ben_erlebach
New Member

Is it possible to disable student comments on assignment submissions?

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In the past we've had problems with students submitting their assignments as an attachment in a comment. This causes several problems:

- It's more difficult to see in the Gradebook who has and hasn't submitted assignments.

- As students can add comments after the deadline, students think they have submitted their assignment in time when they haven't.

- For Turnitin assignments, students' attachments aren't checked by Turnitin.

Is there some way of making sure that students can't do this? Ideally, this would be disabling comments, but disabling attachments in comments could also work. (Disabling comments avoids the student putting Text Entry assignments in their comments as well.)

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rmurchshafer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Ben,

I don't know of any way to disable comments or attachments to comments within Assignments.  I don't mean this in a snarky way, but to me the solution is to not accept items that are not turned in the correct way.  

Rick

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9 Replies
rmurchshafer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Ben,

I don't know of any way to disable comments or attachments to comments within Assignments.  I don't mean this in a snarky way, but to me the solution is to not accept items that are not turned in the correct way.  

Rick

aroyal9
Community Participant

Rick,

I'm with you on this one, but the major problem is the whole rigmarole about having to be so excruciatingly detailed about "everything" imaginable so that we've done our due diligence in ensuring that students understand our expectations.  There should never be a need for me to explicitly state on my syllabus that I will not accept assignments turned in by carrier pigeon, assignments written on a used cocktail napkin, assignments written on legal tender, assignments written on a stolen traffic sign, assignments done in skywriting, assignments written in Klingon, assignments written in "wingdings" font, assignments written in ink derived from body fluids, etc.  I think that Ben was looking for a way to prevent the insanity before it takes hold, which should be a major component of course management best practices.  It would be much easier to just turn off the "attachments in the comments area" feature if/when it's not needed/wanted rather than manage the frustration and confusion that ensues when the system is, inevitably, intentionally or unintentionally abused.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Gwinn

lewisale
Community Champion

Hi  @ben_erlebach ,

I have experienced several students submitting assignments as attachments as well, and one of the things I do more explicitly is to include information about assignment submissions as part of my course orientation.  I also have an orientation quiz, and I include specific questions that relate to core course requirements and processes.   Students can see from their view of Canvas when an assignment is missing. Some students may focus more on the "to do" list, and I encourage students to view their assignment status from the grade menu.  

How do I submit an online assignment? 

How do I view my grades in a current course? 

Robbie_Grant
Coach Emeritus

 @ben_erlebach ,

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

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dominique-lewis
New Member

I would also like this know if this is possible. I don't like that my students can post comments on a discussion assignment. What is the point of that option?! They think they are submitting to the discussion post!

Khummer
Community Member

I agree. I had a student leave a comment and never checked it because she never re-submitted the final draft.

mrichey3
New Member

Hi there, we have experienced this and accidentally turned in an assignment to the comment section. Thanks for your article.

Gregory_Putman
Community Participant

Hi,

I'm new to Canvas, just recently migrated here.  I expected an adjustment period/learning curve getting used to a completely new system.  I'm trying to be as positive as possible during this transition.  I'm used to feature sets/options in other LMS.  I've been re-designing courses for the past semester and a half and have my first few groups of students and TAs working in courses now. 

I keep getting surprised by design elements like this...

I'll loudly add my voice to Gwinn and Rick, above.  Attaching files to comments in assignments and quizzes whose deadlines have passed needs to be a feature we can turn on or off.

In our first week of live students I've had at least one attach work to comments in assignments in order to "turn it in late for grading since there was no other way to submit it late" and another attach files to comments in online homework (new quizzes) in order to showcase their "creativity" in submitting their own "alternative work" instead of needing to do the online questions in the quizzes (4 of them before asking questions). 

This is after fairly detailed explanations in the syllabus, instructions on Canvas pages and the assignments/quizzes themselves, students have a syllabus verification quiz that asks questions about deadlines, exceptions to deadlines, etc.  They have to earn 100% on the syllabus verification to unlock assignments and quizzes (everything that I can set prerequisites on have 100% on the syllabus verification set in order to try to make sure they understand expectations before even being able to access further work...).

I can see some situations in which attaching files to comments after assignments/quizzes have "closed" might he useful but we really need the option of disabling that, too.  Not being able to disable them seems to come across to students as either unofficial green lights to avoid deadlines altogether or is confusing.

Please help enable me to spend less time policing students and TAs and to spend more time on interacting with students regarding course content.

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kampbell
New Member

I agree with previous participants that the ability for students to comment on assignment submissions needs to be able to be turned off. Why can't it be similar to the option in "settings" to prevent students from commenting on announcements, or the option to prevent students from attaching things to discussion posts?

At a minimum, we should be able to prevent attachments to student comments on assignments.

 

 

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