To access Canvas, users must log in with their UW-Madison NetID. The majority of campus Canvas users are UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff. NetIDs for these users will be activated and made eligible for Canvas through automated university processes.
However, sometimes users without current UW-Madison affiliations need access to Canvas. Examples of these users might include guest instructors, students of other UW institutions participating in joint UW-Madison programs, or members of UW partner-programs that need access to instructional resources.
Unaffiliated users may not have a NetID or, if they had a past affiliation with UW-Madison, they may have a NetID that is no longer active or is not eligible for Canvas access. In order to enroll these users in UW-Madison Canvas courses, instructors will need to work with the Learn@UW-Madison team to provision Canvas access.
Requesting Canvas Access for External Users
Instructors, instructional technologists, or other UW-Madison professionals with enrollment authority can request Canvas access for users who are unaffiliated with UW-Madison.
- Contact email@example.com. Provide the email addresses of all users who need Canvas access.
- The Learn@UW-Madison team will invite your list of users to join the Manifest group “Canvas Guest Access - LearnUW.”
- Users will have 7 days to accept the Manifest invitation. Detailed instructions, including screenshots of what users will see, can be found at Manifest - Respond to Email Invitations.
- If users have an existing UW-Madison NetID, they can indicate this in the invitation process. Their NetID will then become eligible to access Canvas.
- If users do not have a UW-Madison NetID, the invitation process will generate a Canvas-eligible NetID for them.
- If users do not know if they have a UW-Madison NetID or do not remember their NetID credentials, they are encouraged to contact the DoIT Help Desk for assistance recovering their NetID. They can then proceed with the invitation process as a appropriate.
- After the user receives their new NetID or updates their old NetID, they will need to wait up to 24 hours for Canvas access. Canvas pulls in updated NetID data in an overnight process.
- After users receive Canvas access, you can add them to you course following standard procedures. See Canvas - Adding People to a Canvas Course.
Requesting a Group to Provide Canvas Access for Many External Users
Departments that regularly need to enroll unaffiliated users in courses are encouraged to create and administer their own Manifest groups for provisioning Canvas access.
- To set up a Manifest group, follow the instructions at Manifest - Creating Manifest Groups to Invite People to Create Identities (Group Owners).
- After your group has been created it must be connected to Canvas.
- Find the path of your Manifest group by logging in at https://manifest.services.wisc.edu/Groups and clicking the Details button next to the name of your group.
- The path will be printed under the name of your group.
- Send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with the path and brief description about why you are requesting Canvas access for your users.
- You will receive email confirmation when your group has been added to Canvas.
- You will now be able to send Manifest invitations to users following the instructions at Manifest - Send Email Invitations.
- After your users accept the invitations, it will take about 24 hours for them to show up in Canvas. You can then add them to your course(s).
Benefits of Creating a Group
By creating a Canvas-eligible Manifest group, departments exert more control over how and when their users receive Canvas access. Department admins can:
- Send invitations to unaffiliated users who need Canvas access (see Manifest - Send Email Invitations).
- See when invitations have been accepted.
- Audit user lists and remove users who no longer need access to departmental Canvas resources.