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Community Champion

Why release comments manually on assignments?

In January 2020, Canvas updated manual grade posting to work without an actual grade...any comments on a submission can be manually posted back to the student. I'm wondering why instructors are manually posting comments back to students.

I suppose I'm thinking that comments should be timely and not based on my schedule. Since comments will be sent to students on submitted work without a grade anyway, does it make sense to have those assignments set to manual release?

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Community Champion


I can think of a few reasons. 

Students talk to each other, and when grades start to post they hear from friends whose grade posted first.  If their grade isn't also posted, they contact the instructor asking why.  So, it becomes a nuisance and can confuse students. 

I may be grading work while there are some students still submitting late work.  So posting feedback that could be shared would be unfair to students who completed the assignment on time. 

If I'm grading project type work, especially when using a rubric or other type of qualitative assessment, as I grade I sometimes change what I am accepting for the work based on what students have submitted.  This is especially true the first time I give an assignment or use a new rubric.  I may discover that what I thought I had clearly communicated to students was interpreted by them differently, and so adjust how I assess.  If comments go out as soon as I create them, then I have no chance to edit and change the first few projects I graded.