Canvas: Enroll a Test Student

As an instructor or course designer, you will sometimes want to view and test a course site from the student's perspective. You may want to know:

  • Is content visible?
  • Is there content that should be hidden from view?
  • Does the student experience of content organization and sequencing make sense?
  • Are the activities correctly configured?

There are 2 ways you can simulate the student experience:

  • View a course using the built-in Canvas Student View function. View a course as a test student using Student View describes what you can and cannot do using this built-in Canvas feature. 
  • View a course using the UofM Test Student role to simulate the student perspective completely.

The focus of this article is on enrolling a guest account to use as a test student. It covers:

Benefits of using the UofM Test Student role

Unlike the Canvas Student View user, the UofM Test Student role can:

  • Be assigned to groups
  • Click-through from Canvas into external tools such as VoiceThread or publisher content packages such as eTextbooks.
  • Participate in Collaborations
  • Do peer reviews
  • Have a different due and availability dates for an assignment 
  • Have a profile

If you already have a guest account, go to Enrolling a Test Student. If you don't, you will need to create one.

Creating a Guest Account

  1. Go to Request Guest Account
  2. Fill out the form fields.
    • Email Address: Enter an active email address; it cannot be a University email address.
  3. Click Submit. An email message about your Guest Account is sent to the email address you specified in the form.
    • Your full email address will be used as your University Internet ID.
    • Your password is the one you set when you filled out the request form.

Note: In most situations, a new guest account will be pulled into Canvas within an hour. Occasionally, a guest account will not be pulled into Canvas in a timely manner. If you have tried enrolling your guest account unsuccessfully after waiting for at least an hour, please contact Technology Help for further assistance. 

Enrolling a Test Student

You can enroll a user as a Test Student using our Manage Enrollments tool.

  1. Go to the Course menu and select Course Admin Tools. The Manage Enrollments window appears.
  2. Click the Enroll button. The Add Enrollment window opens.
    Add enrollment window, Add users by email address option selected,
  3. Enter the email address of the account you want to enroll in the Add user(s) by text entry box. The Role drop-down menu should say Test Student.
  4. Optional: Choose a Section to limit a user's access to just that section.
  5. Click Next. A confirmation window appears.
    Add enrollment confirmation window, Add Users button highlighted
  6. Click Add Users. The user is added to the course as a Test Student.
    Manage Enrollments window showing user enrolled as a Test Student

Editing a Test Student's Section Enrollment

You can change a user's Test Student enrollment.

  1. Go to the Course menu and select Course Admin Tools. The Manage Enrollments window appears.
  2. Click the Options icon (the 3 vertical dots on the right) for the user.
    Manage Enrollments window Options menu displayed, Edit Sections option highlighted
  3. Click Edit Sections to add or remove the user from additional sections. The Section Enrollments window appears.
    Section Enrollments window
  4. Choose a section from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click Update.

Removing a Test Student from a Course

You can remove a Test Student user from a course.

  1. Go to the Course menu and select Course Admin Tools. The Manage Enrollments window appears.
  2. Click the Options icon (the 3 vertical dots on the right) for the user. The Add Enrollment window appears.
  3. Click Remove to unenroll this Test Student user from the course.
    Add Enrollment confirmation window asking "Are you sure you would like to remove user from this course?"

Using the Test Student role

  1. Log into canvas.umn.edu using your guest account.
  2. Accept the course invitation.
  3. View and test your site.