Roles & Permissions I


All classroom systems need to have some form of user permissions controls in place, for privacy and functionality (e.g. a teacher needs to be able to do more than a student).

However, a complex user permissions system can grind users to a halt and prevent the smooth functioning of the classroom. ClassroomAPP has streamlined the permissions system to cover the needs of today's K12 classroom.

1. Roles

A role is a setting that is linked to the user (and NOT to the content, that's the next section, Access).

In other words, your role will unlikely change anytime soon. It determines some of the activities you are allowed to do inside the Application.

1.A - Instructor

The instructor role gives some elevated permissions, such as access to the classroom (connecting to students, seeing their screens, forcing content etc.), creating courses, hiding content from students / parents etc.

1.B - Student

The student is the most basic role. There are no permissions that a student has that the teacher does not have. Most of student permissions relate to Access (see below).

1.C - Parent

A parent has the same permissions as the student(s) they are linked to, except they loose two key things:

  1. All Edit rights (see next section about Access) -- they can only see their student's content
  2. Membership visibility - they can't see their students' classroom colleagues (for student privacy), only what relates to their child.

The goal for this role is to be able to see what their students can see and to communicate with the teachers via direct chat.

What about administrators and lead teachers?

An admin is a teacher that has access rights (see next section) to other teachers' courses. This is part of the customization our team would work with you to set things up properly, as usage may vary based on your organizational structure.

If your admins are not actual teachers, then will have no courses of their own, just access to others' courses.

2. Access

Just as roles relate to the user (and their function), access relates to each content object. In other words, access limits or grants access to a user based on the following permissions.

You can see each member's access type in the Members Page of that content (Courses, Groups & Workspace). That's the small orange button visible at the top of the content icon.

Note: In some cases, a student can have more elevated permissions (e.g. edit) than a teacher (e.g. read). A common example is a student assignment or test. A teacher should not be allowed to change student input (but to comment on it).

As a general rule, content will inherit the access permissions of its parent (e.g. a document will inherit the access of its parent course). Please visit the inheritance section below for more information (this is an important topic, so please don't skip it).

2.A - Read

Read access simply means you can access a Course or Group. You can't edit or change anything, just view. Please make sure to read about inheritance and groups in the next sections as these tools make it so much easier to teach your courses.

2.B - Edit

Editors can add and alter content. But they cannot destroy (only Admins can do that). This design choice means you can have students as editors, as you know they won't be able delete what you created (only what they have created).

A common use of edit permissions is for tutors or sub teachers. The main classroom teacher may wish to retain control while he or she is not around.

2.C - Admin

An Admin has full access to the resource, which means they can add / remove users, change their roles, destroy content. They can also remove the resource (Course and Group) in question. So please be careful with this kind of elevated permissions.


Central to the concept of access is the access to content resources. The rule is simple, content elements inherit the access of their parents, unless they have access rules of their own.

Here are three examples that cover the cases to consider:

  • A Document (or other content) will inherit the access of its parent (Course or Group)
  • A Group will have its own access settings (hence their usefulness to segregate teaching groups) -- but of course, if you don't have access to its parent Course (or Group) you won't even be able to get to it.
  • A Document (or other content) that is shared via linking (see the next section for this): you can only edit / delete it if you had such access to the original document.


Linking comes with some slightly different access permission rules.

Let's say you link a Document or Resource in Course A into Course B. The link is nothing more than just that, a link to the original content. The system automatically identifies that Course B members needs read access to the resource. Once the link is deleted, access of Course B members is revoked automatically.

More elevated access right (i.e. edit and admin) are inherited from the original parent, which is Course A in this case.

Of course, deleting the link will not affect the original resource. In our example, to delete the link in Course B you must have admin rights in that course.


This is probably one of the most technical topics in this knowledge-base.

We made every effort to simplify Roles & Access while keeping them functional in today's classroom, and hope we succeeded in making this article (somewhat) pleasant to read


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