D2L Access - Roles in D2L

Review roles in D2L, and their abilities in the system. Use this article as guidance when choosing the role to enroll someone as in a D2L course.

What is a Role?

In D2L, individuals have a certain set of abilities in D2L, in courses and other areas. This pre-defined set of abilities is a Role. Roles corresponds to the general need of the individual. Students and instructors (faculty, instructional staff and teaching assistants) are automatically given D2L roles when they are enrolled or assigned to courses in PAWS.

In-general, students in courses are given the D2L role Student. Faculty and instructional staff teaching courses are given the D2L role of Instructor.

In addition to the roles defined in PAWS, there are a number of special roles that are available for use by instructors and campus support/administrators to provide special access based on need and duties. For example, graders, tutors and departmental support may have unique roles.

A member of the UWM community may be a Student in D2L, but may also be an Instructor in a specific course.

Kinds of Roles

There are more than 30 roles in D2L. Most of them can be grouped into one of five categories:

  • Learner - users that access courses to learn and contribute,
  • Guest - users that observe a course or contribute on the behalf of instructors,
  • Instructional - users that lead courses, assess participants or contribute to the learning process,
  • Support - users that aid participants and instructors in the use of D2L, course design and administrative tasks,
  • Administrative - users that ensure the proper functioning of D2L, or provide in-depth support for campus.

List of Roles

The following is a list of roles and their general abilities. The list of abilities is not comprehensive. Contact the CETL Learning Technology Commons if further detail is needed.

When adding someone to a course, focus on the role's abilities, not the name.

Learner and Guest Roles

  • Learners and guests cannot see information hidden by instructors or others. 
  • Learners and guests do not see Edit Course or instructor-specific tools.
  • Learners may be added to groups, and do not automatically have access to all groups.
  • Learners do not see the grades or progress of others.
Learner and Guest Role Abilities
Role See Course Material Participate in Discussions Submit to Dropbox Take Quizzes Use My Media Use ePortfolio Join Online Rooms
Student Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes
MC Student Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Guest Content, News and Links only No No No No No Yes
Guest Instructor Yes Yes Yes Student view plus hidden quizzes No No Yes

Despite the name, the Guest Instructor role has mostly student-level access to a course.

Instructional Roles

  • Instructional roles are generally automatically enrolled in all groups, even though they may not be able to make changes to groups.
  • Instructional roles that can see Content, Discussions, Dropbox, etc., also see hidden content in those areas.

Instructional Role Abilities
Role Add Course Materials Edit Course Materials Delete Course Materials Grade Student Assignments Manage Enrollments and Groups Enter Grades / Submit to PAWS Participate in Discussions Copy To Another Course Activate a Course Use My Media Use ePortfolio Moderate Online Rooms
Instructor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Teaching Assistant Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes, No final grade release Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Z Part Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No Join Only
Z Course Developer Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes No No No No
Z Participant Add News only
Some Instructor rights in Discussions and Dropbox News only Quizzes only Groups only, No participant enrollment No Yes No No No No Join Only
Grader No No No Yes No No Final Grade or PAWS, Cannot modify categories and items No No No No No No

Despite the name, the Guest Instructor role has no instructor abilities. It is listed under Learner and Guest Role Abilities.

Support Roles

  • Support roles are designed to aid in the development of courses, or aid students in participating.
Support Role Abilities
Role Student Access to Course Instructor Access to Course Materials Instructor Access to Grading / Assignments Change Navigation and Site Theme Modify Course Settings View User Progress Send Password Resets
Support No Yes Yes Navigation only Yes Yes No
Non-UWM Support No Yes Yes Navigation only Yes Yes Yes
Z Site Manager No Yes Yes Navigation only Yes Yes Yes
Z Department Admin No Surveys only No No Import / Export Course Components only No No
Tutor Content, News, Links only No No No No No No
Academic Adviser Content only, can view hidden content No No No No For designated students only No

Which Roles can Enroll or Role Switch to Other Roles?

User with instructional and support roles have some level of ability to enroll others into courses. They may also have the ability to Role Switch, where the account can preview D2L from the perspective of that Role. This table is a summary of those interactions.

  • Roles that are not listed in the left-most column cannot enroll users or preview using Role Switch. 
  • Roles not listed as a column can not be enrolled or previewed using Role Switch.

Enrollment and Role Switch Summary
User Role Interact With Student Interact With MC Student Interact With Guest Interact With Guest Instructor Interact With Instructor Interact With Teaching Assistant Interact With Z Participant Interact With Z Part Interact With Z Course Developer Interact With Grader Interact With Support Interact With Z Site Manager Interact With Z Department Admin Interact With Tutor
Instructor Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll Enroll, Role Switch Role Switch Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll Enroll, Role Switch
Teaching Assistant Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch   Enroll     Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch   Enroll Enroll, Role Switch
Z Part     Enroll Enroll Enroll Enroll   Enroll Enroll Enroll Enroll   Enroll Enroll
Z Course Developer Role Switch                          
Support Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch   Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll Enroll, Role Switch
Non-UWM Support Enroll, Role Switch   Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch   Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll, Role Switch Enroll Enroll Enroll, Role Switch
Z Site Manager     Enroll, Role Switch   Enroll   Enroll, Role Switch         Enroll    



Keywords:d2l d2l@uwm brightspace learn@uw learnuw luw roles role instructor student guest teaching assistant grader support administrator admin enroll   Doc ID:70260
Owner:David D.Group:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Created:2017-01-27 14:45 CDTUpdated:2017-02-23 23:13 CDT
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Feedback:  0   0