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hodsagi
Community Participant

Annotation tools not available in SpeedGrader

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I am trying to annotate essays in SpeedGrader, and to my greatest surprise the annotation tool icons that should be available in the top are not available for some submissions while they are there for others, even within the same assignment.

All students submitted the same file types (docx documents), which could not have been any other way given that it was a Google Drive-based assignment.

Attached are two screenshots, one with the annotation tools available and one without. Has anyone come across something like this before?

2 Solutions

Accepted Solutions

Great.  Thanks for the update  @hodsagi !

So for I have heard/seen that the annotation toolbar doesn't appear for text entry, and in the comments here, Speedgrader Tools not showing , some folks suggested that if peer reviews are turned on or the peer reviews were anonymous that may cause a similar issue.  It would be nice to continue learning what may trigger this tools to disapear so it isn't such a mystery when it occurs!

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hodsagi
Community Participant

Deactivated user, tross. An update from Canvas support. If an instructor is enrolled to the course as an observer as well, it interferes with their permissions as an instructor. This is why we saw the intriguing difference between students: where the instructor is also an observer of that particular student, annotation tools do not show, while they appear normally for all the other students. I understand this to be a bug, but I haven't received any information from support on whether they are working on a fix.

I am not sure how often do institutions use the observer role for faculty, but we certainly do. Each student is assigned to a mentor, who supervises their academic progress and therefore should be able to monitor how their mentee is doing in each course. The observer role is just perfect for this purpose. As some of our mentors are instructors at the same time, they may as well have their mentee in their class, in which case the above interference between the instructor and observer roles will be a major issue for us. I'd be interested in hearing in your impressions.

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19 Replies
tross
Community Champion

Is it possible that the student did a file upload to their google drive and submitted something they didn't create as a doc file?

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @hodsagi .  I remembered a recent question that mentioned something similar.

https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/20664-annotations-toolbar-suddenly-not-appearing-in-speedgrad... 

If the idea trossindicated doesn't end up being the cause of the problem, it might be worth trying in a different web browser and contacting Canvas Support to see if they have any insight into what could be happening.  If you discover something that fixes the issue, please let us know!

hodsagi
Community Participant

Thanks for the suggestions. tross, I am not sure if I understand what you mean. I set up the assignment as a could-based assignment using Google Drive, giving students a template Google Doc. My understanding is that the assignment tool creates an individual copy for each student, each copy being a separate Google Doc, which they can work on and submit later. This Google Doc however I believe is converted into a docx by Canvas after submission, at least on the instructor side I can see docx files.

 ericwerth, I checked the referred discussion and I am afraid it isn't applicable as these were not text-entry assignments.

I submitted a ticket to Canvas support and will keep you posted.  

Great.  Thanks for the update  @hodsagi !

So for I have heard/seen that the annotation toolbar doesn't appear for text entry, and in the comments here, Speedgrader Tools not showing , some folks suggested that if peer reviews are turned on or the peer reviews were anonymous that may cause a similar issue.  It would be nice to continue learning what may trigger this tools to disapear so it isn't such a mystery when it occurs!

View solution in original post

hodsagi
Community Participant

Deactivated user, tross. An update from Canvas support. If an instructor is enrolled to the course as an observer as well, it interferes with their permissions as an instructor. This is why we saw the intriguing difference between students: where the instructor is also an observer of that particular student, annotation tools do not show, while they appear normally for all the other students. I understand this to be a bug, but I haven't received any information from support on whether they are working on a fix.

I am not sure how often do institutions use the observer role for faculty, but we certainly do. Each student is assigned to a mentor, who supervises their academic progress and therefore should be able to monitor how their mentee is doing in each course. The observer role is just perfect for this purpose. As some of our mentors are instructors at the same time, they may as well have their mentee in their class, in which case the above interference between the instructor and observer roles will be a major issue for us. I'd be interested in hearing in your impressions.

View solution in original post

Hi  @hodsagi .  Thank you for update this thread.  This is great information!  I wouldn't have thought about that as an option, but guess I can see how these two permissions could interfere with one another.  It sounds as though it may be something Instructure works to fix, but since permission are at a class level, is it possible to not assign an observer role to a teacher if he/she has a mentee in class?  So they would be an observer in classes where they are not the instructor but not observers in other situations?

Thanks again for updating everyone on what you heard from Support!

hodsagi
Community Participant

Hi Eric, thanks for the suggestion. I am afraid it is not a very convenient solution, as we the global observer role for mentors, in which they are enrolled to each course they students take as observers by default. One could remove the observer roles post-enrolment from the instructors but it would be quite a painful workaround.

Alternatively, one could consider not relying on the global observer role but enrol mentors as observers to each course together with their students to each course that they their mentee is taking AND that they are not teaching. For this, we would have to amend the integration with our SIS, which might be an option but I'd rather avoid it as long as their is a way to fix it within Canvas.

cliff_cunningha
Community Contributor

I am encountering the same issue: the annotation tools in SpeedGrader do not present themselves. And, the object being graded is an uploaded file (not an "essay type question"). I am assigned "Teacher" role. I am NOT assigned "Observer".

And, this does not happen with every assignment... just this one assignment (so far).

I am experiencing this in both Chrome and Firefox.

Any thoughts/suggestions/warnings... please, let me know. It's very aggravating.

Hi  @cliff_cunningha ‌.  I agree that would be very frustrating.  You might contact Canvas support using the question mark menu in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.  They may have some insight from others they have worked with.  In some past programs I have had trouble with file names with special characters in them, but this may not be an issue here at all.  If you do contact support and hear back, please update this thread so the information can be past to others who may be experiencing something similar!