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Edmonds School District

The Observer Role


As an observer you will be linked to your student(s) Canvas courses as they progress through Edmonds School District! Families need to link their observer account to their student(s) ONE TIME to follow their student from 3rd to 12th grade. Each time your student is enrolled in new courses (at the start of each semester), these courses will also be displayed on your Canvas Dashboard.

The observer role is different from the student role. Observers can view course data but cannot participate in all Canvas areas. Observers cannot submit work on behalf of the students they observe, but they can see student grades, assignments and events, and course interactions.  Observers cannot view a course until it is published by the teacher and the course has started. Observers will also not be able to view a course after the course end date. 

Note: Each family member that would like their own individual observer account will need a pairing code from their student


The chart below shows what an observer can and cannot do in a Canvas course.

Observers can...

  • View and read announcements

  • View assignments 

  • View the calendar

  • View personal inbox

  • Send conversation messages to instructor and student they are observing

  • View the dashboard

  • View and read discussions

  • View files unless they are locked

  • View grades, view assignment due dates and comments, and print grades

  • View modules and see due dates and point values

  • View pages 

  • View profile pictures, if available

  • View syllabus

  • View outcomes

  • View quizzes

Observers cannot...

  • Comment on announcements or discussions
  • Submit assignments or quizzes
  • View course rosters
  • Send conversation messages to students in the course they are not observing
  • View locked files or folders
  • Join groups
  • View unpublished courses
  • Reserve appointment slots in the Scheduler