Warn before deleting an assignment-associated group set (resubmission)

Idea created by Linda J. Lee on Jan 30, 2018
    Open for Voting
    • Ben Chapman
    • Rob Ditto
    • Mike LaMonaca
    • Michelle Zakarin
    • Ellen Rhudy
    • Linda J. Lee
    • Cynthia Hollingsworth

    This is a resubmission of Warn before deleting an assignment-associated group set, which unfortunately did not get much traction when originally submitted.


    The essential request here is a warning before deleting a group set that is associated with an assignment. Ideally, that warning would also indicate which assignments are associated with that group set.


    The problem:

    If a Group Set that is associated with a group assignment is deleted, the group aspect of the assignment will not function as expected. (A teaching team may delete an existing group set because Canvas will automatically create groups on when the group set is first created - see Enable Group Setup Wizard for Existing Group Sets (resubmission)) There is currently no warning advising users that deleting a Group Set that is in use might have unexpected results. We would like to see a warning implemented.


    Canvas currently prevents you from creating a new group assignment that is not associated with a group set.



    However, Canvas does nothing to prevent you from deleting that Group Set and leaving the group assignment without an associated set of groups. The current confirmation dialog only asks if the user is sure that they want to remove the group set. (See below.)





    Deleting the group set associated with a group assignment results in the group assignment behaving like an individual assignment. Because Canvas (rightly) does not permit changes to group settings (including selecting a different Group Set) after students begin submitting work, this situation creates a support challenge at our school.



    We would like to see some warning in the deletion confirmation if the Group Set is currently being used in an assignment -- ideally similar to the warning provided when making changes to group membership after students have submitted assignments. Such a warning would advise users that additional changes are necessary to avoid unintended consequences in how assignments behave. And ideally, the warning would indicate which assignments are associated with that group set. (This is needed because there is no visual differentiation indicating which assignments are configured as group assignments. See Icon for Group Assignments (resubmission))


    This issue is especially problematic for workflows involving course copies (including Blueprint courses -- Canvas Release: Blueprint Courses ). As JoLaine Jones-Pokorney commented on the original feature idea:

    Every semester, we see multiple examples of this problem when instructors import their group assignments from previous semesters, create new group sets, not realizing the assignment is linked to the default "Project groups" (probably not what it was named in the previous course and therefore extremely confusing) and then call us frustrated when the assignment breaks.  Actually, this shouldn't even be a "feature request," this should have been considered as a design flaw from day one.  You should never be able to delete something that impacts another function without a warning.