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Change "available until" date when assignment is dragged in the calendar

Change "available until" date when assignment is dragged in the calendar

It is wonderful to be able to change the due date of an assignment by dragging it in the calendar. However, the "available until" date does not change along with the due date. This sometimes results in assignments being locked before they even open. It would be great if the "available until" date would change at the same time as the due date.
43 Comments
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

I second that it would be wonderful if the "available until" date also changed when you changed an assignment due date on the calendar. As it is my faculty either (1) just don't set available dates or (2) don't use the calendar to change their assignment dates - which is sad because this is a super useful feature.

awilliams
Instructure
Instructure

I agree with the  @Beth_Young  and  @kona ​ This little "gotcha" caused some faculty who were using the calendar to adjust assignments each semester to have assignments students couldn't access. The rest of the "move an assignment on your calendar" UX is so intuitive and effective that it makes this "gotcha" that much more nefarious. In other words, it just works so well that faculty don't even expect that it doesn't change the "available until" date as well and are caught unaware.

dhulsey
Community Champion

I would favor linking the release and lock date to the due date in the assignment settings as I saw someone suggest in the old community.  Like this:

Release: Seven Days Before Due Date

Due Date: Actual Date and Time

Lock: Three Days after Due date

or for live classes with tests and whatnot

Release: 90 minutes before due date

Due Date: Actual Date and Time

Lock Date: At Due Date and Time

With this system, an instructor would only ever have to worry about changing due dates, and the release and lock dates would "float" along with the due date whether the due date was adjusted in the present term or updated for the start of a new term.

Regardless, better date management for release and lock dates would be much appreciated. Thanks for posting this idea,  @Beth_Young ​

snugent
Community Champion

This is a pain point for our faculty. They were sold on the drag and drop items in the calendar from day one and with those available from & Until dates not moving it is such a pain. Smiley Sad

pmacgreg
New Member

A related feature would be the ability to easily modify/erase "available until" dates (and/or due dates) from the Assignments page either individually or collectively (checking box and selecting and option like "erase dates").  That way instructors can quickly eliminate the problem that is not allowing them to move assignments around.

pmacgreg
New Member

Thinking more about the topic, if we had an option to modify/erase dates by checking a box, another useful feature would be able to check a box and select "close assignment" in order to close one or more assignments at a time, similar to closing a discussion topic so that no more comments could be received.

bowmanr
Community Champion

I ran into this problem last semester.  The students let me know pretty quickly that something was wrong when I extended one of their assignments via the calendar.  The way I use the release date, due date and until date is for handling late assignments.  I use a very small window of opportunity to submit a late assignment.  The due date ends the on-time assignments and my late assignment time ends with the until date 2 hours later.  The nature of my assignments is such that I can have students with special circumstances email me their late assignments (so i do like the idea regarding extending times for a single student: ​ )

pmacgreg​ doesn't the until date perform the "close assignment" option you mention?  Or, are you thinking of something else?

pmacgreg
New Member

Yes, the "available until" date does close the assignment, however, my problem is experienced when porting the course to a new semester.  I can't move the assignments around on the calendar until I've erased all of the "open until" dates manually (and I have experienced the flood of emails when an assignment was "locked" before the due date from having missed making such an adjustment--annoying both for me and students).  When there are lots of assignments I have to change for a new semester, clicking into each assignment, clicking edit, scrolling down, erasing the date, and then saving becomes tedious.  It would be nice if either Canvas would adjust the "open until" dates automatically relative to the due date (e.g. if I've set it to close two days after the due date in one semester, maintain the close date to occur two days after the due date no matter how I drag the assignment on the calendar in future semesters), or if it would allow us to more efficiently erase/modify the "available until" options in one fell swoop on the assignments page.

bowmanr
Community Champion

pmacgreg

I just came across this response to my question - I missed it earlier.  From what you posted, it sounds like you issue may possibly be resolved by the fixing of the original idea.  If I understand your post,  when porting the course to the new semester, the release and due dates change but the until date does not change.  So maybe the fix suggested will also solve your issue.  In any case, all dates involved with an assignment should be modified the same amount either by dragging and dropping in the calendar or from porting from one semester to the next.

I have to agree - what you are saying has to be done is a pain and I now see the reasoning for your other post.

rohrbgn
New Member

This is really the obvious solution: available and lock dates need to be specified using relative dates (to the due date), not absolute dates. They would copy from semester to semester and move around the calendar smoothly.

olexar
Community Contributor

I think an alternative solution to this would be to have a grade book setting that assigns a zero when the assignment is submitted past the due date. Then one could simply ignore the available until date completely. It would also allow the student to complete the assignment for practice (if they'd like).

*AND/OR*

Make the Available Until date appear in the calendar. Then, the instructor could use either-or.

Robbie_Grant
Community Coach
Community Coach

olexar​,

There is currently a Feature Request for this exact feature that is available for voting at " modifiedtitle="true" title="Automatic zero in gradebook after a date.​  Please add your vote and voice to this request.


Robbie 

olexar
Community Contributor

Thanks  @Robbie_Grant ​ Done. I actually added something to (edited) my post at the same time you replied. Maybe that one is also out there. I'll check...

rpetrina
New Member

Yes, relative release and lock dates would seem to solve this problem! But the coding would be very different.

AJC17246
Community Member

I agree that in most cases using relative dates for opening and closing dates would make sense. But sometimes you might those dates to stay fixed - maybe to correspond with the date a whole module opens or closes, or the course as a whole starts or ends. So being able to define the open and close dates as relative or absolute might be nice - though I realize that might lead to a complicated and cluttered interface.

Either way, one thing that would be helpful would be if covering over a calendar item or clicking it displayed the open and close dates as well as the due date. That would make it much quicker and easier to spot problems.

Beth_Young
Community Contributor

If this idea is at the "gathering info" stage, shouldn't it have moved to level three? It still says it's at level 2 - open for voting.

I don't know if the level matters or not; just hoping the idea doesn't slip through the cracks.

jsparks
Instructure
Instructure

Hello  @Beth_Young ​!  I've been reading the comments here, and there are some great ideas on how we could tackle this solution.  Changing how we handle the release of content is some that comes up on discussion.  Managing availability, etc. of content relative to the final due date does seem like a solution. We would need to gather more information on how this would affect the Canvas backend and core services.  Seems like we'd have to do some major surgery in Canvas' "gutty works" Smiley Wink to solve this.

I know we will not be able to address this issue within the next six to 9 months, but I will mention this to the team for some further discussion.

Please let me know how I can continue to help.

Jason

hzullo
New Member

I agree that this would be very useful! It seems like a simple piece of logic to me, but I'm not a programmer. The issue isn't just with "available until" dates - it is also with the "show answers" date. I very quickly dragged all of my quizzes through the calendar to the appropriate due dates, but then "available until" and "show answer" dates then were all before the quiz was due. The only way I could find to update those by hand was to go through each quiz and manually make those changes. If those dates aren't going to update automatically to be at least as late as the quiz due date, then it doesn't even make sense to be able to change the quiz due date by dragging the quiz on the calendar.

-Holly

brian_weston
New Member

I would also like to see this feature enabled. It is so close to being a nice feature. Changes the due date, but we need the availability changed at the same time.

kdemello
New Member

This issue has plagued me for the last couple of semesters! What do we need to do to get this open for voting again? Maybe the option of leaving the assignment open for a period of time would work? For example, open for "1 week" after the due date, or "2 days" after... ?