Mute by Section

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

@THIS has been submitted before  Patricia Tentoni Iva Lovell

Situation:  Multiple sections of one course with varying due dates each week.

If I mute the assignment and grade each section as assignments come in each day, then unmute at the end of the week, students in the Monday section don't see their grades until Saturday.

I'd like to mute each section as I evaluate and unmute when those grades are complete.

Too much delay for students with sections early in the week before they receive feedback on their assignments.

Thank you for considering!

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the .

Community Participant

Great idea to be able to mute assessment by section, ideally, we (University of Canberra), would like to be able to Mute Assessment by Individual students as we once could with our previous LMS.

Community Novice

I agree! You might have already seen it, but I thought I'd share an idea re muting/unmuting an individual student's assignment that's already been proposed and is open for voting if you are interested:

Fingers crossed!

Community Participant

Thanks Jacquie, another vote for progress done 🙂

Community Novice

I wish to add the same comment as others as to the need for mute/unmute for sections.  All reasons have been listed previously.  As a new user to Canvas, I muted an assignment, graded some of the students' work, then unmuted because I wanted the first groups I finished to have the feedback.  My email lit up like a Christmas tree from students that were wondering if there was a problem with Canvas, because they did not have a grade entered.  I learned through this experience that every time we mute/unmute, all students get a notification that a grading assignment is unmuted so the students look for their grades.  If I was to mute/unmute often as I was grading an extensive assignment, students would constantly be getting the notification, and look for a grade.  Please fix this issue! Thanks.

Community Contributor

Hi Renee

I've scrolled over this bit a few times and have finally decided to stick my head above the parapet on this one.

I understand your reply in the context of the community guidelines and note your advice on the feature idea process (thanks). Whilst Daniel's words were not what you expected - from wider conversations I've been involved in - I sense they reflect a broader frustration with important parts of the platform, which inevitably will get expressed at some point. Perhaps that underlying raw pain needs to be heard by Instructure - rather than a filtered and anaemic version of it?

This is a perfect example of those frustrations - in that it relates to a mission or workflow critical feature that to most users should have been there in the first place - and has caused hours of misery and extra work for us, and confusion amongst students because it wasn't. Moreover, the years of voting and commenting on features requests like this seem to achieve little traction in getting them developed (thus exacerbating an already deeply frustrating situation).

Instead, we seem to get 'new' features or products released - cynically referred to as the 'shiny, shiny' (read: ooh, isn't that pretty!).  Maybe what we need is less 'shiny, shiny' and more robust fixes for the incomplete features that were released (probably as a 'shiny, shiny')?

Community Team
Community Team


I really do appreciate your thoughtful response here.  We honestly have no problem with community members sharing frustrations, disagreement, etc. as long as it is done in a civil way.  We want to have conversations about these things and we'd rather do them in the open like we are.  A feedback process that sits behind logins and doesn't allow public viewing/commenting is much easier to manage, but we have no interest in the 'easy way'.  So, thank you for sharing your very important feedback in such a civil way.  We're all humans in here - no automation!

I personally agree with a lot of your statements.  Before coming to work for Instructure I was an admin at a college.  I know how important it is to have a strong core.  And now I also know how complex it can be to make 'simple changes' (simple is a perception)!

I am pretty confident that over this next year we'll see more of the core workflow features advance.  We're already starting to see this on the Canvas Studio with some strong work occurring in Assignments and Commons specifically.  Things can change, but my opinion right now is that we're headed in the right direction.

So again, I appreciate this conversation and the way you approached it.   


Hi James,

I just wanted to add that 1. I agree with everything Renee said about transparency and the importance we put on the feedback we get here in the community.  I can assure you it gets read and considered and not just blown off.  2. Whether to build new features that feedback through Support, Sales, field interview, feature voting, etc tells us that at least some portion of people really want vs spending time on building out a stronger core and making better workflows for processes that are important to almost everyone is a constant balancing act.  3. I share Renee's general opinion and feeling of confidence that over the coming year we will see good progress on the latter.

Thanks for your input and for sticking your head "above the parapet" (cool phrase).

Community Contributor

Thank you for your thoughtful diplomatic intervention.

Community Explorer

Thank you for your comments, James. As a relatively new Canvas user, I am astonished by some of its limitations as well as what it seems to require to get them addressed. It lacks basic features - like the capability to publish graded work one section or student at a time - already standard in other platforms. Using Canvas sometimes feels like I've traveled back in time and become trapped there.

Worth noting here is that often administrators far-removed from instruction make LMS platform decisions without knowing or even caring about online/hybrid best practices. Many of us are not directly involved in that decision-making process, and those who are may not be able to counter the compelling draw of the lowest bidder. If there's anything worse than software engineers who are completely oblivious to end-users' existence, it's educational administrators who are aware of our existence, just completely indifferent to our suffering.

So I feel compelled to validate Daniel's frustration. If some of us seem mildly abrasive, perhaps it's because we were powerless to influence product/feature selection even though we will be the ones using them. Perhaps it's because we feel powerless to avoid being held accountable for substandard features on our course evaluations, or perhaps it's because we are likely to feel that undue accountability for many semesters to come. Perhaps it's because instead of recognizing certain capabilities have become industry standards (like automotive features), Canvas continues to require end-users to burn their time reading, voting and posting in multiple online forums to request them -- in a tedious process that appears to take several years. 

Unadulterated civility is a lot to ask of end-users who were not allowed to play a significant role in the actual purchasing decision, but are being forced to endure the subsequent functional and developmental limitations. In my view, Daniel's post showed restraint.

Community Contributor

Hi Mary Jae,

Thanks for your comments here.

In my own way, I was hoping that I was validating the emotions felt - whilst recognising that the community has guidelines. I've had many moments when I've been crippled inside because Canvas doesn't do what is needed.  So whilst Instructure do need to hear this (and perhaps a specific opportunity to  'get it out' may be useful - cathartic even?), directing it here at the community managers seems a bit like ranting at a store worker who is only implementing company policy?

I do want to be clear though, I really do share the root frustrations, as do most in my sector (the UK), and I believe do many in our associated sector (EMEA). 

I think it's fair to say that what we believe is needed is an LMS 101 - something that can truly support Learning, Teaching and Assessment.  It seems Canvas does pretty well at the Learning and Teaching but really needs expedient growth in Assessment - but not outward with more and more 'shiny shiny' - rather inward with structural, systemic, and automated features (i.e. programmatically configured via the API), that allow for proper data protection, management and control of students and their assessments, at scale, and in line with core LMS standards and practices. 

Unfortunately, assessment is currently a blunt and inconsistent instrument. Features seem to sit at macro (e.g. assignment) level - although many assessment processes happen beneath that (e.g. differentiated due date, marking/grading groups, marker, moderator, & external examiners allocation)

The UK sector has been researching and specifying the basic requirements of Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA) in an LMS for some years - one of the most relevant projects was through an organisation called JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee). I was a member of their EMA working group, which included representation from over 30 universities and consultation with UCISA (Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association). We developed a specification which is available online, is this wildly different to your needs?