[Assignments] Recurring Assignments

I am a college professor, and I frequently give recurring assignments such as a weekly reflection paper wherein the students answer essentially the same questions each week about that week's materials.


It would be great to be able to create this one time with the due date, points value, etc., and then make it recurring for every week rather than having to either create new assignments and copy/paste the content (but still assign all the values), or use Commons, which I find to be very cumbersome, and which still requires me to change all of the due dates, etc.

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Community Member

So this idea has been floating around for over five years, but apparently Canvas has not deemed it worthy of implementing?

Community Explorer

Is there progress on this feature being added?

I'm trying to figure out the most effective way of adding a daily participation assignment/ticket out for my online students without having to manage creating a new assignment each day for every one of my students. This seems like the perfect solution.

Community Explorer

The need to create recurring assignments has been discussed and requested at least since 2015.  As far as I can tell it has not been taken up by Canvas.

Currently the solution is some variation of "copy/paste, then modify each individual assignment" routine.  

This is a very inefficient, time-consuming, and error-prone approach to a basic scheduling task. 

Canvas should have a robust tool that:

1) Allows creation of a template object with options to set it up as a recurring:

  • assignment
  • calendar event
  • quiz
  • discussion
  • announcement
  • or other activity

2) The recurrence selection should mimic that used in MS Outlook (or similar calendar app): 

  • Appointment time:
    • Start Time, End Time, Duration
  • Recurrence pattern:
    • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, (Yearly?); 
    • Recur every N week(s) on day(s) of the week.
  • Range of recurrence:
    • Start date, with options of end dates, (number of occurrences, end by date)
  • Due date:
    • Due daily, weekly, monthly; Due on every (day(s) of the week); Due N days after Available From or N days before Until;  Due every N week(s) on: Mon, Tues....Sun;  Due first or last (Mon-Sun) of the month.

3) The recurring event must auto populate in the Canvas calendar, gradebook, and where else it is appropriate.

4) Entire series, or individual instances, of a repeating assignment must be editable or deletable.


When will we see this much needed and requested function?


A specific feature I would appreciate is the ability to insert a [date field] into the title of recurring assignments. For example I create an assignment for students to summarize each lecture:

[10/28/20] What Did You Learn?

[11/2/20 ] What did you Learn?

[11/4/20] What Did You Learn?

... and so on...

This is an effective assignment but is a lot of trouble to create 32 of these for a 16 week semester.  It is very time consuming and error prone. The typical "copy/paste, then modify each individual assignment" routine mentioned above is ridiculous and unacceptable.


Footnote: The pandemic has forced instructors and teachers to rethink how we deliver content.  We are essential workers and we need tools that support our new reality.  Lack of recurring assignments, once an annoyance, is now a glaring gap in Canvas functionality.  

Community Member

This would be a very helpful feature. I teach elementary and can think of a number of different assignments that I would like to repeat.

Community Member

How about setting it up so that a user can repeat an assignment? For example, we here in Texas have to document attendance in our online courses, and many use a daily checkin in Canvas. It would be soooo convenient if you could set up a recurrence for such a simple assignment and not have to recreate it for each day. 

Community Member

I need to set up participation grades for a class I'm teaching, which involves (best I can see) having a separate assignment for each class day. Duplicating assignments is a slow and annoying way to do this since you have to go into the duplicated assignment and update due dates and titles and things. I guess I can do it by downloading the grade book, modifying it in Numbers, and uploading it again, but this seems like the kind of thing that would be better handled with an actual interface within Canvas.

Community Member

Yes, please! I want to set up a daily journal assignment for my class, but right now as far as I can tell I'd have to duplicate it for each day, which would quickly get incredibly cluttered... I'm honestly baffled that people have been asking for this for so long and Canvas still hasn't taken it up.

Community Explorer

Adding to the chorus--we NEED to be able to do this the way you can set up repeating events (like a zoom link) without having to go through the creation of an assignment for every single day of every single course.  Yes, please!


Community Member

I agree!

I'd love to be able to create recurring assignments.

It would be useful to have some naming options for the new assignments: Maybe then I could have a choice of whether they get named by number (e.g. Self-reflection 1, Self-reflection 2, etc.) or by date (e.g. Self-reflection 5/27, Self-reflection 5/28, etc.)

I think a lot of people would benefit from this for things like daily homework assignments, in-class weekly quizzes, regular participation grades, etc.

Community Explorer

Tagging onto the previous comment about naming options, in addition to static text, the template assignment should feature an optional, auto-populating <date> field or <sequence> field in the Title. 

The date will auto-populate based on the recurrence pattern established in the template. 

For example, in recurring assignments I reference the lecture date in the title:

1/20/22 What Did You Learn?

1/27/22 What Did You Learn?

2/3/22 What Did You Learn?



Also, the due date should be able to auto-populate based on a recurrence pattern rule.

For example if the recurrence rule states the due date is always 2 days from the lecture date the result is:

1/20/22 What Did You Learn?   Due 1/22/22

1/27/22 What Did You Learn?   Due 1/29/22

2/3/22 What Did You Learn?   Due 2/5/22

The recurring template should feature things like StartDate and EndDate, or <DoUntilDate>

A well implemented recurring assignment feature must have a robust set of rule-based options like events in our calendar applications. 

I observe recurring assignments have been requested for at least 8 years by many instructors.  The need and utility is clear.  Why has Canvas not responded?