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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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Community Contributor

 @James ‌ - I appreciate your guidance on how to deal with the multiple dates for discussion responses, those were very useful.

However, we still need a way to manage what is available from our courses on the to-do list. Any ideas posted for this? I'm not sure what it would look like, though. From the student POV, I see the importance of having such a list. I see the convenience of having items in the list link directly to the item; assignments, discussion, etc. Perhaps some logic that determines if the item lives within a module and then have the link take students to the module instead of the item? Any other brainstorms?

Community Champion

 @aaron_bahmer ,

I'm sure other people will have suggestions, but my current method is to put the instructions on a separate page than in the assignment itself. If a student goes to the assignment page because they've clicked on a To Do list item, it doesn't provide them with any guidance about what to turn in. It normally has exactly one sentence that says "Read the Instructions to assignment name before submitting this assignment." The "Instructions to assignment name" is a link to the instruction page. The instruction page has a link at the top that takes them back to the assignment as well as all of the information they need to complete the assignment.

I also did that with quizzes where I used to have all the resources listed at the top of the quiz, but found that student's weren't reading them. Now I have a page called "Study Guide for Quiz 1.6 Categorical Data" to go along with "Quiz 1.6 Categorical Data". The study guide has a more organized format than what I had in the quiz and it also has links to videos and other things they should watch. When a student misses a question because they didn't give the right number of decimal places, I asked them if they read and took notes on the study guide before taking the quiz. Of course, I knew the answer ahead of time, because it would have told them on the study guide how the answers were supposed to be entered.

I didn't start this process with an intent to force students to jump through hurdles. It came about for a couple of reasons. One was an issue Canvas was having with really slow assignment load times if you used equations in your assignment instructions. It was acerbated by discussions because it would load it once for the assignment and once for the discussion. Doing this allowed me to put lengthier instructions without incurring the slow load penalty for them being in the discussion or the assignment description. The other reason was that I was finding a bunch of students who were skipping the instructions completely on quizzes or complaining that there was too much information in the assignment. Maybe it's a mental thing, but when it's a "page" rather than an "assignment", they seemed to be more willing to read it. In my mind, a submission is what you do after you've prepared the submission -- the last step. It should not be something that students just jump into and complete on the fly. For discussions, they're supposed to do things ahead of time and are actually hindered if they start their discussion before they upload their image to Canvas.

There are some cases where there may be better solutions, this is just where I'm at right now. Like I said, it really wasn't an issue of trying to force them to go into modules. However, if they use the To Do list and bypass the modules, I wanted an easy way for them to get to the information and then make it worthwhile for them to go there.

Community Contributor

 @James ‌,

Building a separate instruction page was my reply back to the concerned faculty member the other day. Those are great additions, adding the direct link to a) the instruction page from the assignment; and, b) to the assignment item from the instructions.

Community Contributor

Many, many thanks, Kona! Let them know that many of us don't appreciate being force fed how to manage our website and our students. When a new feature is available, Canvas has to automatically include an off button for that feature. The "To do" list is a nuisance for many teachers. Make it go away now, please.

No, I do not consider this question answered.  It has been a year.  Can the to do list now be disabled?  

Community Member

According to my app I have 1427 things on my to do list... I am a TA in many classes, not a student. I would love to do a mass delete of all 1427 ( no I am not kidding) and then disable this item within my account, as I do not need to see it. 

Please PLEASE make this an option. 

If a question has not been answered, marking it answered makes no sense. Disabling the to-do list so we don't have to perform all the workarounds people have to do (see below) would be much appreciated. And giving us that option would be a good answer.

 @davidh1 , use of the "Assumed Answered" status for questions in this forum is explained in 

 @david_hurst1 ,

I completely understand the frustration of the to-do list issue (I have a number of faculty at my institution that would like to be able to turn it off) but marking an item as "Assumed Answered" does not mean that there is actually a specific answer.  See this posting for a deeper explanation 


David, I found this open for voting if you would like to go vote the idea up.