Adjust all assignment and quiz dates on a single page

The Problem:

Managing dates one item at a time is tedious when you are planning an entire semester. This is true for new classes, but also for existing classes since the ability to globally adjust imported dates never works for the way my institution designs new semesters.

 

I would like a spreadsheet format that shows all date related events on one page. I could then set up all events and synchronize them where necessary. This could be an online form, or the ability to download a csv template and reupload the dates.

 

I have attached a simplified snapshot of this kind of spreadsheet.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

Please read through the Ready Release Notes (2020-04-18) 

172 Comments
James
Community Champion

Thanks for sharing a wonderful use case, QC99.tsilvius​. I'm working on an updated version (internal reworking with few outward changes except for the ability to Mute) and better support for the dates (only showing the date and not the time when it's the start of day/end of day).  @kona ​ is working on moving this to its own document so it's not buried. If we ever get that done, I may ask you to put this there so it's not lost among the 80+ comments this feature request has (which was her main impetus for moving it).

Here's something that might speed up your workflow. You should not have to export to Excel first. You should, in theory, be able to share the Google Sheet with the instructor directly. The API token is stored at a user level, which means it's not shared when you share the sheet. So, they won't be able to go in and run the tools to make the changes unless they add their own API token, but they could make the changes for you and then you could go in and run the API. Most people who can use Excel can use Google Sheets (as long as they have a Google account).

The biggest issue we've found so far, which the rewrite is attempting to fix, is that people try to type the date in the way Canvas displays them, but Google Sheets doesn't recognize those and so the changes don't work.

I like the conditional formatting you did. I hadn't thought of that (probably because we didn't have the need to indicate long names). The other thing you could do is go to column J2 and type in =LEN(A2) and then copy that formula down.  You can then sort by that field to bring all the long names to the top.

QC99_tsilvius
Community Champion

I'd be happy to contribute to the document when it's moved over,  @James ​. Thanks for the suggestion. I know what you mean. A couple of weeks ago stefaniesanders​ asked me to move what honestly started out as a comment Bb-to-Canvas migration but turned into to a longer response with screenshots into a help doc over in the LMS Migration community, too. Keep me in the loop,  @kona ​​, and I'll be happy to pitch in. Sorting the list by conditional formatting is a good idea. Every little bit helps out. I saw how the info for each assignment is tagged to the assignment number, but I haven't worked with it enough to gain the comfort level to try the "will I break anything if I sort this" attempts yet. 

I also really appreciate the tip on sharing the Google doc. I wasn't sure about where the API token is attached in the process and didn't want my share'ees making calls using my token so I didn't want to share out without that piece of understanding. Thanks for that piece of mind. I'll check the theory with a friend at work on something small first and let you know to be 100% sure. Sharing the google sheet for others to edit is clearly the way to go. Thanks for that insight.

James
Community Champion

QC99.tsilvius

I won't guarantee foolproof, but as long as you leave the assignment type and assignment id intact, you should be able to play around with the other columns, deleting the ones you don't want, adding others (they won't do anything, but they will allow for calculations). You'll also need to leave the headers alone, but if you create a new "Due" column in column J, you could rename the existing one to something else and it should use the new one. If you place the columns adjacent to the existing ones with no blank columns in between, then they will sort with it as well.

Good idea to double check with someone, I'm basing that off Google's documentation, but I could have read it wrong.

cms57
Community Participant

I would also add being able to see a total of all points within a category.  Currently, the only way I know to do this would be to go to grades, edit the test student line to all zeroes, then hover over each category square at the end of the test student line to see "0/80" (or whatever the points total is for that category).  It would be a nice double check, especially when a course has a lot of small points assignments within a larger category, so that we can easily see our work and know that it's set up correctly.  There's also something similar on the syllabus page that shows a table with weighted categories -- it would be nice to see something like this for points.

placenn
Community Novice

New to Canvas. Totally frustrated it didn't have this feature. You're workaround made my day a whole lot better. Amazing! Thank you, James.

placenn
Community Novice

It looks like the time is two hours off when I load the dates to Canvas. I can adjust that in the spreadsheet. Otherwise worked great.

kona
Advocate

Did you change time zones (on the spreadsheet) before uploading the new dates/time to Canvas? If not, then try updating the time zone first and see if that works (it's one of the first steps and easy to miss).

placenn
Community Novice

Got it. Thanks, Kona.

snmargeson
Community Explorer

Am I correct in thinking this only works for Assignments?  Not events.

James
Community Champion

Yes. Just assignments including quizzes and discussions.