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Community Contributor

Can I Grant A Student Access To A Published Assignment In An Unpublished Module?

Hi, everyone,

More and more each semester I'm being asked by students, who are facing various life challenges, to make certain assignments available to them in advance of their release date for the class.

All of my assignments are published, but they all appear in weekly modules which are unpublished until the stated release date.

What I'd LIKE to do is make an assignment available to a single student by adding that student to the assignment's release information, entering an earlier release date for the student, and having the student click on the assignment on the Syllabus page where it's listed.

But that doesn't seem to work since the published assignment also appears in an unpublished module, and I THINK the module has to be published, or the assignment removed from the module (temporarily), for the student to access it.

Publishing the module in advance, though, simply confuses other students, and removing assignments and then moving them back into the module is fraught with danger (i.e., I forget a lot!).

Any suggestions?


7 Replies
Community Champion

 @barnettda ,

Here's one way you can do this.

  1. Create and publish a module with some name like Ignore this moduleSpecial Requests, or Advanced Access to Assignments.
  2. Add the assignment to that module as well.

An assignment may be in multiple modules. It is available to the student if it is available in any of the modules that contain it, even thought it may be locked in another.

Another benefit is that the students could click on the module and access the assignment there, rather than going through the Syllabus page.

If your goal is merely to keep the clutter down and lock the modules rather than using available from dates on the assignments themselves, then you could put all of the assignments into that module. Then anyone could go in and start working on them early and you wouldn't have to handle the special requests or the differentiated assignments. If you don't want the majority of the students to even see the assignment, then you would need to use the differentiated assignments to set the availability date.

Community Champion

Just to clarify though  @James ‌ - there would be no way to restrict that special access to only the student who needed the access, right? Wouldn't any students be able to access it?

Community Champion


Depends what you mean by restrict access.

The very last sentence was "If you don't want the majority of the students to even see the assignment, then you would need to use the differentiated assignments to set the availability date."

What I meant by that is that any student would be able to see the module and would be able to see that there is an assignment. However, you can limit who can access it by setting up differentiated assignments for just those students who want early access and setting the available from field. You can leave off the available from for those special needs students date and then set the available from to be the time when it should open for Everyone Else.

The majority of the students will see that it's there, but they would get the message telling them they cannot access the assignment. Only those who had the differentiated assignments would be able to access it early.

Community Contributor

Hi,  @warewolfjj ‌,

Thanks for your help!

The key, I think, comes in knowing that the same published assignment can be in multiple modules, and if ONE module is published or unlocked it potentially becomes available to students (even though other modules containing the assignment are unpublished or locked).

A lot of food for thought, here.



Community Champion

Dan, we provide a link for our students to get to a published assignment.  It is NOT in a module.  It has worked so far.  As long as the student in enrolled in the course and is given the direct link, they should be able to access it.

Community Champion


Interesting approach. The assignment with the list can be in the module, much like a page with assignments could be. It loses the benefit of having the assignments appear in the module and thus "in your face" as opposed to buried somewhere, but it would solve the issue of letting some people have access and keeping it from others.

It sounds like a good use case for a non-graded assignment -- is that how you're treating it?

Community Champion

 @James  , I'm writing courses for struggling students.  It is our belief that if these struggling students see ALL of the pages and assignments that are in a module, they'll decide to quit before even trying.  So we developed a module with 2 items in it.


The first quiz just asks the students if they understand the procedures and how to improve their grades.  (We tried to make this a Mastery Path, but that's not possible if you want to keep the pages and assignments out to lower the frustration.)

We then made buttons that we link the pages or assessments to.  A green arrow means an assignment of some kind -- quiz, discussion included.  The other buttons give the students the other options.


This particular standard has 9 pages and 5 assessments.  That would definitely overwhelm a struggling student.  However, once they get into the course, nothing is hidden.