Restrict adding items outside of modules to be added to Mastery Path

Idea created by Nick Ni on Aug 24, 2017
    Open for Voting
    • Bobby Pedersen
    • James Leavor
    • Nick Ni

    I love mastery path and want the feature to be successful. However, we have ran into a lot of problems when implementing mastery path, especially when using unit completion requirements.


    Our modules have quizzes and a page.
    Each unit starts with a pretest quiz which sets up the mastery path. The contents on mastery path are:
    1. One page
    2. 9 quizzes.


    In order the complete the unit, students must complete all quizzes with a passing score of 80%.

    In order to open next unit, students must complete the previous unit.


    Here were the typical problems:
    1. After finishing the pretest which controls the mastery path, no contents are showing or missing contents.

    2. Because we set up unit prerequisites to complete previous unit in order to start next unit, this can cause students get stuck and cannot move on.

    3. Sometimes, the pretest in next unit is open. When we click on the pretest, the missing units in the previous unit will show up. I assume that is not the design of canvas engineers. Sometimes, the entire unit will have pretest only, nothing else. Sometimes, the one PAGE does not show up, all quizzes show up. It has been very inconsistent.

    4. Another problem has to do with existing students who are in the course. If we set up the mastery path for the course, some contents in certain units will be missing for the existing students. New enrollments into the course do not have the same problem.

    5. We have tried and spent over 40 hours trying to debug the problems above.


    And final solution was to double check and clean up mastery path - get rid of any pages and quizzes not in the unit from mastery path. We believe it solved the problems except existing students still have problems.


    Here is the response from Canvas support. 

    Canvas Support: Quiz NOT in units are shown when selecting quiz mastery path - Case #02259863

        I believe I understand your concern now.  Thanks for getting back to us with those details!  I did some testing, and I found two things that might be helpful.  You're right that we could restrict a user's ability to add items to a mastery path if they haven't been added to the module.  That would necessitate several other restrictions, such as removing the user's ability to move anything associated with the mastery path out of the module after the associations are made.  Users often want the flexibility to make adjustments easily, and the ability to add items to a mastery path regardless of whether or not they've already been added to the module seems to be the trade-off.


         That being said, I understand that mistakes happen.  It may very well be best to restrict users from adding content from outside the module.  I highly recommend visiting our community page and making a feature request idea:  This is where our developers get many of their ideas for new features in Canvas.  It's possible that other users are similarly concerned.


         I did notice during my testing that if a page is added to a mastery path, and it appears sequentially after an assignment that is not included in the module, it will not appear for the student even though it has been unlocked.  If the page appears before the assignment sequentially in the mastery path (meaning the mastery path setting in the key assignment) it does populate in the module for the student.  This could be considered unintended behavior, but the fact that all content should be developed and added to the module before mastery paths are created is stated explicitly in our guide for instructors:  This behavior would be corrected if your feature idea is built, so I think that's our best course of action for now.  If you'd prefer that I split this behavior out into a separate ticket and send it up for review I'm happy to do so.  Please just reply and let me know.  Thanks for contacting Canvas Support, and have a good one!


     Canvas Support


    Please restrict adding items outside of modules to be added to Mastery Path unless Mastery Path can behave properly when adding items outside of modules.