Student view: View submissions and comments for all submissions

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

Right now students can only view their most recently added submission to an assignment. This means that all previous submissions to the assignment are not available to students, including feedback that the instructors have provided. This is a big problem because students are losing critical information that could help promote learning and understanding.We need to eliminate this lossylearning problem and make all assignment submissions visible to students!
Community Member

Hello. I have been using Canvas all semester and only just now learned that students can not view my original comments when they resubmit.

Frankly, I couldn't believe it.

If instructors are allowed to few all the versions and comments, students absolutely should be able to do so as well. I actually don't think I need to provide more justification than that. This seems obvious.


Community Novice

I set up a weekly assignment as a no due assignment, and I have let the students to submit the documents as a new submission. Until the end of semester, I did not know the students does not have the access to the older files. What a system. So disappointing. I agree this function is very much needed!

Community Member

Not enough time to present a new argument for this feature, but it also feels redundant at this point. 

Ditto to all the previous arguments in favor of this feature. This is especially important now when many of us still don't physically meet with students - and may not for the foreseeable future. 

This is a 5+-year-long conversation with hundreds of YAY votes for a common sense feature? C'mon Canvas - the people have spoken!


Community Contributor

I just explained the possible workarounds to a faculty member and realized how bizarre the workaround behaviors are. I used to teach writing, and I just...worked around this odd, choice that limits transparency and opportunity to learn. 

It looks like this may be solved in the Assignment Enhancements feature option, though. 

Can anyone chime in on this? Just going based on the Guides: 

Community Member

Yes I agree 100% and this is very confusing and frustrating for students (and faculty supporting them):

When students submit multiple items for an assignment...

Students who need/want to submit multiple files have a strange view whereby their original submission is no longer visible to them.  If they don't submit all files at once, it appears to disappear and they end up submitting over and over again.

Community Participant

Why is "Assignment Enhancements" a buried feature? This is something we really need. 

But, first of all, it is clumsy to use. I just did some back and forth testing. Maybe it's just a simple matter of getting used to it. Also, it seems to turn the "View Feedback" link into a download link, in which case a student WON'T see the feedback, they're going to see their submission. 

Second, this needs to become part of the Canvas standard. There's no reason to have to enable an enhanced feature to allow students to see feedback (and rubric comments) on previous submissions. 

Community Member

I totally agree! Please allow students to see all submissions! It's frustrating to provide feedback to students that they cannot even access! 

Community Novice

How has this been an identified problem for 5 years (going on 6) and has not been fixed?? Students must be able to see ALL submissions, both for their own feedback and for peer evaluations.  This is ridiculous that it's taken so long, and hasn't been implemented.

Community Member

If anyone at Instructure wants to pretend that the "idea" submission and voting process works, this example shows it DOES NOT.  I don't think there's been a single response from Instructure explaining why it's so difficult to add a pull-down box so that students can see what instructors already can see.  Highly unlikely it's a technical issue. 

This single glaring flaw would be enough on its own--much less as an example of how much Instructure cares about the core functionality of its product--for me to advise any institution to look elsewhere when shopping for an LMS.  There are other problems (rubrics, for one) but this one issue tops the cake!  

Somebody at Instructure, PLEASE, read these years of comments (we can't vote on it anymore so we just keep throwing these comments out into the wind) and tell us why this is still an issue.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thanks to everyone for contributing to this conversation. If your school has adopted Student Assignment Enhancements (still a beta feature at this writing), students can view all of their submissions for an assignment, as detailed in How do I know when my assignment has been submitte...  

Additional details about the project are in the Student Assignment Enhancements Group