[Assignments] Assign to everyone except selected students

There are some assignments that go out to the majority of my students except one or two per class. It would be great to be able to assign to "everyone" and then have a button to select which students are exempt from the assignment.

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Community Champion


I thought I might have had a somewhat easier way to do what you want to do using the excused grade.  You would still create the two assignments.  for the one for the majority of the class, you would go and mark the IEP students as excused.  Then for the IEP student assignment use the set default grade to excused and then go back and take it off of the IEP students' assignment.  Of course that means students see 2 of each assignment.  One they are excused from and one they have to take.  

Unfortunately, the default grade does not take ex, and if you type in excused it says it updates the grades, but excused is never applied.

The other alternative is to create both assignments, export the gradebook,  mark ex in all the grades for the students to be excused from one of the assignments or the other and then import the grades back.

Of course if you want the students to only see one assignment you have to go through the process you describe.

In writing the above, I just had another thought.  It takes a little time at the beginning of the semester, but then you are good to go.  Create 2 sections - one with the IEP students and one with all the other students(i.e. IEP_Students, NonIEP_Students).  Then when you make an assignment, select the section that applies for that assignment.  The students will only see the one assignment assigned to them - you of course have two columns in the gradebook and must make a distinction somehow on the assignment name- I think.  I don't know if you can have two assignments with the exact same name.

Instructor manual page on how to add sections to a course

Community Member

We often have to make copies of an exam and assign the copy to just one student.  Unless I'm mistaken, there is not an easy way to assign the original version of the exam to "everyone except".  If we could have a way to have an exempt feature there OR be able to but everyone minus student name, that'd be great.

Community Member

I am an instructor for univeristy level subjects. A feature like this would be helpful for us in order to restrict individuals from accessing an main exam if they apply for rescheduled exams in case of illness/misadventure/etc. 

Specifically, we need something to restrict access to the content of an assignment, not just the ability to interact/submit as with the current 'Excused' status.

Community Member

I'm leading a pilot test of Canvas for a K-12 institution.  I think the single biggest factor weighing against Canvas adoption right now is the lack of a feature like this one.  Does Canvas employ anyone who has recently worked in a U.S. K-12 school?  If so, certainly they are aware that the days when teachers gave the same assignment to every student are long gone.  Differentiating instruction is not merely a nice idea, it is legally mandated by special education laws such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  The clunky work-around of having teachers type the name of every student who will receive a particular version of every assignment is awful!  Many teachers have close to 200 students.  Let's assume roughly 100 assignments per year, that 20,000 names typed per teacher!  Screw-ups are inevitable.  

I really want to recommend Canvas adoption at our campus.  The Special Ed department has already said they disapprove of Canvas, and I think the lack of this feature is their biggest objection.  Please add it to your roadmap ASAP!

Community Participant

To trr_nv

Run away. Even if they fix this issue, which they are unlikely to, seeing how long it has been requested, there are so, so many other no-brainer issues they likewise haven't fixed in 5 years or more. I have been beyond frustrated so many times since our institution adopted Canvas, on so many issues. 

Community Participant

I need this option too! It would be great to remove one student from an assignment or exam instead of having to individually click all of the remaining students' names to "add" them to the assignment.

Community Explorer

This is still needed. For reasons that apparently are hard to fix, I end up with students assigned to two sections of a class even though they are only active in one section.  When I give a test to one of the sections, I may want to block certain students in that section from taking it.    I shouldn't have to resort to using passcodes for that purpose.






Community Member

Just had a teacher come in and ask for this feature to accommodate the two students in his class who require modified assignments.  If he needs to hand enter every student into the general assignment, THEN hand enter two students for the modified assignment, it is an extreme waste of educator time.  We in the PK-12 domain need an "everyone except" option in Canvas - waiting on it for seven years it seems. 

Community Member

I am stunned this isn't already a feature. It seems really obvious where this would be useful for K-12.

Community Member

As other educators have noted, it is ridiculous that Canvas doesn't have this feature as a tool for K-12 public schools. This is a regular part of differentiation for students with IEPs. There should be a way to easily unassign them (an "except" option) from assignments and quizzes. As an educational platform, I can't see why this wouldn't be a priority for updates. Does anyone know how to bring this back to Canvas's attention as it appears this thread started in 2015?