The "People" option in Canvas by Instructure
Friends don't let friends Canvas alone

Friends don't let Friends Canvas Alone: 3 Reasons to Add "People" to your Course

Mike Lang
Mike Lang

Table of Contents

The Canvas LMS gives you the ability to add collaborators to your course.
Make sure that you're not going it alone

Using Canvas can be an adventure and that adventure is often better enjoyed with others. It's always surprising to me that many educators either don't know you can add other educators to your course or that they simply have yet to do so. By allowing other educators to join your class as a teacher or a designer, you can augment what is possible in your course, save yourself lots of time, and create a more future proof course than if you went it alone.

In this post we'll explore adding "people" to your course and three reasons why it'll help you out in the long run.


Adding People to Your Canvas is a great strategy

Collaborative Genius

At this point, PLCs are a standard practice in education. Talking about best practices, examining data, and planning for what comes next is generally what these sessions entail. Grade levels or departments meeting regularly to calibrate what comes "next" is important and this should include designing curriculum for Canvas.

If every member of the PLC has a different skill set and talents, why not standardize greatness by inventing activities as a team and adding them to each person's course? A collaborative focus will allow a better product to be developed overall. This process accentuates strengths by giving everyone a voice in the design of the activities and allows your most Canvas savvy member to build it so that others that might not have the skill or time to do so can also benefit.

What's even cooler about this? You could add teachers as designers who aren't even physically at your school as long as they in the same district. PLCs could be intercampus activities that benefit lots more learners.


What's one of the biggest gripes from educators? There's not enough time. Co-designing in your Canvas course can add hours of peace your day because it's possible to farm out work to others on your team. Once this work is added to your course, it's there until you remove it which saves planning time for the next iteration of your course.

Guest Teachers and Long Term Substitutes

There's no secret that there is a teacher shortage and this has caused an inordinate number of guest teachers and long term substitutes to be pressed into duty. Through adding every person in a department or grade level to each course as a teacher or designer, students in the classes without licenses teachers will receive the same high quality instruction as classes taught by licensed personnel. This is also extremely useful when a guest teacher is unavailable and learners are either split amongst other teachers or teachers are asked to cover a class during their prep.

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18 year classroom vet. Intelligent Hoodlum. Pedagogical Supervillain. Apple Distinguished Educator. PBS Digital Innovator. Hip Hop Junkie. Coffee Fanatic.