[Modules] Module access to specific groups, sections or students

It would be great if I could give Modules unique gating rules specific to individual students or groups or sections within the course, similar to how I can create unique assignment due dates for different students and sections.

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106 Comments
smithd
Community Novice

I would like the ability to create a module and assign to certain students, not the whole class. This would greatly ease the ability of instructors in individualize instruction for students, tailoring each child's education to what the individual student needs and nothing that is redundant.

RichardSimcoe
Community Member

Please allow limiting access to a module by student or group.  There are times when content only needs to visible to certain students in a course and placing this content into a module that is only accessible to the relevant students would be useful.

davisz
Community Member

Locking modules until a certain time is very helpful. But when two sections are in the same course, a module can be accessed by classes before they're supposed to. For example: When I lock my Math Course module until 8:30 AM, my Section 11 class can't access it until 8:30 AM. However, when 8:30 AM arrives, not only can Section 11 access the module, but so can my afternoon class, Section 12. These students try to work ahead on content I have not yet taught, and by the time they get to me in the afternoon, they've either completed all their work or become thoroughly confused for lack of instruction. Allow the time lock to be section based so that sections in the same course cannot access the module at the same time.

James
Community Champion

@davisz 

Congratulations on having students who work on things ahead of time. I'm envious. Mine frequently find the last possible moment they can turn something in and use that as the guide for when to start. Grading things that we covered two weeks ago and they forgot what we were doing may be worse than grading things people did before they were supposed to.

But I understand the pain. I do things differently than 99% of the textbooks or online videos, so students really need to hear what I have to say before they try to complete the work or it's going to be done wrong and then I'm going to spend lots of time providing feedback that wouldn't be necessary if they just would have waited.

Running multiple sections within the same course presents inconveniences like this. Some of those have been addressed over time and you can now specify that students in one section can only see students in their own section. Other issues still remain, especially discussions.

You want the best of both ways of organizing courses and sections. You want the benefits of having separate sections so you can have different times, but without the hassle of having to maintain two copies of things. Unfortunately, Canvas doesn't deliver the best of both worlds in every situation.

There is potentially a work-around, though. It's not super-convenient, but it can be used when you have multiple sections combined into a single course. It only works if the first module item is an assignments or quiz, it doesn't work if you start off with discussions or content pages (although I provide a technique that will in second paragraph after this one.

Canvas allows you to set the availability on assignments and you can differentiate assignments by section. That means that you could go into the first assignment in the module and set the "available from" date for the first section to open at 8:30 am and the available from date for the second section to open at the starting time for that section. You could do it for every assignment, but students are likely to stop if they cannot get into the first assignment.

Another option is to create a transition module to use as a prerequisite for the module you want to not expose until a certain date and time. That module could hold one assignment that uses differentiated assignments (as described above) to set the date and time that it could open. You could use it as a transition from one module to the next and perhaps even use it as a quick check. For example, you could make a text-entry assignment that asks "Is there anything about the section we're leaving that you still have questions about?" Submission of that assignment is a requirement for the transition module and then the transition module is a prerequisite of the real module. It could also be an honor statement that you have them agree to before they start a module, just to remind them what the honor code for the course is. To me, this adds extra complexity, but getting feedback from students is a good thing.

What I find is that communication is the best solution. I put into the assignments that you will need the material from class to complete this assignment. I also tell them that at the beginning of the semester, but seeing "We will work on this in class" or some other notification at the top of the assignment does a pretty good job of keeping students from working on it ahead of time. Also knowing that I take points off when they don't follow directions might help with them following the directions.

Students needing to come to class to get the directions wasn't the case last semester. Last semester, all of my projects had detailed notes and videos about how to complete them because I had developed them when we went online for COVID. In class, I lectured (different examples than the videos, but the same content) and let them do the projects at home since we had detailed instructions. The result was that I had a terrible time getting students to come to class because everything we were doing in class was online as well. This semester, I purposefully left details out of the classroom activities so that they had to come to get the content. I left all the lecture videos and quizzes online so they could do that outside of class, but I wanted the class time to actually be meaningful and beneficial to the students. Attendance has been great this semester, maybe even better than it was pre-COVID. Of course, your circumstances may be completely different.

tricon
Community Member

It would be helpful to have the ability to set different module lock dates, prerequisites, and requirements for select students and sections in a given course. I would suggest these new options be made available under the 'Edit Module Settings' options:

EditModuleSettings.png

And perhaps it would also be beneficial to mimic the existing 'Edit Assignment Settings' options for consistency? Something like the 'Assign' policy?

EditAssignmentSettings.png

TracyYarchi
Community Member

I'm creating training for for different groups of professional staff with different needs at the college level.  I would like to have a unique section or even individual modules that only certain groups could access.  So group A would only have access to section or module A and group B would only have access to section or module B, etc. Maybe I missed an earlier comment that addresses this?

AndrewDwyer
Community Explorer

We have a real need for this feature. Within out VET courses where learners have to choose X amount of electives from a sometimes comprehensive list, with this feature we can allocate modules to students based on what they enrolled in, and eliminate the risk of them potentially completing something they don't need to

CASEYSHUFELT
Community Novice

I like having all my classes on one canvas, but sometimes that means I need different modules for each section. The settings exist for this everywhere else except the modules page. I don't want my students to have to scroll through other empty modules to get to theirs, it just muddies things up.

stijn_castel
Community Explorer

I'd like to have the opportunity to set a module as a sort of assignment.

I often need my students to complete a whole module. Instead of setting a deadline for every assignment in the module, I'd like to set one deadline for the whole module. It would be nice if my students could see the deadline of the module in their calender and if I could see which students have completed the module in my gradebook.

BarbaraBesal
Community Member

Upvote. Several teachers at my school have asked if its possible to assign a module to individuals or a small group. Sounds like a feature they would find useful.