Damon Ellis

Accidental unmuting

Discussion created by Damon Ellis on May 15, 2016
Latest reply on Mar 6, 2017 by Carole Currie

Have you or someone you know accidentally unmuted an assignment while marking in Speedgrader?


Several staff members at my institution have accidentally clicked on "unmute assignment" in Speedgrader, and then spent the rest of the day dealing with student confusion. Unmuting in the gradebook generates a confirmation popup, but Speedgrader does not require any such confirmation.


There was a feature request to fix this disparity, but it didn't go anywhere.


Is this just a localised problem for my staff, or for Canvas newbies? I have resorted to warning everyone that this innocuous button in the midst of their marking workflow is actually "release grades and feedback to every student, oh and by the way everyone will get an email telling them their grade is available."


This fails a few criteria of good UI design:

  • The text doesn't communicate the state well: it doesn't tell you that the assignment is muted, you must infer it from the fact that the action displays "unmute assignment"
  • It's inconsistent: a reasonable user who has unmuted in the gradebook would assume the same confirmation prompt here
  • It's an irrevocable action: you can re-mute, but those (now inaccurate) emails to students have already been sent
  • It's a global action (affects all students) on a page that is otherwise local (relating only to one student at a time)