pkellygoss
Community Participant

Giving learners an editable feedback document -- workarounds?

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Teachers at my institution often request the ability to give learners a marked document with suggested amendments, which they could then edit and resubmit. (This was possible on previous platforms.)

Unfortunately, while both Canvas Speedgrader and Turnitin have good marking features, both only allow learners to access the marking in the form of a static .pdf document. While I understand why many instructors might require this, it's not meeting our needs.

Does anyone know of a workaround? The best we've managed is downloading all of the original submissions, copying them to OneDrive, marking them in Word, and sharing each submission back to each learner individually. This is of course a bit of a hassle, and is unfortunately causing many teachers to just bypass Canvas entirely. It would be great if anyone knew of any external tools or any other workarounds that might allow teachers to leave comments on work and return a student-editable document containing those comments while still using Canvas.

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scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hey Patrick,

If I am understanding your use case correctly, this is actually one of the key features that differentiated Canvas from the competition all those years ago.  You can have students upload Word or other editable file types as assignment submissions.  The teacher can then download all files in one zip file, unzip, edit the files and as long as they don't change the file names, re-zip and upload back to the assignment and every student will get their assignment, with feedback included.  To test this I just had three of me test student accounts drop off Word docs which I added comments and formatting to in Word after downloading them.  I then re-uploaded the zipped files and verified that my test students received the annotated copies.  Will that work for your teachers?

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scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hey Patrick,

If I am understanding your use case correctly, this is actually one of the key features that differentiated Canvas from the competition all those years ago.  You can have students upload Word or other editable file types as assignment submissions.  The teacher can then download all files in one zip file, unzip, edit the files and as long as they don't change the file names, re-zip and upload back to the assignment and every student will get their assignment, with feedback included.  To test this I just had three of me test student accounts drop off Word docs which I added comments and formatting to in Word after downloading them.  I then re-uploaded the zipped files and verified that my test students received the annotated copies.  Will that work for your teachers?

Hi, thanks, that's a great feature. I'll pass it on to my staff.

Just one thing about it though? I'm not sure how much uptake it'll get from less technically confident members of our staff -- I was really hoping there might be a one-step or two-step process I could point them to. The thing is, while this is an absolutely brilliant solution and I think many of our teachers will really appreciate knowing about it, I'm also considering the user experience of some of our FE staff who might not be enormously confident with technology. The (quite shoddy!) workaround in my original post isn't working well for them because before they mark I'm asking them to fiddle with downloading things, finding their download folder on their PC, extracting something called a zip file, finding that extracted folder -- and then, after marking, they've got to remember to do something else with those documents, and it's all a bit much. And this way of doing it is functional and integrated with Canvas (big plus)...but actually one or two *more* steps for them to remember.

I wonder if there are any LTI plug-ins that might let them edit a document and return it without needing to leave the Canvas environment? Otherwise it might just be a question of setting up more training sessions and raising the comfort level.

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I'm not familiar with any LTI plug-ins.  If I am remembering correctly, one of the selling points ten years ago was that people could download the zip files to their laptops, go offline and do all their grading and then when back online, package up the zip file and re-upload.  Makes me think about how much the world has changed in a decade - wifi and cellular connections are nearly everywhere and most people's connections are fast enough now and their storage drives big enough that they have little need of zipping things. 

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