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Community Contributor

Recurring Assignment that Builds on Itself

 I'm working with a non-profit who has a Financial Literacy course that is taught in Texas public schools via Canvas. We have a number of assignments which require frequent editing. 

For example, there is a "vision essay" that comes up every unit. It's not a recurring assignment in the traditional sense because in this assignment students are editing the work they did in the previous unit based on the things they've learned in the lesson. 

Right now these are all being done in word documents, which has proven itself to be a huge mess for various reasons, students sharing computers, not having enough experience managing files on a PC, in a cloud drive, etc. 

Is there a native canvas solution for assignments like this or does anyone have an idea for a workaround? 

8 Replies
Community Contributor

Have you thought about using the collaboration tool? or an app like Titian Pad?

Dr. John Boekenoogen

University of Oklahoma

Community Contributor

How would that work? 

Community Contributor

Titian Pad would allow for multiple people to work on one document at once with track changes. It is so much cleaner than Word. Same with the collaboration tool. You use for example a Google Doc that would allow for changes and track them. 

I would recommend adding these items to a Sandbox and play to see if they will meet your needs. I will keep thinking about other tools or apps that Canvas has or has access to and see if anything else might work.

Community Member

Would the Canvas collaboration tool work or create a google cloud assignment?

Community Contributor

These all sound like great ideas except none of them are collaborative assignments. These things are all assigned individually. 


Canvas Collaborations are collaborative!

Learn more at 

I hope this is helpful,


New Member

We are using discussion threads for a similar approach. To give weight to the belief that all future learning is based upon the background knowledge and schema a student comes into a class with, we utilize discussions very early on in a module (or semester) to cement/record the early understandings/preconceptions regarding a concept.

The real value comes when, after subsequent learning experiences, we have students return to the original thread and reply to themselves about how their understanding and thinking has changed as a result of their educational experiences. This ability to track conceptual change over time is an instructional gold mine. It equates to a really focused reflection of independent learning and mastery of a topic.

But here is the problem: because of the nature of the beast, we are not notified of these "reposts" in Canvas because the assignment is "completed" after the initial post. This obviously requires the teacher to be diligent about monitoring and participating in the discussion. That is certainly an expectation of mine to begin with, but it would be really nice to be able to automate the notification in some way. Is there something I am overlooking? Any ideas?


Community Contributor

This is exactly the type of thing we are looking for. But I do agree completely that not having the instructors notified about updates is a challenge, especially as a creator of online content, many times the teacher doesn't know 'everything' in the package, and to have four or five assignments that a teacher has to stay on top of, when this is brand new material can be cumbersome.