[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

The comment previous to mine links to a thread in which the development team pledges to add and test the proposed feature. User-centered design starts with observing how potential clients do their job, along with interviews about users' perceptions of how they do their work. I see that one user has been hacking Canvas code in order to customize it to what he needs. 


It might help future LMS designers for individual instructors to upload a video of ourselves at work with course design, including grading. For example, teachers suspend a timed assignment when there is a fire drill. I wonder if anyone else frequently goes into the raw html to re-format the text display.  Observational fieldwork is the heart of resilient design. Without that step--as mentioned by the development team--there are delays caused by testing how the proposed feature will impact the rest of the code.

Community Member

Also helpful would be a video from Canvas or a user in which there is a work-around, such as setting the assignment to accept a link to an external document and having the student copy and paste their work into that document.

Community Explorer

And if someone makes a video ... please, please include the element of extending permissions for all viewers with the link as I have so many students submit Google or Office Docs that I can see they submitted, but cannot access causing delays and additional confusion.

Community Participant

I am glad to see Canvas is moving forward to incorporate this feature, so long overdue and so devoutly ignored by Instructure.

Please, make this happen quickly.  I'm aware of the post saying it's not so simple, but from the user side, it is in fact a simple, obvious, and needed feature. Sometimes, that needs to be the guide.  I run into this issue multiple times in every course every semester.  When I think of the hours of work from users and students this omission of an obvious feature has caused, my frustration and irritation soar. 

Instructure has externalized the costs of this problem by leaving users to create awkward and time-consuming workarounds. It is now time for the company to acknowledge those costs as its own and to devote as many resources as required to get this obvious feature up and working ASAP. The costs to users are far greater than they are to Instructure, particularly when multiplied by the number of years people have been imploring developers to fix the problem.  In the interests of efficiency alone, not to mention sensitivity to its customers, Instructure needs to make this a top priority.

Community Novice

Yes. A thousand times: yes. That would be fantastic.

Community Member

Yes.  Good idea.

Community Member

PLEASE do this!

I have been putting students' assignments submitted via email in comments (because students are having problems submitting assignments to Canvas!!!). Doing this means I can easily access them, and the students also have a record.

But I cannot use Speedgrader to comment on submissions I've pasted in comments, so I am back to printing out hard copies and commenting that way.

If I could just upload a submission on behalf of a student, this problem would go away. 

Community Novice

I'm not sure how to upvote on this platform, but please please add this feature


Hi, all! As promised in my message in which I shared we would be taking this on, I am back with a quick update. We've completed our prototype and are currently working on the technical planning to fully scope the work and create the tickets to track the engineering work. As we make additional progress, I'll be back with another update. 

Community Explorer

This is an obvious feature that needs to be included and shouldn’t be difficult to do. Turnitin has this. Moodle has this.