A way to save a draft for Text Entries

Text Entries are how most of my teachers do their assignments. If I want to start an assignment when I have a little time, and then continue working on it later, the only real way to do so is by writing it in an external application that I can copy and paste into the text box when it's finished. It would be incredibly convenient if I could start writing an assignment in Canvas, and save a draft of it if I have to go before I finish. This would save the trouble of needing to log into Google Docs or a similar application in order to save my draft, and then later needing to find what I've written again and the assignment it was for on Canvas. A way to save drafts could remove the hassle of using an outside application, allow me to work in as short of time periods as needed, and conveniently keep what I've written connected to the assignment that it is for.
This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For more information, please read through Canvas Release Notes (2020-03-21) 

Community Champion

(EDIT:     Sorry Deborah:  I didn't mean for this to be a reply to you.....I was trying to add it at the bottom, but it keeps posting it here.)

The Google integration doesn't play nice with the Student App (our elementary and middle school students use iPads), so we've been trying desperately to steer teachers to use the tools native to Canvas.  When the Canvas native tools are limited (like not having a Save Draft versus a Submit), this challenges the adoption of the tool.   


Here's a scenario:   a long term sub came to me today for training and help with Canvas.  She is teaching HILT students and would like to stop using weekly, paper reading logs.   I suggested a text Assignment where the students could fill in the table each day (a row for each day) --thinking they could save their work and not submit.  They would copy the table and paste it, type their log info for Monday and SAVE; type Tuesday and SAVE, etc.....and submit on Friday or Saturday.  But this is not possible.  It's asking a little much of elementary and middle school students, with limited English, and potentially other needs, to go back (on their iPads) to the previous submission to copy their work, paste in a new submission, and do this daily.


As others have mentioned, this is a feature we were used to having in our previous LMS.
When does Canvas expect to release this feature?  

Community Novice

This is a perfect example of what I am wanting to do. I know that we can utilize Google Docs as a method for saving and editing until the final product is done. However, that is an extra step for our kids who will forget how to do it each week and just not submit the assignment.

Community Novice

It seems like Canvas takes quite a long time to attend to customers' needs. This is a long awaited solution to the issue of draft entries. Compared to other LMS, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate canvas a "6". It gets the job done, but a good LMS system should have all functionality in one place. Blackboard and Moodle Rooms are great examples of student/instructor-friendly systems and would rate Blackboard a "10" and Moodle Rooms a "9".

Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.


This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

Community Participant

I would especially value this as a professor. I like to let students reply to other students before I jump in. But when I first read a given student post, I think of things I might say in reply. To be able to write my thoughts as they come to me but delay public posting of those thoughts would be very helpful. Solution: be able to "post as draft" then I can come back at a later date and "release" (or edit and release) what I'd typed previously.

Posting drafts in discussion can also be a valuable way for teachers to jot down private notes ("draft" that only the teacher can see) about the student post for future reference when grading a post.

I would LOVE to see a "post as draft" for discussion replies. I use this all the time in Blackboard but will miss this ability when we switch to Canvas in a couple more months.

Community Participant

one possible DANGER in allowing drafts to be saved for assignment submissions is that the student might not realize that they have only submitted as a "draft" that only they can see. The student may think they have submitted the assignment and wonder why the teacher has not graded it after some time. 

However, I do think the benefits of "draft" option outweigh the possible danger of mistaking a "draft" for an actual submission.

Community Explorer

Will students have the ability to save an assignment as a draft anytime soon?  I'm hoping I just missed seeing where this answer was posted or if this included in the Q3 release.  Thanks.

Community Participant

I hope this will also work for discussions. To be able to start writing and save as a "draft" to come back to at a later date before posting for all to see. Valuable for instructors also who may want to respond to discussion posts on the spot but delay sharing their ideas until after more students post.

Community Participant

What about simply posting an ungraded assignment called "Assignment Name Rough Draft".  Set it up as a quiz with an essay question, and students can see their response option.  Then they can copy/paste and continue their draft.  Then when they are done and ready for it to be graded they can put it on the assignment that counts for their grade.