  • Limitations: None.


  • Please DO NOT use this role. Teachers are assigned automatically based on SURF.


  • Primary use: Department staff, content providers, and other instructional support staff.
  • Permissions: Create course content, discussions, announcements, assignments, quizzes, and other content features.
  • Limitations: Designers cannot add other individuals to a course and cannot access grades.


  • Primary use: Mentors, advisors, and others who need to monitor a student in a course. This is not for course evaluation.
  • Permissions: Observers have access to view course content.
  • Limitations: Observers have no permissions to edit or participate in course activities.
  • See the Canvas guide on the Observer role for more info

Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist

Create or Import your Content

You have multiple ways to build your class

• Copy content from a previous semester in Canvas:

• Create your content from scratch in Canvas:

• Import content from a Blackboard course:

Review Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

  • Verify activities to be used in the course are published.
  • Verify dates. Due dates are added to the calendar and the syllabus and serve as reminders to students. “Available from” and “Until” dates will unlock and lock the activity.
  • Verify instructions are accurate and well formatted.
  • Verify the submission type (assignments only).
  • Verify number of attempts is correct (quizzes only).
  • Verify assignment groups are set up correctly. See: How to use Assignment Index Page.
  • Verify assignments are weighted correctly, if using a weighted grading system. See: How to Weight Assignment Groups.
  • Verify discussions are ordered logically on Discussions list page.
  • Verify Quiz “Options” are correct. See: Canvas Quiz Options.

Review Course Details

Final Preparations


  • Canvas email (Inbox/Conversation) messages will not be sent out if the course is unpublished. Send Email from your SURF Roster instead prior to publishing the course.
  • Pay attention to the time stamp on anything you have placed a date on. 12:00 means the very first minute of the selected day. For end dates, it is often best to choose 11:59 PM to ensure you are setting it up on the correct date.

Canvas End of Semester / Term

The following will help instructors understand how the end of semester is handled in Canvas, and how to update related Canvas course settings if necessary.

Closing your Course

There is nothing you need to do to close your Canvas course; the term end date will conclude your course for the semester automatically and move your course to the ‘Past Enrollments’ list. By default you and your students will continue to have read-only access to the course.

For both instructors and students, concluded courses will be found under Courses > View All Courses > Past Enrollments.

Canvas Term End Dates

Fall 2017Dec 3112 am
Spring 2018June 212 am
Summer 2018August 11 12 am

End of Term Access for Instructors

Instructors can perform the following actions within a concluded course

  • Download Grades to a CSV (Excel) File
  • Copy a course
  • Export a course
  • Access the course using visible navigation links (those links that were hidden from students will be hidden in concluded courses)

Instructors cannot perform the following actions within a concluded courses (and should be done prior to the end of the course)

  • Edit course content
  • Edit Grades
  • View/download Analytics
  • View/download Item Analysis within Quizzes
  • Send a message to the class within Canvas

End of Term Access for Students

Students can perform the following actions by default within a concluded course.

  • View Grades
  • View content
  • View Discussions and Assignments
  • Send a message to the instructor

Students cannot perform the following actions within a concluded course.

  • View Quiz Questions and Answers
  • Submit discussions, assignments, quizzes, and other course activities

Incomplete Grades

If you have assigned a student an incomplete ‘I‘ grade for the semester contact Karen Turpin at or 760-795-6787 as soon as the paperwork is complete with Admissions and Records. A new section will be created manually for that student within the original course.  This new section will allow the student access to your course for the time allowable by the Office of Admissions and Records.

Teaching a short semester course and/or need to close your course prior to the official term end date?

You can manually end your course by updating the course end date.

To change the Course Start and/or End Date

  1. Click on Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Change the Course Start and End Dates to reflect when you want students to have full access to the course.
  3. Select the checkbox for ‘Users can only participate in this course between these dates.’
  4. Click the Update Course Details button.

In the example below, students will not be able to access the course, even if it is published, until Jan 16 at 12 am. The students will no longer be able to participate in the course after May 30  at 5 pm and the course will be visible to students in the ‘Past Enrollments’ list by clicking on Courses, then All Courses.

Start / End Term Canvas Dates

  • Note: If you select a course end date prior to the official end of term date, but do not check the box ‘Users can only participate in this course between these date,’ students will still be able to actively participate in the course until the official Canvas end of term.

Restricting Students from Viewing a Completed Course

As described above, students have read-only access to course content in Canvas long after the current term is over. If an instructor wishes to limit this access, follow one of the methods below.

Method 1: Hide Navigation Menu Links

If an instructor would like to limit access to course content, one method is to hide the Navigation menu links. It is important to note that if the Navigation menu links are hidden, the instructor will also be unable to access them after the course concludes (end of term). This may be appropriate if you would like to leave Grades available to students, yet close off course content and/or modules. The instructor will be able to copy the course into another course to gain access to the menu items that are hidden.

How to Hide Menu Navigation links

  1. Select Settings within a course
  2. Select Navigation in the tabs at the top.
  3. Drag and drop the menu items from the top (viewable) area to the bottom (hidden) area or click the gear icon to the right of the menu item and select disable.
  4. Click the Save button.

Method 2: Restrict students from viewing course after end date

If an instructor would prefer the entire course and its course materials not be visible to students after the course end date:

  1. Click on Settings in the Canvas course menu
  2. Select the checkbox for ‘Restrict students from viewing course after end date’Restrict past end date
  3. Click the Update Course Details button.

This option will completely remove the course from the student’s view in Past Enrollments. Students will not see the course and/or have access to any of the course materials and/or the grades for the course. Instructors will continue to be able to access the course in Past Enrollments.

Spring course availability in Canvas (and Blackboard)

All class sections scheduled for the spring semester now are available in Canvas where you can begin to work and build! If you expected a class to be set up for you, but aren’t seeing it in Canvas, check SURF to make sure the class is in the schedule and assigned to you.

There are many options for learning Canvas, including a 4-week online class led by MiraCosta faculty starting Nov. 13 – sign up here. Also, MiraCosta faculty now have access to a variety of great live online trainings conducted daily by Canvas staff through February 15. Create a training account using your email address and then check out all the training events! Please contact me if you are looking for any guidance on which Canvas learning resources are best for you.

If you’re already using Canvas, you probably have noticed your spring classes showing up in your Dashboard. If you’d like your Dashboard to only show fall classes for now, check out this tutorial for customizing your course lists.

Remember, this spring is the final semester in which Blackboard and Moodle are options for teaching at MiraCosta. Blackboard classes for spring will NOT be automatically created – any faculty wanting to use Blackboard this spring must make a request using the Online Ed support request form.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

Filtering Canvas Grades to Only Show SURF Enrolled Students

By default the Grades tool will display all users in the roles Student, Sample Student, Tutor, Evaluator, and WC SI Leader in your Canvas course. This can make grading difficult as the additional roles will mix in alphabetically with your SURF Enrolled students.

For ease of grading, you can filter your grade book to only display SURF enrolled students.

From within Canvas:

  1. Click on GradesGrades in Canvas
  2. Select the Showing All Sections button.All SEctions
  3. Select the section number that ends in -SURFCanvas SURF Section in Grades

To display only users in the roles Sample Student, Tutor, Evaluator, and WC SI Leader

  1. Select the section number that end in -OTHER to view only non-SURF enrollment types.

Other Section

To display all users together in Grades

  1. Select All Sections to view all enrollment types in the Grades sheet.

All Sections

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