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Assign to everyone except selected students

Assign to everyone except selected students

There are some assignments that go out to the majority of my students except one or two per class. It would be great to be able to assign to "everyone" and then have a button to select which students are exempt from the assignment.
Learner II

Working in K-12 which has to modify/accommodate content for so many students, this issue of not being able to enter "everyone except" would be a daily frustration.  I say would be because the teachers in our district that need this "everyone except" function don't want to use Canvas and instead stick with Google Classroom. For all the great strides that Canvas has made with accessibility for all learners, the lack of being able to enter "everyone except" is a barrier to the teachers of many of the students that have 504 plans or special education IEPs.

Community Member

This is right on the money! Let me type in the excluded student's name, then "x" it, but "everyone else" would remain as "everyone else" (not revert back to "everyone"). Canvas could alert me that certain students were excluded (as it does when you don't assign to everyone). The students' names could even remain in the field, but colored red, or something.

This has to be 98% already there!

Community Member

Yes! We need this! I have kids that need modified versions and we shouldn't have to tell them to just ignore the other quiz or assignment on there. 


I have a usage case: I have modified students who take a different version of the Canvas Quiz final exam. It is easy to assign that quiz to only a couple of students, but it is cumbersome to assign the main quiz to 28 students, one at a time.

I do have a workaround for this though. I assign the main quiz to everyone, but then set a separate assign date in the same quiz for the few students who are modified. The date I set is one day after the semester ends, so they are never able to access it, even though it shows in the quizzes tab of their Canvas page. When I assign this to those modified students with a different date, the other assigned date shows "everyone except - " and shows the names of the students I gave the other assignment date to.


When using the Canvas Teacher app I can choose "Exempt Student" when grading. This is a fantastic way to get around grading my peer mentor that is embedded in my class. This option is not available in the browser version. Can we simply add an exempt button in the browser version?

Navigator, by any chance is the wording you're seeing in Canvas Mobile Teacher app actually Excuse Student rather than Exempt Student?  If so, that's the same as the Excused status (and EX "score") in Gradebook:

IMHO, excusing is Canvas' best current way to accomplish what this feature idea is about. Yet I'm sure our teachers would find it more convenient to do when configuring the assignment, hence my upvote!


Yes, you are correct. I used the wrong term. I meant Excuse, not Exempt.

While typing EX in the box is something I apparently can do, it is not obvious like it is with the mobile app. It would be great to be able to configure that when configuring the assignment, AND having that checkbox option on the browser version.


This seems like a widely requested feature; I cannot believe that it hasn't been created yet! I modify almost all assignments, and the students who I modify for have SO MUCH EXTRA in their To-Do list that they don't need, or get confused by! I hope this feature is added soon. It seems so beneficial and efficient. 


Usage Case:  I have 135 students, my students are completing an assignment in class based on a video we are watching in class together (not something I  can have students play on their own).  I have 4 students absent.  This is not something they can make up I can create an alternative assignment for those 4 students, but those 4 students see this assignment in their Canvas to do list or as missing and it is not something they can do.  While yes I can put EX in the gradebook does that affect the student view for the assignment?  Won't the assignment still show up for them as missing? 

Usage Case 2: I give 3-4 different tests for the same unit, while many of the groups are small and I am easily able to assign them one of my differentiated tests, that still means I have about 100 names to manually assign  my main test to unless I just assign to everyone and tell the other students to ignore it and use "the other test" they see in their canvas.  


I see how this feature would make the change more obvious to excused students.  One alternative solution might be for canvas to block students from submitting assignments that they are excused from.


While you wait for one of those solutions, your entry of EX changes the missing label to an excused label.  You can also do this by changing the excused label in the gradebook instead of entering EX.  (The options show up in a menu on the right side of the screen when you click on a student's grade.) 


You can also enter a different due time for only the 4 excused students and add an "Available until" date/time that will lock they activity so they cannot attempt it.  (IF you set both the due and available times to have occurred while they were absent there is no opportunity for them to attempt the activity you want to replace.)  The "everyone" in the other due date box will become "everyone else."


The same works for your second use case.  Just assign the students to whom you have assigned an alternative test a due date and available until date in the main test that is already in the past, and then mark them excused.


I know this idea would offer a tidier solution, but at least that will make your tests easier to schedule for now.