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Community Participant

Students can't SAVE work in text editor?

Is this for real?

The SAVE feature *literally* exists on every major, minor, and back-street word processor / text editor ever created on any computer in the whole history of computers –except this text editor.
This is a pretty big problem which affects 100% of my students. This is basic functionality. I’m not asking for voice recognition here.

<very snarky tone>
You know how we give students pencils and paper together, not separately? You know how we have the students *write* on the paper --not in the air? Does anyone know why that's been a paradigm in education since paper was invented 2000 years ago?
</very snarky tone>

I understand there is work being done on an Auto-Save feature which *might* save your work?

<extremely snarky tone>
Because when you need to SAVE the work that you did for hours and hours, what you really need is to *MAYBE* SAVE... You know, in case the power went out or something. Not because you're going to do part of an English assignment now, then go to another class, and then finish the English assignment later... That never happens...
</extremely snarky tone>

I'm stunned. This is like building a fireplace out of hydrogen. It's like keeping the puppy treats locked in a safe made out of puppy treats...

<needs to be, but isn't 1000 times snarkier>
So far I've read about work-arounds using Google Docs, Ms Word, in essence any other text editor on the planet... Yes. That's it. Fixed. Good job, Instructure --you've created an LMS which works great if you do all your work on another LMS.
</needs to be, but isn't 1000 times snarkier>

Is this okay with everyone?  How is this not on the top of the questions list?  I see questions here about people trying to save work when switching the teacher of record once in a blue moon --not when the bell rings everyday?   Am I in the Twilight Zone again?  Do I have cataracts on my third eye?  Is social media using new algorithms?  What gives, Canvas Community?

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Community Team
Community Team

Hi @jgerman,

If the Assignment Enhancements - Student feature is enabled for the course, students will see a Save button when using the text editor for Text Entry submission assignments. If you allow other submission types, such as website URL, media, and file uploads, the Assignment Enhancements feature will save uploads automatically as an assignment draft. For more information, see How do I submit an online assignment in a course using Assignment Enhancements? 


Community Participant


Thanks!  This isn't yet, but may become a workable solution.  It appears from the link that this is a Beta Feature which needs to be enabled by District Admin.  I checked, and this option is not set in our district at present.  Accordingly, I sent an email to our district admin to see about enabling this Beta Feature.  At least I have a direction to push.

Having relationships in the higher end programming world, I can confirm that a save work button is only 5 lines of operational code, and maybe another 50 to handshake with the webpage.  It's basically a 15 minute fix.  Not sure why it is pinned to far more expansive improvements.

Note that 99% of my professional snarkiness arises when advocating for students against idiosyncratic obstacles.  Covid eliminated the ordinary issues, so this was a rare moment to let the words flow...  😉


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Community Participant

Hmm.  It looks like this will not work due to district IT and management apprehension over the warning that "...some features may change the workflow for common activities in Canvas during your current term."   This is obviously vague, and [the powers that be] fail conservative when they haven't a specific knowledge of the consequences. 

There appears to be another debate over the instruction that "In order for a feature to appear for a course, the feature must be enabled for your institution by a Canvas admin."  Is that at a school or district level?  What level of admin is necessary to enable this option?

I'm pushing as hard as I can on my end, and so far I cannot mark this as a solution. 

It goes without saying that I am extremely dissatisfied Canvas' default options of submit or delete.  Saving text does not require a major upgrade.  I am not asking for the moon here.  I'm asking for five lines of code for the most simple and practical element in every LMS in the world: SAVE work...

On a scale of one to ten, my dissatisfaction with Canvas is still a ten.


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Community Team
Community Team

Hi Joseph ( @jgerman ),

You mentioned "...some features may change the workflow for common activities in Canvas during your current term" from the What feature options are currently available for an entire Canvas account? guide. It is vague on purpose because it applies to all available feature options. For this particular feature option, it would change how students view and submit assignments in the course. 

For your question about who to contact about enabling this feature, it really depends on how your school/district set things up; there may be someone at your school with Canvas admin access and/or you may have someone at the district level with admin access.