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Rostering - What options are available?
Rostering - What options are available?

Learn the difference between OneRoster, SIS Sync, and CSV Rostering

Alasdair McMillan avatar
Written by Alasdair McMillan
Updated over a week ago

For schools and districts licensing SpacesEDU Pro, there are a few different ways to set up classes:

  1. Manual Class Management (default)

  2. Rostering:

    1. SpacesEDU CSV Rostering

    2. OneRoster SIS/LMS Sync

Each option has its own advantages - this article outlines each consideration to help you decide which approach is best for you.

Manual Class Management

The manual default is the most flexible option for teachers to set up their classes and invite students, specifically:

  • Teachers can get started whenever they are ready, without requiring any additional work from their IT team

  • Teachers can manually invite students from their Teacher Account using the class code or class link

    • For schools using SSO, students need to be invited using a Class Code, or via Google Classroom, the Class Link invitation option is not available

  • Teachers using the manual method can still take advantage of all other SpacesEDU Pro features, including Single Sign-on (SSO), Reporting Spaces, customizable Proficiency Scales, and more

  • If you are a teacher signing up for a new account at a school that licenses SpacesEDU Pro, you will require approval from your district or school administrator. Alternately, teachers can be sent an invitation directly from an admin account to have their account pre-approved.


Rostering can make uploading class lists easier for teachers, but does require some setup in advance.

Teachers invited through rostering do not need to be manually approved by an administrator, and will have their classes prepopulated for them.

There are currently two methods of rostering supported by SpacesEDU: CSV Rostering and SIS/LMS Sync using the OneRoster standard, either Version 1.1 or Version 1.2.

Rostering method

CSV Rostering

OneRoster SIS Sync


For the latest version of our SpacesEDU SIS Sync documentation, please contact your SpacesEDU Pro account manager

Setup & Data Transfer

Excel/Google Sheet template can be populated by teachers or school leads, and imported through a school or district admin account with elevated permissions.

Requires IT work to set up data transfers in the OneRoster format

Supports CSV upload via SFTP, or REST API


Individual classes or schools can be imported when the rostering template is ready

Teachers can create classes manually, however, classes set up manually should not be included in the rostering file

Each data upload must include all teachers and classes using SpacesEDU in the district ('bulk' exports), or the entire school for independent school licenses

Teachers should not invite students to join a class manually if they plan to use SIS Sync


Each class can only be imported once - CSV rostering can only create, not update classes

Once a class is rostered, new students must be manually invited to join. Teachers can also remove students manually, if needed

Classes are automatically updated through regular imports: students are automatically added, but must be removed manually if they have left a class (to avoid unintentional removal from classes due to enrollment changes).

Students cannot be invited to manually join classes managed with SIS/LMS Sync

Teachers can create additional, separate classes that students can join manually

With either method, communication is important. Ensure that teachers are informed of your planned schedule for rostering, and be aware of the implications of teachers using SpacesEDU in their classrooms before the rostering import is complete.

Your dedicated Account Manager can help you establish timelines and communication plans for a smooth rollout.

Rostering and Email Addresses

The Email Address field is optional for both CSV and OneRoster rostering, but we strongly recommend that you provide an email address in the file for all students who have an email assigned.

  • The email address is required for teachers, as logging in with a username and password is the only way to access a teacher account

  • For students that do not have an email address, you can import them to SpacesEDU without one in the rostering data, but this means they will only be able to access their accounts via QR Code Login

  • To avoid creating duplicate student accounts, if you are not sending an email address, you will need to provide a student ID that remains identical year-over-year (ie, once they are assigned an email, it will need to be included in future rostering imports with the same student ID as before they had an email)

  • If your students have a school username in the format of an email address, it should be provided in the rostering data, even if students do not have access to an inbox: for example, if primary students have a Microsoft login for SSO, but can't receive emails yet

Best practices

There are a few more considerations to keep top of mind when rostering with either CSV or OneRoster:

  • Rostering data should be shared as early as possible

    • We recommend at least 1-2 weeks before you plan to start using SpacesEDU

    • Once the data has been validated, the SpacesEDU team will help you plan when to go live with rostering, and send invitations to teachers & students

  • All schools and classes within a district must use the same rostering method

    • It is not possible to create some classes with CSV rostering and others with SIS Sync

    • Districts may transition from one rostering method to the other between school years, if needed, but we recommend avoiding this wherever possible

    • CSV and OneRoster still allow teachers to create additional non-rostered classes manually

  • We do not recommend implementing rostering midway through the school year (or term, for semestered schools) if teachers have already started using SpacesEDU in their classrooms

What if teachers included in the rostering import have already set up their classes manually?

  • If this happens, teachers may see a duplicate class created by the rostering import - they can simply archive this class, and continue using the manually-created class for the rest of the year/term

  • Student posts and other content cannot be transferred into the rostered class, or from one class to another.

Still have questions? Don't hesitate to start a chat with us in the bottom-left of your screen, or reach out to your SpacesEDU Pro account manager. We're happy to help!

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