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anonz3000
Community Contributor

Use Cases for Managing Independent Study

At my school, many students have individualized start dates and assignment due dates. Sometimes students take leaves of absence which require me to adjust due dates for those particular students. Although Canvas seems great at managing groups of students, it is not yet world-class with regard to managing students engaged in independent study. I'd like to change that. My plan involves two initiatives. First, I'd like to collect from the community use cases related to managing independent study students, so I invite you to share your use cases below. Thank you for sharing! Second, I am writing an open-source web application called Easel that supplements Canvas with features related to independent study. I am hoping that Instructure engineers see features in Easel that they can incorporate directly into Canvas.

Below are four short videos showcasing Easel features that I have implemented for use at my school. Currently, Easel is only a prototype. It is not ready for prime time. It should not be pointed at a production instance. It changes constantly. I intend to write installation directions and draw an architectural map when I have time.

This video shows how to generate a set of assignment due dates:

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(view in My Videos)

This video shows how to modify a set of assignment due dates:

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(view in My Videos)

This video shows how to generate elapsed times for a course:

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(view in My Videos)

This video shows how to use Easel Sets to create programs:

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(view in My Videos)

Thank you for sharing your use cases related to independent study!

Matt Hagen

16 Replies
slyder4040
Community Member

Matt, your work here is very interesting to say the least. As a district that serves around 3000 students in several courses all on an open enrollment year round, makes the issue of changing due dates very tedious. We have decided not to use the due dates or start and end course dates, which forces teachers to rely on high/middle school students to set their own schedule. Really looking forward to see your work in progress. 

anonz3000
Community Contributor

Thanks, R. After my initial push to build a proof of concept, my time has been diverted in other directions, but it looks like I will be getting more time for this soon.

thompsli
Community Champion

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/9900-allow-due-dates-to-be-changed-on-individual-student-grade...‌ is a currently-open Feature Idea that isn't getting a lot of traction but seems like it would help a lot of the people following this thread, so I wanted to link it here in hopes of getting more votes/discussion for that feature idea. (And maybe getting use cases out of the comments over there to help  @anonz3000 ‌ with this project.)

steven_park
Community Participant

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, but it's directly related to the problem  @anonz3000 's solving with Easel. Our situation is similar to what Drummund described above--thousands of students in a self-paced program. One solution Instructure provided was to put each student in their own section. This gives them a unique start and end date. As well, if the original section has due dates, Canvas will adjust those due dates based on the start and end date in the new section. This seems like a pretty heavy solution to the self-paced, open enrollment situation. We might have several hundred sections of a course open (each with one enrollment) at any given time. I wonder, has anyone else implemented a solution like this for their Independent Study program? 

jfj
Community Member

My institution  has the same problem as Steven Park describes above.

We have thousands of students who take courses online, and can enroll and start any day of the year. As such, we have a need for being able to set individual due dates for assignments on a pr. student basis. The only solution Canvas offers right now is to use sections, which is not optimal for us, and we need the functionality that Easel could provide badly.

hraymond
Community Member

Hi Matt, do you have a time frame when this will be available?  

fraryc
Community Member

I know this is an old thread, but I'm wondering if there has been any success in this area. I am in the same position, students in rolling enrollments working independently all with their own sets of due dates. The videos above no longer seem to be working. What has come of this work?