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hmrozarb
Community Contributor

Can the student to-do list be disabled?

I would like to know if it is possible to hid the to do list from the student view.  We are having an issue with some students clicking on the assignments from the to do list instead of following the order of the modules.  It would be less confusing for our middle school students to see less on the homepage of their course.  Thank you!

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35 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @hmrozarb , this isn't an option on the front end of Canvas. It might be possible on the backend with some custom global JavaScript, but that area isn't my expertise. To help with this I'm going to share this with the https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/canvas-developers?sr=search&searchId=5af56aac-cade-4913-9816-...‌ group in the Community to see if they can assist. 

don_bryn
Community Champion

I am with you,  @hmrozarb , I have to repeat SO many times each semester to look at the home page instead of the To-Do list because I have many things in the course that the students need to see or read that they skip over because they just keep looking at the due dates in the To-Do.  This would be a great feature.

 @don_bryn  

Ditto! Like you, I repeat that refrain too many times during the term, and students still don't recognize the connection between living from the To-Do list and their poor course performance.

From a fully online teacher perspective, I would hunt down the To-Do list, rip its heart out and leave it laying in a gutter if I could!  Alternately, I would love a bit of code that would hide it based on role.

Robbie_Grant
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @hmrozarb ,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.

Robbie

andrew_sheppard
Community Participant

The "To Do" list is problematic for many reasons. We need to have the ability to hide the "To Do" list. The "To Do" list is the digital equivalent of a staff member standing in a classroom door telling the students to not enter the classroom and go do their homework. We have tried countless ways to direct students to ignore the "To Do" list, but students are understandably attracted to it. The "To Do" list feature is well-intended, but does not serve students well. 

Agreed!

profcrane
Community Member

The To Do list has been a nightmare for my students. I have two different deadlines for submissions on discussion boards (one for the student's response to my prompt and one a couple of days later for their responses to classmates' postings), but the To Do list only shows the latter of the two. Similarly, I have a full credit deadline on exams and a 75% deadline a couple of days later, but the To Do list only shows the latter of the two. I would love to be able to disable the To Do list as it has caused so much confusion!!!

James
Community Champion

 @profcrane  

Sounds like you could benefit by leveraging the To Do list, rather than disabling it. A lot of people struggle with this and I've experimented with different things and finally came up with what I feel is the best solution.

Make your due date for the discussion the day the initial post should be done. This will disappear from the To Do list as soon as the students make their initial post. By making the due date the day the discussion ends, then students don't get the first date (unless they pay attention to other things you say/write) and once they complete their initial discussion, the item is gone from the To Do list and there's nothing else to remind them to go back in.

After changing the due date to the date the initial post is due, then go into the Assignments page and create an assignment for the second due date. For the description, make a note that they need to do the follow-up responses to the discussion and provide a link to the discussion. Change the "Display grade as" to "Not Graded". This will keep it from appearing in the gradebook or having a grade, but it does place it on the calendar and on the To Do list. The only way for the student to get rid of it is to X it out as having been completed. The item will show up in the To Do list with the prefix of "Complete" so I change the title to match that. "Complete Discussion 2 Response" would be called "Discussion 2 Response" as the assignment title.

I would also set the Available Until date to be the last date you want students to post, the one used in the non-graded assignment. This way, students cannot post past the time when the discussion closes.

Switching things around does not work. Putting the due date as the end date removes it from the To Do list as soon as people post, so having a non-graded reminder of the initial due date doesn't disappear when they post, so they're like "What happened? I posted that?" and the second reminder (the due date one) disappears at the same time.

I tried adding events to the calendar rather than non-graded assignments. Those show up on the calendar but not in the To Do list. My students who used the calendar were fine, but those relying on the To Do list didn't get the message and struggled. Make it a non-graded assignment so the To Do list users get the message.

On a non-related issue, I set the students to not be able to see other posts before they do their own and then disable the ability for them to edit their posts. That keeps people from putting in gibberish to see what others have done, then editing it to look like it was their original first post.

That is the best technical solution I've found. Getting students to be more responsible or work ahead of time is something that it doesn't fix. Trying to trick the students or setting due dates before the real due date doesn't work well -- mine just figured out how to figure out when it was really due and then waited until then to attempt it. Instead of making them fight Canvas, help Canvas work for them.

You can do the same thing with your other issue, but then it would show up to everyone, including those who have already done the exam. If the exam is in Canvas, then a better way would be to go into the Gradebook for that assignment and choose "message students who" and send those who haven't completed it a reminder. That way it keeps it out of those way of those good students who did it on time. You could use a differentiated assignment (too much work) to assign to just those who didn't turn it in. Or in the instructions for the second assignment, just make a note that they should ignore this reminder if they have already completed the exam.

colsen
Community Member

I, too, would like to be able to disable this function!