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

I am a teacher and also a parent so I can see both sides when DocViewer is used to leave feedback.

It would be nice to have a way for students to view their submission history so that they are able to see annotations made in DocViewer for ANY and ALL of their submissions. As it is now, as soon as they resubmit any assignment, the comments on the previous submission are no longer available so the teacher needs to then re-annotate and give feedback again. This makes it almost useless for a teacher to even use DocViewer to leave feedback because it is gone the minute the student resubmits the assignment.

Community Explorer

@kona I recently had a student not implement several of my suggestions on the first submission. When I asked the student to go back to see my notations on her original submission, I thought she was just trying to dodge work when she said she couldn't see them! After several back and forth emails - all of which felt like a "Who's on first?" routine - I finally had the student do a Webex with me so they could share their screen. No words to describe my surprise that the student could in fact NOT see those original comments! An even bigger surprise was to see that you posted this in 2015 and that a solution still does not exist outside of using the app. (I did like your 2018 suggestion to download the comments and send back to the student as a submission comment - thank you for that!)

I just gave it a 5-star rating, but do you have a sense of how many ratings it takes to move this to the next phase of product development? I was rating #59 (avg. rating of 4.966).

Community Explorer

SOOOOOO.... it's been SIX YEARS and this still has not been fixed? It is the most basic feature of an LMS! Students need to see their past submissions and their teachers' annotations in order to learn! WOW! Canvas LMS SUCKS!

Community Novice

When students upload a new version of an assignment they can no longer access their previous feedback. It would be very useful from a teaching, learning and reflection point of view for students to be able to see all of the documents that have been annotated by their tutors.

Community Member

Has there been any progress on this feature request? 

It seems like this is an essential feature that would benefit countless instructors. Perhaps it would be possible to tweak the code so that the student view could mimic the instructor view in the DocViewer? Thanks so much and please advise.

Community Member

It is frustrating for students to have to start all over with a new student annotation to edit an assignment. They should be able to edit their original. 


Community Novice

As a student I cannot see previous submissions of documents in Canvas. This is not very good for credibility for either student or teacher.

Community Member

Currently when students resubmit an assignment, they can no longer see the previous version OR any of the feedback.  This is difficult in writing classes when students submit multiple drafts and the teachers make annotations with suggestions for edits. 

The teachers can still see the feedback (in this case, annotated the student submission), but in order for the student to see it, the teacher has to download it and email it to the students.  

Please consider adding the ability for students to see previous versions of assignments AND the teacher feedback.  I've talked to Canvas tech support and I am told this is not currently available.  

Community Contributor

@Melissa1276 Exactly! This is such an essential part of the writing process, and it's practically being nullified because a feature is missing in student view!

And then there's the fact that it is not obvious that the access is different (i.e. that teachers can see previous feedback, but the student can't). It's not mentioned anywhere, so some of my colleagues didn't even know about this until someone (either a colleague or a student) pointed it out. It is so frustrating!

One of my colleagues suggested that it might be even better if students could not just see past submissions with feedback, but also open two submissions for a task side by side. That way, they would be able to really compare any feedback on the first and second versions of an essay.

Community Novice

This is definitely needed.  Otherwise students lose the feedback on earlier drafts, or on comments faculty made to files that were in an earlier submission.  The instructor then has to do the work to make these accessible by downloading, then uploading the file back into the Speedgrader.