[Assignments] Submit an assignment on behalf of a student

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

As an instructor, I'd like the option to submit assignments on behalf of my students. This feature should enable me to pick a file from my computer and upload it as a submission for a given student. I should then be able to assess the submission just as if the student had submitted it themselves. A note should appear somewhere that indicates I submitted the assignment on behalf of my student. This would help me in cases where, for instance, my students submit an assignment on paper or the submission is a performance (a speech or presentation) that I capture on video.


transferred from the old Community

Originally posted by: Bill Hanna
Special thanks for contributions by: Paul Gibbons, Sydney Cheek-O'Donnell, Kona Jones, Stefanie Sanders

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Community Member

This a great idea! I would definitely love to be able to do this as I have to capture a lot of video and audio for my music students as part of our continuous assessment regime.

Community Member

This feature would really help with using Canvas for young students, like Kindergarten.

Community Member

Yes, yes, yes!!!!!!  It would be so much easier if I could just pop their emailed assignment in myself rather than trying to contact the student, walk them through how to submit it themselves, and then wait to see if they did it right.  (We are 100% online right now so getting a hold of students isn't easy because I can't sit down with them in class and help them do it)>  

Community Participant

This was submitted by a Canvas "team member" in 2015. Seriously? Why has this not been implemented by 2020? In my usage case there are a number of upload assignment links and students sometimes submit to the wrong assignment. If I could download this (or transfer, as some have suggested) and upload to the correct assignment it would save so much hassle. I can email the student of course but that entails delays in grading, etc.

Please implement this.

Edit: please note that in this new system you have to click on the star rating icon on the first page of this thread. The previous "up vote" system is gone. There are only 58 star ratings and over 200 comments (all the ones I have perused are supportive). So if you haven't done so, give this a star rating (all ratings so far look to be the max number of stars).


Community Member

Yes please add this feature! It would be unbelievably helpful and save so much time.

Community Member

It is absurd that five years later, this capability has not yet been added to Canvas. We recently switched to Canvas after more than 10 years with Sakai, and the ability to submit on behalf of a student has been a part of that LMS for years. The failure of Canvas to make this necessary function available after so many years is enough to start thinking about switching back. 

Community Novice

This would be very helpful.

Community Explorer

Teacher should have the ability to upload assessments on behalf of students or be able to act as user to upload on their behalf.

Community Champion

I'm curious as to why you think so, or what situations would require this. Without that context, I disagree for a few reasons. 

As faculty, I would not want the responsibility of submitting work for students. If I uploaded the incorrect work or made some other mistake, I am liable.  I believe it should be the students responsibility. If students have technical difficulties, I can't think of a situation where the difficulties couldn't be sorted out and resolved without too much time and trouble. And solving the difficulties helps everyone learn how to use the technology, and hopefully keeps any issues from happening again.

I also think having this capability could open faculty up to accusations that a file was changed, or other such accusations.  Keeping the responsibility on the student preserves the integrity of the assessment. 

Community Member

The ability for an instructor to upload assignments for students would be quite helpful to me.  Sometimes, a student has a good excuse for not turning in an assignment on time.  In those cases, I either have to grade the assignment offline or I have to change the due date on the assignment to allow the student to upload.  In any case, the student still has to e-mail the assignment to me, so I can verify whether or not the document uploads properly.  But having the assignment stored in Canvas is extremely helpful when using speedgrader.  Otherwise, I sometimes have to manage multiple offline documents in addition to those stored in Canvas.