Can I Add Others to My Class?

In my first semester working in Distance Education (now eLearning), I had an instructor (let’s call him Will) call me.  He wanted to be added to a class by another instructor (let’s call her Grace) so he could get a better grasp of the course that he was teaching.  Will assured me he had talked to Grace and this was all on the up and up.  So, new and naive, I added him.

Fast forward about 10 weeks and it blew up in my face.  It turns out, Will had pressured Grace to allow him into the section.  Will was criticizing how Grace taught the course to the students.  Because I had given Will Instructor access, he was able to see how Grace was assessing her students and sharing that information with the class.  The students were upset and went to the Dean.  The Dean was upset.  Grace was upset. It was a mess!

After relaying this story to a colleague at another college, he gave me some great advise.  He said, when it comes to Student and Instructors, let D2L reflect Banner as Banner is the official record.  That way, you don’t have to worry about FERPA and all of the other concerns. That is exactly what we’ve done since.  So, if an instructor ends up in a canceled section, no problem, we remove them.  An instructor doesn’t load into because of some tech issue? Again, no problem, we fix the issue.  Grace calls asking to have Will added again? Nope, that’s got to go through Banner or Special Access.

Special Access is non-Banner roles which are added to courses.  The roles are:

Department Chair

This allows chairs to access courses taught by other instructors for the purposes of reviewing and evaluating the courses.  They can also add announcements and content in case the instructor is not available. (Requires Dean approval, reviewed annually)

Dean (Not listed on Form)

Same as Department Chair, but is for the entire coverage area and includes access to 3rd Party materials, such as Cengage, Pearson and Turnitin. (Must be hired as full-time Dean or Associate Dean)


Allows interpreters to see materials and translate for students who need ASL or ESL services. (Requires program approval.)


This FERPA-neutral role allows users to see materials, but have no data or interaction with students.  (Requires Dean approval)


This role is applied to many tutors from many different programs.  It gives the tutor access equivalent to the student, but also identifies them in the Classlist as a tutor in case students which to contact them directly. (Requires Dean approval.)

Student (Master Semester Only)

As I mentioned earlier, to be enrolled in a live course with student data, they must go through Banner.  However, often times, departments and instructors will want to share materials with others to review.  This can be done here, but only for courses without student data. (Requires Verification from Instructor.)

We process these every day, so enrollment is usually pretty timely.  As always, if you have questions, please contact eLearning.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.