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cottrell
New Member

Highlight current assignments or hide not yet active assignments

I have a number of quizzes that have limited open date ranges.  In the student view it appears that all assignments, open, closed, etc, are gray and the only distinction i find is that to the right of the assignment name it says things like "not available until" or "available until xxx".  With the large number of assignments, i'm looking for a way to highlight the currently open assignments, or hide assignments that are not yet open or have gone past the due date and are closed.

I've played around some with modules to try and do this but i haven't figured out how to make it work.

Ideas?

16 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @cottrell , do you mean literally highlight current open/due assignments? If so, then the only thing I can think of is to arrange your Modules by week/unit/module so it's clear to students what they should be working on during a specific time period and what is coming and and what has already passed. There might be better/more creative ways to do this though so I'm going to share this with the Instructional Designers​ group in the Community to see if they can help!

cottrell
New Member

yes that is exactly what i want.  With a whole long list of daily quizzes its just a mass of gray the is easy to get lost in.  It would seem to me that assignments that are not "in date" or open due to date or pre-requisits would be grayed out or things that are able to be opened would be brigher (green, maybe yellow for due soon, red for due today....that kind of thing)

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

In general using color to differentiate between things can be an accessibility issue, because of this I know that Canvas tends to shy away from using color as a primary way to define or differentiate between things. Yet, I'm guessing there might be some coding/programming hack that could be done to do this - yet definitely no way directly in Canvas to do this.

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okay.  I can understand that i guess.  Blackboard keeps the assignments hidden from the students until the date field is valid.  I've tried to do this in canvas but haven't figured out how.  I have several things in modules, but the module still shows as being there even though when you go into the module it wont let you access the assignment.  How can i hide the assignment and only show it when the date field is valid?

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kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @cottrell ​, you'd have to release things manually, but if you click the cloud next to an item in a Module so that it changes from a green check box to a gray X then it won't be visible to students. So nothing with a gray X shows up to students. When you publish a Module it automatically publishes everything in the Module, but you can then go through and unpublish specific assignments until you're ready for them to be visible to students - I actually do this all the time. Here's a guide that explains some of this - How do I use Draft State in Modules?

Only downside is that you can't set the Assignment to be released or made visible on a certain day/time, it has to be done manually.

wow.  that seems like a no brainer to have in the system.  I'd have to go in after every class and turn things on and off.  What a royal pain.  I appreciate the input, just frustrated at the lack of what seems like a pretty basic feature.

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kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @cottrell , another rub is that you can't unpublish (hide) assignments that students have submitted to - so no hiding things after students have submitted. The best you can do is just remove them from the Module; and make sure you have Quizzes/Assignments/Discussions (links on the left) hidden from students.

Here's a feature idea for something similar to what you are wanting - - unfortunately it was archived due to lack of votes.

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jamely
Community Champion

You mention that in the "student view" of Assignments. As a recent student, I think it may be surprising how many students don't ever look at the Assignment page! Unless they are specifically being directed there to sift out what they need to be doing, that is.

One of my professors, A00015317​, designed his beginning HTML course by only using assignment pages, no modules. For example, He would list/link everything that needed to be completed for that time frame, and if anything needed to be submitted, students would use that page to submit. The great thing about this was that he set the "Syllabus" as the main page, which automagically propagated a dated list that darkened the line background after the due date had passed.

Maybe that example can help turn a new lens on your problem, so you can use Canvas in the way that you would like to. 😜

Robbie_Grant
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @cottrell ​,

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.

Robbie

rosssheehy
New Member

Frustrating to say the least, I've now read at least 10 versions of the very same simple request, and in every case, the question has been marked "answered", but there is absolutely no solution that I can find.  It is a no-brainer, D2L, Blackboard (and I assume most others) easily allow you to control the visibility of an assignment/quiz/discussion separately from the availability settings.  Most of these questions are more than a year old and the issues still have not been addressed.  Is there any hope for this? 

 @rosssheehy ​, if you keep the assignment/quiz/discussion unpublished, regardless of what availability settings you place on it, it will neither be visible nor available. Please refer to:

How do I use Draft State in Assignments?

How do I use Draft State in Discussions?

How do I use Draft State in Quizzes?

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At best this seems like a clunky work around.  The problem is, if you want an assignment to become visible at a specific time (e.g., beginning of class time on a specific date) you have to REMEMBER that (make a calendar event? A reminder? String around the finger?) and as quick as you can before packing up and rushing across campus to teach, you have to log in to canvas, find the assignment, and publish it.  This is difficult, increases my workload, and is likely to end up in assignments that don't get published on time (and very angry students, especially if they email to let me know, and I'm away from my email).  This of course would require me to extend the assignment due date, and may affect the rest of the course. Further compounding the issue, many assignments/quizzes/discussions contain instructions and text that I don't want student to see before the assigned date!

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I’ve had the same frustration (migrating from blackboard) and universally the answer is, all you can do is not leave them published and then MANUALLY go publish them. Not only that, once any student makes an attempt on an assignment you can’t UNpublish it, which means it’s visible forever.

Seems a bit backwards to me, but that’s the best I’ve been able to get out of anyone. So every assignment for the whole semester currently shows up, with the only difference being a single label that says. “unavailable until…” or “Available until…” I’m expecting a lot of unhappy students this semester…

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That's an interesting observation,  @cottrell . We moved from Bb to Canvas a few years ago, and one of the features students liked was that when teachers used the availability dates, students could see what assignments were coming up, despite the fact that they weren't able to see the assignment details. Personally, I publish everything before the first day of classes, tell students in the course syllabus that they will be able to see assignments approximately three weeks ahead, and set the availability dates on assignments and modules correspondingly. So I never have to worry about the manual publish/unpublish issue, and students not only didn't find it an issue--they were perfectly fine with it.

Of course I think it's great that some folks are happy with the work around, but given how many posts there are about this specific issue, it seems more user-focused to at least attempt to incorporate what instructors and students are asking for (and would find the easiest for their workflow).

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Absolutely,  @rosssheehy ​. No single LMS gives every user every feature that they want. If you want to suggest changes to Canvas, the place to do it is in the Canvas Feature Ideas​ space. That's one of the ways Canvas gauges just how many instructors and students are asking for a particular feature.