[Assignments] Assignment Bulk Update: Negative Date Shift

Thank you for implementing https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/2214-adjust-all-assignment-and-quiz-dates-on-a-single-page  and https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/16898-bulk-update-selectedall-assignments" modifiedtitle="true...!! Amazing!


During the demo provided by a representative today, we saw how easy it was to shift due dates forward by a number of days. I then wondered about moving those dates backwards. It was shown that the field only allowed positive integers.


Since something like spring break/Easter break may move around in either direction, please allow the bulk date shift to allow negative numbers as well.



Added to Theme

Community Participant

This would be great!

Community Participant

When using the Bulk Edit feature in Assignments, it would be helpful to be able to adjust the due dates backward, not just move due dates forward. I've tried to enter a negative number and it will not allow it. 

Community Member

I see the new batch-editing capability for changing assignment dates has finally rolled out. I'm extremely surprised and disappointed that it only allows adjusting dates forward. There are obvious needs to adjust dates backwards in batches as well, whether from human error when adjusting forward or to rework when a break from school falls in a semester (e.g. spring break, thanksgiving break, etc.). This is a capability we have been requesting for over five years. And I'm quite chagrined that even after Canvas developed the feature, it is only partly functional.

Community Participant

Negative would be a positive [meaning a good thing]. We have spring courses that are spread out over 17 weeks and fall dates spread out over 16. Canvas has to condense or spread out when copying between the different durations. Side note: be sure to include the beginning and ending date of the course you are copying from. These fields unfortunately do not auto-populate once you have a certain amount of courses your assigned to teach.


With that said, I tested a work around. If you are copying spring to fall, temporarily make your fall courses start a week earlier. If you are copying fall to spring make your spring course end a week early. Then copy your course using the appropriate start and end dates to adjust events and due dates. After that go into the course’s Assignment tool’s option menu and Edit Assignment Dates bulk update due dates. Select the assignments that need to be moved forward 7 days and then do the Batch Edit. Don't forget to save. After that change the course start or end dates back.

Events added only to the calendar, i.e. Spring Break, Week One, Week Two, Week Three, etc. did not adjust, just the graded items with dates. They don’t adjust because they are not assignments, but at least those are easier to identify and can be dragged and dropped.

Community Member

Not to just be able to shift days forward a number of days but to also be able to shift backwards a number of days as well.  i.e. from September 20 to September 15 but shifting -5 days.

I thought that we were able to do that in the past. 

Community Novice

when copying a course you adjust the assignment dues dates. if you adjust them too far forward, there is no batch edit way to go back just a few days.


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Community Participant
Problem statement:

Assignment dates can be batch edited but only by moving them forward by a positive number of days. The feature does not allow dates to be moved backwards by entering a negative number. Use Case 1: The instructor batch-edits the dates and moves them too far ahead. There is no way to correct the mistake by moving them backwards. Each date has to be corrected individually. Use Case 2: A university removes a calendar break, which happened to Spring Break during the 2020 Covid pandemic. Assignment dates for the remainder of the semester cannot be adjusted backwards by 7 days. See https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Question-Forum/Batch-Edit-Assignment-Dates-BACKWARDS/m-p/5... for the full discussion.

Proposed solution:

When batch editing assignment dates, allow the Shift Dates screen to accept a negative number of days.

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