Canvas Access Guidelines and Invited Guests

Published on: Author: Becky Parton

written by John Lowe …

In an online world, collaboration with peers, vendor partners, or other professional colleagues is easier than ever.  Canvas makes it incredibly easy to invite anyone into your course simply by clicking a button and typing in the email address associated with their Canvas account.  If the user already has a Baylor email address, they probably already have an account in Canvas as well, but you can also invite outside users into Canvas courses.

The easiest way to add a guest user to Canvas is to have your guest visit and click the “Non-BU Canvas Login” button.  The guest can now login using one of several social media options (Google, Facebook, etc.).  After your guest has logged in to Canvas successfully, you can then invite the guest to your course using the +People button in the People section of your Canvas course using the email address associated with the social media service they used.  For example, if your guest logged-in to Canvas with Google using, you would use the +People button to invite into your course.  If for some reason your guest doesn’t use social media, you may still request a Canvas account for your guest by completing the Outside User Request Form located in the Request Forms section of

However, just because you can invite someone to your course, doesn’t always mean that you should.  In accordance with Baylor University’s Technology Systems Usage Policy (BU-PP 025), course content or academic records in Canvas are presumed to be private and confidential unless they have explicitly been made available to authorized individuals or as required by law. This means that instructors in Canvas are permitted to invite anyone into their courses as needed as long as the role which is assigned to the user within the course complies with Baylor’s guidelines pertaining to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Most guests should not have a course role higher than “student” or “designer” in Canvas. In general, information in Canvas may be accessed only by authorized personnel for compelling University business or security reasons.

To view the published Canvas Access Guidelines, please visit

These guidelines have been created with guidance from the Office of General Counsel, Office of the Registrar, and the Chief Information Security Officer in order to ensure the accuracy, integrity, and security of course records in Canvas.