The notification that an assignment has been un-muted should only go to students who received feedback while the assignment was muted.
Why this is a problem
Some students turn in assignments long before the due date (bless them), and some instructors have time to grade those early submissions (bless Chronos). If those same instructors use the mute option while they are grading those submissions that come in near the due date (most of them), students who have already received feedback will still get a notification when the assignment is un-muted. Those students might wonder if they have received additional feedback.
To reduce the risk of confusion, I type the following in the comments field for students who are both productive enough to complete assignments early and lucky enough that I had time give them early feedback:
I decided not to wait to grade your submission. I will likely mute this assignment when I grade the bulk of our classmates' submissions, so please keep that in mind when you receive notifications that this assignment has been un-muted.
How this should work
The logic is straightforward:
- If a submission has already received feedback on an assignment submission, the student has already likely received the usual notification that there is feedback to view. They do not need an additional notification when everyone else's submissions have received feedback.
- If a submission receives feedback while an assignment is muted, that student receives the usual notification when the assignment is un-muted.
- If a student has not made a submission, the student receives no notification when the assignment is un-muted. These students will likely receive the usual notification when their instructor assigns a default grade for those without submissions.
A beneficial side effect
If an instructor mutes and un-mutes an assignment several times, students will not be bombarded with extraneous notifications if no feedback was provided during the silent time. Getting those notifications if there is no feedback feels like a tease.