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jodi_k
Community Participant

Multiple ways to submit assignment

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Please excuse me if this is an obvious answer question or has been asked before as I am a new Canvas user. I am trying to create an assignment that I need to have multiple types of assignment submission types: a choice of either on paper or by online file uploads. Is there a way to do this or should I create 2 different assignments (one for each submission type) and link to them on a page for students to choose?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

 @jodi_k , it looks like  @r_v_jones ​ and  @Steve_Watts ​ have given you some good ideas here. The way I understood your dilemma is that you want students to be able to choose from two submission types, because some of the students will need to submit their assignments on paper (presumably in person) and others will be able to upload a file online.

If that's what you're looking for, then your proposed solution would work, with some tweaks (more on that in a moment). You can create two assignments, identical in every respect, except for the fact that one will only accommodate "On paper" submissions and the other will accommodate "Online | File Uploads" submissions. You could then provide links to both of these assignments in a Canvas page--or simply place both of them in one of your modules--with explicit instructions that they need to complete only one of the two.

Now, here's the wrinkle: If you create two assignments for this single graded tasks, both of the assignments will populate the Gradebook, You can offset this by using weighted assignment groups for your grading scheme and placing both of the assignments in a single assignment group, with a grading rule that drops the lowest score. Once you assign zeros to the "non-submitted" assignment, only one of the students' submissions will count toward their grades. Students might be disconcerted by seeing a zero for an assignment, but if you communicate the reasoning in the body of the assignment itself, you should be able to anticipate and alleviate their concerns.

Here are some relevant Canvas Guide links on weighted assignment groups and assignment submission types:

How do I add Assignment details?

How do I weight the final grade based on Assignment Groups?

How do I create rules for an Assignment Group?

A feature idea for the ability to allow multiple submission types on the same assignment is currently under consideration and open for voting:   However, when I wrote the suggestion, I never considered the possibility of an assignment that would accommodate both online and on paper submissions. Perhaps you could add your feedback to the feature idea.

Hope this helps, and welcome to Canvas!

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5 Replies
r_v_jones
Community Contributor

When you create an assignment you have the option of selecting the submission type. Normally I use online and check the file upload so students can submit Microsoft word or pdf documents.

If you tick any of the other options e.g. website url, the students can submit either a file upload or web url.

assignment type.png

I think I am right in saying that it is an either or they couldn’t submit a url and a document.

Steve_Watts
Community Champion

Following on from  @r_v_jones  comment about it being an "either/or" and they can't submit more than one type - for most assignments a student can submit, then go back to the assignment later and re-submit. If they do this, they could submit, for example, a file on the first attempt and a URL on the second attempt. The teacher should be able to see the history of submissions for each student.

However, I'm not sure if this is what you are asking. What Rob and I are describing here is the set of "Online Entry Options" checkboxes in Rob's screenshot. If you're talking about students submitting either online through Canvas or by giving you a physical copy where you just enter the mark into Canvas, this would be the dropdown list just above the checkboxes. In this case, you could only select one of the options so having two separate assignments might be the best method. This would have the disadvantage of the grades being entered in two different places depending on whether the student uploads or gives you a physical copy, but you could still manually enter a grade for each student into the "paper copy" assessment even if they submitted through the other one. I hope that makes sense as I've almost confused myself there!

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

 @jodi_k , it looks like  @r_v_jones ​ and  @Steve_Watts ​ have given you some good ideas here. The way I understood your dilemma is that you want students to be able to choose from two submission types, because some of the students will need to submit their assignments on paper (presumably in person) and others will be able to upload a file online.

If that's what you're looking for, then your proposed solution would work, with some tweaks (more on that in a moment). You can create two assignments, identical in every respect, except for the fact that one will only accommodate "On paper" submissions and the other will accommodate "Online | File Uploads" submissions. You could then provide links to both of these assignments in a Canvas page--or simply place both of them in one of your modules--with explicit instructions that they need to complete only one of the two.

Now, here's the wrinkle: If you create two assignments for this single graded tasks, both of the assignments will populate the Gradebook, You can offset this by using weighted assignment groups for your grading scheme and placing both of the assignments in a single assignment group, with a grading rule that drops the lowest score. Once you assign zeros to the "non-submitted" assignment, only one of the students' submissions will count toward their grades. Students might be disconcerted by seeing a zero for an assignment, but if you communicate the reasoning in the body of the assignment itself, you should be able to anticipate and alleviate their concerns.

Here are some relevant Canvas Guide links on weighted assignment groups and assignment submission types:

How do I add Assignment details?

How do I weight the final grade based on Assignment Groups?

How do I create rules for an Assignment Group?

A feature idea for the ability to allow multiple submission types on the same assignment is currently under consideration and open for voting:   However, when I wrote the suggestion, I never considered the possibility of an assignment that would accommodate both online and on paper submissions. Perhaps you could add your feedback to the feature idea.

Hope this helps, and welcome to Canvas!

jodi_k
Community Participant

That is an interesting idea! I have gone ahead and created two separate assignments that are linked in a page under the two options. Once I have finished with the rest of the course, I may go back and play around with the weighting in the test site to get more familiar with it.

Thanks for all of your suggestions!

You can set an assignment to allow multiple submissions from a given student but be aware that, at this time, students will only be able to see feedback on their latest submission -Just FYI...