[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 Coach
Community Coach

Something I just thought of. I'm not hugely opposed to this (I do have philosophical issues with students using this as a crutch and not learning to properly use Canvas so they can submit their own assignments), but I think it's super important that if an assignment is submitted by an Instructor there needs to be some type of designation showing that the assignment was submitted by the Instructor. For me this is important for grade appeals (need to show/know who submitted what) and as tech support it would be good to know if the Instructor submitted the assignment or if the student submitted the assignment.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

I'm with  @kona ​ on this. The need for a designation that clearly indicates an action was taken by an instructor on behalf of a student is the one thing holding me back from upvoting it--although I too am concerned about students viewing this capability as a crutch.

Community Champion

Do you have the availability dates set?  I removed the Until dates for assignments so students no longer have such trouble turning in after the due date.  I can then grade and deduct any points as per policy.

Community Member

I'm aware of the feature but I like a hard deadline.  I don't want to go through the trouble of grading late work unless there is a legitimate reason that I've approved.  I want time management to be something they have to consider.  Also, it's time consuming to grade late work because it's usually last minute and half assed.

Community Explorer

The use case in which I submitted this feature request in another thread involves my particular use case.

As a music teacher, students submit performances for me via audio and video submission.  For the 20% of kids that I have that do not have the tech to do this, I would happily collect the video/audio. Then, when grading the class submissions, in SpeedGrader, I would just upload the work I collected on my computer/device.  I know that I can still grade that video, but the power of this platform is that I can provide super specific advice on how to improve performance.  I want the student to read/view my feedback and then have direct access to the recording so they can process my suggestions.  Also, it allows me to easily display work to parents in conferences (Many folks can't understand why their child fails band.  A couple of recordings explains this real fast!)

In my use case, I don't have a concern over a lack of responsibility on the student's part that would require a special designation.  Also, if the work is late, you can take care of any penalties to a score via the rubric you've used to grade.

If anyone has any other work arounds to this, I'm all ears!

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @josh_langston ​, my recommendation for right now is to attach (upload) the audio/video submission for each student to their assignment in Speedgrader. It won't show up as the student submitting it, but the student will have access to it and be able to view it as well as any of your other feedback for that specific assignment. Hope this helps!


Community Novice

Rationale for this feature: I support this feature strongly, because, as an example, this very minute, I have a student who cannot upload his paper to Canvas (the upload button won't appear, only the download button). I'm at a loss as to why he cannot. He seems to have done everything right and tried "everything" (and I've tried too): 1. his paper is on time; 2. he has tried different browsers; 3. he has logged out and logged back in; 4. he has successfully uploaded papers in the past; 5. he's gone to the Team Support we have on campus; and 6. he's asked other people in the class how THEY did it. Sometimes there's a glitch maybe---and, if and when that happens,  I'd like to be able to submit on this student's behalf for both his sake and mine, so he can go on and I can use Canvas's tools for grading, recording, and providing feedback. Thank you.

Community Novice

Oh, I didn't know that part about the file attachment! Thank you! That will be a good solution in the meantime....

Community Novice

This is a feature I would use regularly for students who have technical difficulties (as described above) in uploading their work and submit via email instead. I also often have students who wish to resubmit an assignment for various reasons (before it is graded), and though there is supposedly a re-submit feature, they are unable to do so. A manual submission on their behalf would save me time in having to go in and delete their erroneous submissions so they can re-submit. I know there are various work-arounds to put the assignments through TurnItIn manually and add comments in the text box instead of through speedgrader, but all of these take extra time, which I don't have much of when I'm grading 100+ essays. Please add this feature! Thanks!

Community Contributor

This feature would be very welcome! We have faculty who use availability dates to control hard deadlines, but also want to accept work from students with valid reasons for submitting late. In courses with TAs to help with grading, that usually means they need to have the assignment submitted to Canvas so it appears in SpeedGrader. On request, our Canvas support team will submit on behalf of students by masquerading, but giving faculty the ability to submit directly on behalf of students would be much simpler!