IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

About using UW Groups in your course


Giving guests access to a Canvas course is a three-step process:

Step 1: Get an appropriate account type.

Step 2: Add the account to the Canvas system.

Step 3: Log into Canvas.

Detailed steps

Step 1: If you are working with colleagues from outside the UW, such as colleagues at other universities, or guests from industry or the community, you can give them access to your Canvas course in one of two ways:

  • Sponsored UW NetID — Any current UW faculty or staff member can sponsor individuals for a UW NetID using the online self-service Sponsored UW NetID tool. Once sponsored, the individual becomes eligible to set up a new Personal UW NetID.
  • Google account (Gmail) ID — Individuals can access Canvas using their own Gmail ID and password. Accepted Google accounts are:

Step 2: After obtaining one of these account types, the account needs to be added to the UW Canvas LMS. You can add an account to Canvas by either:

  • Adding the sponsored UW NetID or Google ID to a UW Group, then giving the UW Group access to
    the Canvas course. Both of these must happen in order for the person to have access to the Canvas course. This option is recommended: once you add the UW Group to the Canvas course, it takes only 10 minutes for the account to be provisioned.
  • Email and request that the account be provisioned to Canvas. Once the account has been provisioned, you can use the Canvas interface to add the person to your course. Note that this process does take longer than adding the account to a UW Group and giving that group access to the Canvas course.

Step 3: After a sponsored UW NetID has been given access to Canvas, the person whose sponsored UW NetID it is can log into Canvas, using it as they would a regular UW NetID. After a Google ID has been given access to Canvas, the owner of the Google ID can log into Canvas by following these steps:

  1. Visit Canvas.
  2. Click Log in with a non-UW account.
  3. Make sure the radio button for Google is selected.
  4. Click Login.
  5. Sign in with the Google ID.

About sponsored UW NetIDs and Google Account IDs

Sponsored UW NetIDs

Individuals who are not otherwise eligible for a UW NetID may be sponsored by a current UW faculty or staff member. There are three methods for obtaining a Sponsored UW NetID. Each method has an assurance level established that will determine if a sponsored individual is eligible to access confidential data. An individual receives a UW NetID, password, and email forwarding upon completion of the sponsored process. Departments may also assign additional computing services for a monthly fee to anyone who has a UW NetID. Get more information about obtaining a sponsored UW NetID.

Google Account IDs

Individuals who do not have a UW NetID can use a Google Account ID and password to access a Canvas course site. Google accounts can be created quickly and for free. Note that the Google account is different from the account that some individuals use for accessing UW Google Apps. A Google account ID is <username>; the UW Google Apps account is <UWNetID> Get more information about creating a new Google Account.

Note: UW instructors and matriculated students must log in using their UW NetID. Google account access to Canvas is for individual access only; shared use of a Google account is expressly not supported.

Protect student privacy

When adding people to your course, and any time you engage in any course-related activity that may expose student information, it is critical to be aware of FERPA guidelines. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 protects the privacy of students’ education records. Generally, the guidelines mean that the University and its employees may not release or share a student’s educational records, or information from a student’s education records, unless it has the student’s written consent to do so. Some exceptions to this general rule can be found at FERPA for Faculty and Staff. It is important that you understand when it is appropriate and allowable to release information from students’ education records to third parties, such as faculty, staff, parents, and other students.