The University of Florida, Office of Information Technology (UFIT) has developed an early alert service to monitor the academic progress of students enrolled in programs that provide academic monitoring of participants. The purpose of the early alert service is to improve student success at UF by providing timely information to academic advisors in order to develop early intervention plans for students in these programs who may be experiencing academic difficulties. In addition, the Academic Observers replace manual reporting systems, such that participating faculty will no longer be asked to complete paper or email reports about those students, as were used in the past.

Information gathered by Academic Observers in Canvas is used to provide support for students having difficulties by directing them to appropriate resources such as program-provided tutors, the UF Teaching Center, the Counseling and Wellness Center, and to other support programs as appropriate. Likewise, programs such as the UAA report student progress information to the NCAA, as required for accreditation.

Currently, the University Athletic Association (UAA) is the only program participating in the program, but other units have expressed interest in using Canvas Academic Observers to support their students; and we expect additional programs will participate in the future.

This Canvas Academic Observer Program will place academic counselors as Observers only in courses/sections containing students enrolled in these programs. These counselors will have read-only access in courses, meaning they cannot change or edit any course content, submit work or complete quizzes and exams. Likewise, Observers will be able to view data only for registered students participating in these programs. Observers are restricted from viewing data for other students enrolled in the class. Furthermore, the Observers cannot manipulate or input any data or information in the class site.

Academic Observers in Canvas will be able to view only the following information for participating students: 1) participating student’s current grades in the course; 2) the course syllabus; 3) Assignments and due dates; and 4) Course announcements.

Students being observed have all signed Buckley releases allowing the Academic Observers to review their academic records and monitor progress. These forms are kept by the participating program or filed with the Registrar’s office.

Observers are not hidden, and show up in Canvas under People, with the role, Observer. If there are no students participating in these programs enrolled in your course(s), no Observers will be added to your course.

If you would like more information about this program please contact e-Learning Support at, 352-392-4357.  I thank you in advance for your consideration of this request and for your willingness to partner with us in this way.



Angela Lindner, Associate Provost Undergraduate Affairs