[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.

Added to Theme

Community Participant

I would like for students to be able to upload assignments that include both media submissions and file submissions. For now, we have to make it into two submissions or make the students upload both videos and documents as files. It would be better if we could combine the two. Also, a lot of students get confused when they realize that the media they recorded get lost when they try to add a file to their media submission. They don't get a warning that their media content will be lost once they submit their file. It's not what you would expect as a user. 

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Community Member

So many of us are teaching hybrid - there needs to be an option for BOTH paper AND on-line submissions. This drives me insane, since students are constantly thinking work is missing and I have to go back and forth between two platforms to grade work. 

Community Member

This has been a noted issue for at least 6 years and teachers are still asking for it to be updated. I can no longer sync grades because Canvas marks all submissions "missing" even if I manually type a grade in for a paper submission. Allowing for multiple submission types would solve this. 

Community Novice

Can Canvas add an option in submissions to have "on paper" and "online" in the submission types options?

Community Explorer

I would love to see this feature added!  I also would like to have as many opportunities for students to submit assignments as possible.  Great idea!

Community Explorer

Yes! Having the ability to allow paper submissions and on-line submissions would be great!

Community Member

I teach middle school and have many students out on quarantine.  Students that are in person will be turning in the work on paper since we do not have access to computers in our classroom.  Students on quarantine need to be able to turn in work online.  I need to be able to accept both paper and online submissions at the same time for the same assignment but this is NOT an option.   If I make that submission "online," as soon as the due date/time passes, all the grades that I have put in on Canvas become "missing."  Then I have to go to Speed Grader and unmark "missing" on 140 or more grades for each assignment.  I don't have time for that.  However, if I mark the assignment as "paper" submission, then my quarantined students will not be able to turn in their work.  This is a problem for teachers and schools that can't afford student computers or don't have them in their classroom but still need to help students that are quarantined or have extended absences.  

Community Novice

Allow assignments to have multiple submission types at the same time for differentiated purposes.  Example: Students can submit a text box and student annotation work. Submitting a Text Box and video/media recorded response.  

Community Novice

Teachers should have the option to have kids submit both on paper and online. Some of my students prefer paper after a year of remote learning. Some of my students are quarantined and can only work online. Some prefer a mix of both, or have a hard time keeping track of paper assignments. 

Community Novice

Please make an option for an assignment to be submitted either online OR on paper. With students who are both in person and virtual at different times, it is very frustrating to have to choose either or. My students in class submit on paper assignments, but many students with accommodations or students who are accessing the work virtually due to quarantine need an option to submit virtually. If I set an assignment to "online" then all the students who turn their work in on paper see messages telling them to complete the assignment, or get marked "missing" even though they have a grade. It creates confusion and frustration for students, parents, and instructors.