Issues related to student file submissions being re-named

Jump to solution
Community Champion

When a student submits a file to an assignment more than once, Canvas will re-name the re-submitted file:

The first submission of is named

The second submission of is named

The third submission of is named


(This always causes a certain amount of consternation for my beginning programming students who have been taught that the exact name of a file is very important in the programming language they are learning - Java, C++, Matlab, etc. - and know that, for example, you cannot compile and run a Java file named

Obviously, when I go to grade the student, I will grab their most recent submission (unless they have left me a comment asking me to use an earlier submission), and currently I have to add code to my grading scripts code to fix the names of the students' files before I can compile and run them.

Question 1: Is there any way to turn off the renaming feature in Canvas, even if only when downloading?

I understand completely why renaming is happening, so if the answer is "not in Canvas as it is", I'm perfectly fine with that - I just thought I'd check.

Question 2: Has the way Canvas renames files like this been consistent (or has Canvas previously used other renaming approaches / are there plans to use a new renaming approach)?

I ask this because D2L (my previous LMS) also did file renaming, much of which wasn't apparent until you downloaded a student's submission and found a bunch of somewhat decipherable stuff prepended and/or appended to the file name (or sometimes even the file extension). They also frequently changed the format of what they were prepending/appending which meant frequent updates to those sections of my grading scripts.

2 Solutions
Community Champion

Hello  @hasti ‌ - This has come up a few times in the past in this Community. Not surprisingly, the ever-knowledgeable  @James ‌' explanation of things (with an assist from Kona!) helps clarify a few things as to what's going on with this:  Resubmit assignment but keep original filename?  One suggestion I've given to my own computer science faculty is to have students such programming assignments in a ZIP file.  You would obviously have to download these as opposed to seeing them in SpeedGrader in some cases, but it may help with this specific issue.

View solution in original post

Community Champion

Since Canvas is going to mark this assumed answered otherwise, let me post the results:

Question 1: No one has any idea if this feature can be turned off.

Question 2: No one knows (or is willing to say) whether Canvas has been consistent in its naming techniques.

View solution in original post