[Assignments] Allow Multiple Submission Types on the Same Assignment

Originally submitted by Sara Wolf


Currently, instructors can choose to allow a variety of formats for assignment submission. However, when the student submits, only one type can be used, unless the student elects to resubmit the assignment. Even so, if the student resubmits the assignment, the student can no longer see his or her first submission. So, if they make a mistake, they aren't sure what need to be fixed, because they can't see what they originally submitted.


It would be helpful to have students be able to submit a file type (graphic, or URL, or word document, for example) and then be able to also use the text box feature, in the same submission, to "tell about" their assignment. Ideally, the instructor would be able to see both submission types in the SpeedGrader in a single submission, and similarly, students would be able to see both submission types in their assignment submission interface. For instance, if students have to create an image of a floor plan for a future classroom, and then provide an "annotation" of that floor plan that describes how it illustrates their teaching philosophy, having the image be visible to the teacher at the same time as the annotation would be ideal. Another example would be an assignment that requires a link to a video url and accompanying text. If the students could submit the URL to the video and fill in a text box at the same time, they would be able to take advantage of the rich content functionality in the text box submission type (that is not available to them in the assignment comments area), and teachers would be able to evaluate the link to the video and the accompanying text simultaneously in the SpeedGrader.

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Community Explorer

Please add this! Sometimes I have students that for whatever reason can't submit a paper online and instead turn a hard copy in to me. Then later, after I have entered their grade, they still see a missing notification because they did not actually submit their assignment through the system.  This then causes students and parents unnecessary worrying.

Community Explorer

Has there been any movement or updates on this? We have a lot of Google Classroom users that expect Canvas to be able to do the same thing if they're really going to make the switch. It looks like you can attach multiple files, but still can't attach multiple items from Drive or multiple items of different file types for the same assignment submission. Resubmitting is very confusing to students.

Community Novice

I am still waiting for this feature, which I consider essential.

Community Novice

This feature idea was submitted in April of 2015!!!! Seriously Instructure! You can't make these changes a little faster with all the rooms full of coders you have??? This does not require a major re-coding and should be a fairly easy fix. It is stuff like this that makes Canvas good, but not great. Get on the ball and give the customers what they want and need. 

Community Novice

Any updates on this? 

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 Novice

This would be a really useful option. We frequently require students to upload files and provide hyperlinks to the working versions of those files on a file/web server so we can validate they actually work (html, css, php, etc.) As an instructor I need to have them upload a file and provide a text entry (with the hyperlinks).

In the meantime, why does Canvas allow you to select multiple  Entry Options if the instructor cannot see them all? Seems like in the interim Canvas should only allow you to select 1 option.

Community Member

As others have already stated, we're in the process of moving our teachers from Google Classroom to Canvas... all the while Canvas being touted as far superior to Classroom. However, the lack of this feature is a major blow to our teachers in terms of the usefulness of Canvas for how they manage their workflow.

This should be a basic feature — students and teachers should be able to view their multiple submissions at any time AND students should be able to submit more than one item type to an assignment. (Not to mention that teachers should be able to view students' Google Docs from within Canvas even before they have submitted them in order to help with drafting or check progress... but that's another story for another idea thread.)

This was first requested over 3 years ago.

Community Novice

I would add that in addition to allowing multiple submission types, also allowing for multiple Submission Types to be selected for an assignment like and On Paper so the faculty member can provide flexibility for students to turn assignments in my hand or in the  format. I have seen some others commented similarly. 

Community Explorer

One thing I would like to see is the ability to choose multiple submission types or just move all types to one drop down menu and allow the teacher to select the ones they want to allow.