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Community Champion

*Big Problem* with unsubmitted draft comments

Hello Developers!

I'll go out on a limb here to suggest that all have an issue with draft comments; i.e. unsubmitted instructor feedback. I make this claim as my institution is about half way into the summer term and we have over 1,300 unsubmitted comments. I am able to detect these via Canvas Data. This is not a one time situation as I've observed this for several terms. This is a *big* issue as these unsubmitted comments represent missed learning opportunities.

While we have an outreach in progress to help instructors understand the necessity to click the Submit button after entering comments (instead of the 'next student arrow'), I believe that will help but is not a complete solution. A suggestion on changing the warning message when a draft comment is created is posted to this idea. Perhaps that will help. 

I am writing to this board today to raise awareness and to receive feedback on a few ideas. We are looking at creating solutions to this problem until such time as the actual interface is updated. These are:

1) A process that batch emails course instructors when a draft comment is detected for a student submission. We would use Canvas Data to extract a list of unsubmitted comments and use that as an input file for the batch email push. As for frequency, we could generate this every 3-4 days or thereabouts. Students need feedback sooner than the end of the following week so they can make adjustments. And of course exclude comments for assignments that are muted or hidden in the SpeedGrader as these comments also show as unsubmitted to students.

2) Changing via CSS or Java the warning message that shows in the SpeedGrader when a draft comment is created. I am loath to suggest customization to something as important as the SpeedGrader, however given the volume of missed feedback each term I feel a change is needed sooner than later. A more striking and informative message is suggested.  From the above idea:

Your comment was auto-saved as draft.
Your student cannot see your comment.
Return to the prior student and press Submit to post the comment.

Not sure this is plausible, but has anyone done something for this already? Please share your experience.

Other suggestions on how to approach this issue are welcome!

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