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

Online Support for All Students – Please Be Aware and Share!

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you finalize your syllabi and course resources, please make your students aware of online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class!

Preferred Name Change Form for Students

A&R has a very simple Preferred Name Change form up for students. Preferred name is the default name automatically used on class rosters and student ID cards, in class systems online (Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle), and to borrow items from the college library. This form is linked in two places on the A&R site:

It can be faxed or emailed to A&R so students don’t even need to come to campus. This is especially important as we transition to Canvas since unlike Blackboard, students don’t have a way to alter their first name within Canvas. So, for students who prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name on record, this is a great option.

For faculty teaching at least one online/hybrid class this spring:

Spring Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer many online learning orientation sessions this spring – 4 for Blackboard and 9 for Canvas. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You may pull a report from the SURF Class Roster to see which of your students have attended an orientation session if you wish to require this or offer extra credit, as many instructors do. Research conducted this summer shows that over the last 3 years 72.8% of those who attended the SOOL in the same or a previous term successfully completed DE courses vs. a 64.7% DE success rate for students who have not attended a SOOL.

Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this spring, please make sure your class description is up to date on the separate Online Class Schedule page. Students use this page to learn how to get started with your class, and you can provide other important information there to help students prepare for success. See detailed instructions if needed.

NetTutor Online Tutoring Service

In addition to eTutoring, an online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor. Unlike eTutoring, NetTutor provides extensive coverage up to 24×7 of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within your class course management system environment (Blackboard or Canvas). The link would take students directly to the subject-specific tutoring area with no additional login required. Also with NetTutor, each instructor may specify “Rules of Engagement” that inform tutors about the approach and resources you would like them to use when working with your students. Contact me if you’re interested in NetTutor for your spring class(es).

Distance Education Requirements and Guidelines

Please review the MiraCosta online class quality guidelines. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies (especially AP 4105 and the Syllabus Checklist), and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education. See also a 1-page handout and a 50-minute archive of a workshop I conducted last fall on this document.

Captioning Support

Videos shared online with students should be captioned. 3CMediaSolutions is a video storage and streaming system for California Community College faculty that provides free professional captioning as an option when you upload your media to the site. It’s a great way to manage your media and to get everything captioned. You can also work with Robert Erichsen of DSPS to submit media for captioning through a special grant-funded program. Please contact him to learn more:

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

Canvas resources for the new semester Spring 2018

New support resources recently added to our TIC Canvas site:

  • Canvas “office hours” conducted by our Canvas faculty transition team – daily drop-in support opportunities over the first four weeks of the semester
  • Video recordings of multiple online and in-person Canvas trainings held during Flex week (added to videos from past workshops)
  • Daily live online Canvas support training sessions provided by Canvas – this is available through February 15 so take advantage now!

Soon we will announce dates and sign-ups for 4-week Introduction to Teaching with Canvas sessions to be offered this spring.

Finally, Canvas is gradually implementing an all-new Gradebook that is available now on a course-by-course basis. If you’d like to learn more and possibly use it in your class, see the New Gradebook Introduction, New Gradebook FAQ, New Gradebook Guide, and New Gradebook Users Group.

Happy Canvasing,

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

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 Flex workshop info

Hi, all –

As Jim S. reminded us, there are lots of Canvas workshops upcoming, and they are popular! You can see all the Online Ed workshops listed in one place for easy reference, and then (try to) sign up via MyFlex if you haven’t already done so.

The Online Ed list of all Canvas workshops includes Zoom links for sessions which will be held online. Also, we are going to experiment with simulcasting via Zoom several of the in-person Canvas workshops. You’ll find a Zoom link for those as well on the list. Please note that CCC’s Zoom system still doesn’t allow for live captioning, but we will be making captioned recordings of all online sessions available as soon as possible.

Please note that we do have an in-person Canvas workshop at San Elijo (Tuesday morning) and one at the Community Learning Center (Thursday afternoon) among our offerings.

It looks like over 80% of our classes this spring will be on Canvas. Remember, starting this summer, Canvas will be the only MiraCosta course management system. If you wish to use Blackboard one last time this spring and haven’t yet made a request for a Blackboard shell for your class(es), you need to do so via our online form.

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

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