barrylarking
Community Member

Integrating timed assignments and events into calendar

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Hi, I'm new to Canvas and trying to set up a course that includes both live events such as a webinar and assignments such as quizzes. For both types I want to set time slots e.g. from 10.00 am to 11.00 am and I want these time slots to appear on both the calendar and on the syllabus. This is possible for calendar events but not for assignments: the latter only show the due date (which in this case would be the end of the time slot). This can be very confusing in particular on the calendar view that only shows the start date for events (unless you hover) and the due date for assignments (at least on the syllabus you are told that the time is the due date but on the calendar it just shows a time). In other words, on the calendar you see the start time for a calendar event and the end time for an assignment! Does anyone out there have a workaround for this?

A related issue is that once an assignment is finished the student has the option to press the next button and this takes them to the next assignment which is not necessarily the next item on the calendar (i.e. if this is a calendar event). Expecting (new) students to intuitively understand that 'next' does not mean the next event and that they have to return either to the calendar or the syllabus to see the whole story seems to be rather unrealistic. Again any workarounds would be gratefully received. 

Thanks in advance for any tips:)

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nwilson7
Community Champion

@barrylarking I am not sure there is really anything you can do about the assignments on the Calendar.  Canvas does not have timed assignments (in theory you can create one using the available To and Until times, but only Quizzes can have actual time limits), thus there is not a way to get an assignment to show like you are wanting on the Calendar.  You can create events in the Calendar and could put the assignment link in as the event but this would be a lot of extra work on your part.  This also will do the same thing where it will show the start time of the event.

For the "Next" button, this comes from adding things to modules.  If the item is not in a module, it will not have a next button.  The order of the items is whatever order you have them in in the module, so you can drag them around and rearrange them to the order to match your calendar instead of the due date or order they are currently in.

For what it is worth, I am guessing you have a regular schedule such as class is always 9-10am.  Students will know that your content is going to take place during that time and do not need it to show on the Calendar/syllabus for them to know this.  When I make something due at the end time for class, students realize it is something we will do in class.  When I make it due at 11:59pm the night before (the Canvas default) then they know it is something I will assign in class but they will do it outside of class.

Hope this helps!

-Nick

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nwilson7
Community Champion

@barrylarking I am not sure there is really anything you can do about the assignments on the Calendar.  Canvas does not have timed assignments (in theory you can create one using the available To and Until times, but only Quizzes can have actual time limits), thus there is not a way to get an assignment to show like you are wanting on the Calendar.  You can create events in the Calendar and could put the assignment link in as the event but this would be a lot of extra work on your part.  This also will do the same thing where it will show the start time of the event.

For the "Next" button, this comes from adding things to modules.  If the item is not in a module, it will not have a next button.  The order of the items is whatever order you have them in in the module, so you can drag them around and rearrange them to the order to match your calendar instead of the due date or order they are currently in.

For what it is worth, I am guessing you have a regular schedule such as class is always 9-10am.  Students will know that your content is going to take place during that time and do not need it to show on the Calendar/syllabus for them to know this.  When I make something due at the end time for class, students realize it is something we will do in class.  When I make it due at 11:59pm the night before (the Canvas default) then they know it is something I will assign in class but they will do it outside of class.

Hope this helps!

-Nick

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Hi Nick

Thanks so much for coming back on this!

I like your idea of putting the assignment in as an event and then linking to the assignment but as you say, a lot of work. I looked at using syllabus to show 'from-to' times but that doesn't help either as assignments only show up there with the due date too.

Like I said the problem with the 'next' button is that unless it moves to the actual next item in the agenda students will miss the real next item. I'd like to think that my students would intuitively understand the significance of a single time/date but not sure I should:)

On balance I think the best solution for me is to use modules to provide the complete picture and to provide a (manual) separate timetable for everything - pity as this could be so easily done automatically. 

Anyway once again many thanks for thinking along with me on this!

Barry

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nwilson7
Community Champion

@barrylarking I create a Canvas page for each day of class (I only have class on Wednesdays and Fridays so that makes it easier).  The page is split into 3 sections.  The top is everything they should have done to prepare for this class, so any readings, assignments, etc. that are due.  The middle section are the objectives for that day in the course.  This has links that I may need to share, any assignments we will do in class, and any resources that I feel might help the students be successful.  The last section is what students need to do in preparation for the next class and any assignments that I assigned during class (sometimes they have longer than just to the next class to complete an assignment).  For the most part the last section I copy and use for the first section of the next class.  

While there are many ways to organize content, this seems to be working best for me and the students say it has been really helpful.  Especially if they miss class, everything they need is petty much right there.

Good luck with everything!

-Nick

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Thanks again Nick - this sounds a very neat solution; I will give this a go as I can also structure on a day by day basis. I'm just wondering though how you present the day pages - I guess you could simply have a master page with dates that link through to each day page (and/or from the calendar). Would appreciate hearing if you have another solution!

Thanks!
Barry

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nwilson7
Community Champion

@barrylarking I have a custom homepage I use.  We have access to a design tool that makes creating toggles/expanders really easy (I have HTML code I am happy to share with you).  I have each month as a toggle so it is not a super long list of dates.  I then used emojipedia.org to grab a little star image that I post in front of the current day so students can just look for the star and know what day we are on.

Togglers are not mobile friendly using this code but here it is:

<p><span class="element_toggler" role="button" aria-controls="group_1" aria-label="Toggler toggle list visibility" aria-expanded="true"> 
<i class="icon-mini-arrow-down"></i> <strong>Month </strong></span></p>

<ul id="group_1"> Text to show when expanded goes here.</ul>

 The "Month" word can be replaced with your choice of wording.

Nick

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Thanks for sharing Nick; am not so familiar with toggles/expanders but this is clearly an area worth exploring, which I will therefore do (emojis I can handle right now though):)

So grateful for your help - !

Barry

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