I have a question about students who are not assigned to a group for assignment that is setup as a group assignment.
What I observe is that these students end up functioning as their own group of one, but not completely. Specifically, a student who is not in a group can submit an assignment. In the SpeedGrader, the student name is listed instead of a group name, and I can select the student and view their submission. I can assign them a numeric score, and there is a box for entering comments. This is where the functionality is incomplete. If I enter a comment and click "submit" I get a quick message that the comment was submitted, but it is never displayed in the SpeedGrader, even if I exit and re-access the student. However, I I access that student submissions from the student's entry in the Gradebook, the comment can be viewed. As you might expect, when the comment doesn't appear, I'm puzzled and often re-enter the comment. When I found that the comments were actually saved, you can imagine what I found - student works with the same comment (and file upload) repeated several times - and the student probably got multiple copies of the comments in their notifications.
When I consulted our local support team (not Canvas support) the work around I was given was to create an additional group in the group set for each of the individual students who were not in a group OR I will need to change and assign grades individually for the assignment.
I have several concerns here - mostly that this seems to partially, but not completely work. To me, the fact that I can enter a comment for the student and get a message that is has been entered, but the comment is not displayed is a bug. Also, if I need to either put the student in their own group I'd expect that I couldn't do any grading, and possibly that the student couldn't even make a submission. If I need to use the other option of assigning grades individually, then I wouldn't expect that I could enter a score, but not a comment - I expect to be able to do both or neither.
Has anyone else seen this behavior? Is it what you expected or do you also think something is broken here?
I'm doing groups this way so that I can setup groups before class rather than in class. The course policy is that if a student misses class when we start a group assignment, it becomes an individually assignment. So when the group activity starts, I remove students who are absent from their group.