Missing Label Placed Incorrectly/Submission on paper and online option

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

When the Missing Label was created it caused a lot of issues for me because I was teaching a distance education class and so I had many of my students submit assignments online but several that were at the same location as I was submitted them in class (paper copy). On canvas I could only select one(online) or the other(paper copy) not both, so all the students that had turned in all their assignments in class and not submitted them online had all their assignments show up as missing, even though I had entered a grade for them.

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-10-07) 

Community Team
Community Team

 @shantel_black ‌

The fact that you had entered grades for the assignments that showed up as missing for students prompts me to ask you if you submitted this as a support case when it happened?

Community Novice

Yes I did. They told me it read because I had put the assignment as an online submission so any student who did not submit something online (in class instead) would have out shot up as missing. The issue is I can't select they can do both and if I put on paper submission students can't submit online. The issue is that this update came about when my course was almost over so almost every assignment showed as missing for some students ask the sudden in one day, when their assignments had been graded and had scores for weeks ask because I put that the assignment was AC online submission and some students turned it in in class. The support people told me to create groups (but I had already done groups by where they were located) or have students go back to every assignment (more than 50 for some) and submit a sentence or something so it wouldn't show missing anymore. She they could do that but how tedious, and then they world shore up as late . Since they couldn't do that because they were closed so I would have to go reopen all the assignments for them to do that again so tedious and still not a solution just a way around it. They said that this was all they could do for me and said to submit the idea of a change on the community.

Shantel Spatig

Community Team
Community Team

 @shantel_black ‌

My apologies.  I was reading your feature idea incorrectly, and had the fix we implemented for on paper submissions fresh in my mind.

Yes, this is in fact functioning as designed, so a feature idea is the correct channel.  Thank you for sticking this out with me!

As the feature is designed now the missing tag will always appear, even if there is grade entered, because there is no actual submission received through Canvas.  Supports suggestion of using groups for different submission types is a very good workaround. 

Community Champion

It seems like the best way to solve this issue would be to implement https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1124-submit-an-assignment-on-behalf-of-a-student?sr=search&sea...‌, since it would then be possible for all students to have a submission in Canvas even if they turned it in during class.

In the meantime, I think the easiest workaround for an individual instructor would be to tell students who submit in class to also turn in something to the Canvas assignment that simply says "completed in class" or "turned in on paper". 

Since some teachers in k-12 give point values other than zero for missing assignments (I've seen policies of 30% or even 50% for missing assignments in various buildings), the current implementation (where "missing" is not removed when a score is put in) is helpful for those situations. 

Community Explorer

This may help some, but it causes problems for a much larger number of teachers than it will help. There needs to be a way for the instructor to turn this label off when it is manually graded.

Community Novice

This is a major problem for me too. Even though I've made multiple announcements to ignore the missing assignment alert on Canvas because they have the option of either turning in the assignment online or on paper, I've already received at least 6 emails from students asking why things show they are missing even when they have a grade for it in the gradebook. We're in the 3rd week of semester, and it's really annoying.

Community Member

#Missing Assignments #Late Assignments #gradebook enhancements


We have students with special education Individualized Learning Plans that we are required by federal law to follow.  Some of these students get extended time to complete assignments.  Some students get paper copies and opportunities for paper submission, or read-aloud accommodations.  Some students have a scribe who hand writes the student responses on exams. 


The extra layer of complication is the grade pass back from Canvas to Skyward.  We are trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.  We can’t assign a quiz or assignment to just a handful of students for one date, and then Everyone else for another.  It breaks the grade pass back.


As one Canvas Tier 1 suggested, we actually can’t put all the special education students in one section in Skyward and have that populate a separate enrollment course for Canvas.  Our schedule information is sent to our state information reporting, which generates reports and funding for our schools to meet state requirements.  There are many intricate pieces to the State Reporting from Student Information Systems.


Another Canvas Tier 1 suggested that we have teachers change every assignment to No Submission or On Paper.  This means teachers could no longer use Canvas functions such a quizzes or SpeedGrader/Doc viewer.  This is not a reasonable solution.


I understand that for someone who is not seeing these students every day that this seems like a small or insignificant request.  However, it is deflating for students who are already identified as struggling with learning to continually have MISSING or LATE greet them when they are able to log in to Canvas, or even worse, their parents log in to Canvas.  It’s just a poor way to keep our families engaged in learning and using Canvas.  We have teachers who are taking paper submissions from our special needs students who could not submit online.  The grades entered by the teacher will not remove the Missing tag.

We are struggling with how this makes sense for kids.

Community Explorer

This is an issue for me also.  It was suggested that I either make two copies of each assignment, and then the students would only submit under the correct one.  This is obviously confusing to the students.

Also, it is obviously confusing to students for them to see a missing assignment label even if they have been told to ignore it.  Which means it isn't effective anyway.

Please fix this as soon as possible.  It is really a significant issue.

Community Participant

If Canvas can recognize the submitted file and turn off the "missing" label, it can be programed to react the same way to the posted grade. The grade should turn off the "missing" status.

Community Champion

Some teachers use "balanced grading" where missing assignments are not treated as zero (I've seen policies of 30% or 50%). These teachers need a way to mark assignments as "missing" even with a non-zero grade entered.

It seems to me that what we really need is an "MI" mark for missing that can be tweaked to different values according to class policies rather than an automated "missing" status with no way for teachers to adjust it. Other gradebook software I've used has had this. Alternately, a way to manually apply and remove the missing status separately than the gradebook score would be helpful.