Community

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Changing the "Submit Assignment" Button

Changing the "Submit Assignment" Button

(4)
Students tell us that the "Submit Assignment" button is confusing, because the term "submit" implies to turn in. Changing the work "Submit" to "Begin" (or something similar) would be less confusing, and using "Submit Assignment" for when the assignment is actually be submitted for grading.

208851_pastedImage_0.png208851_pastedImage_0.png

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For more information, please read through the Canvas Deploy Notes (2021-03-31).

94 Comments
kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

A similar idea--"Submit Assignment" Button should have a different name --was presented to the Community for consideration in an earlier voting period, as was this one more recently  but they did not receive enough votes to move forward to the next stage. I wasn't able to find an existing idea that's currently open, so I would expect your new submission to be opened for voting in the next cycle. In the meantime, you might want to have a look at the interesting conversation that took place around the archived idea, and add a link in the comments section to this new idea to generate support for it.

KLM

cbishop3
New Member

Here are some past conversations on this topic, this may help us define what we want more clearly.

llueken
New Member

I agree with the suggestion to change the initial button to "begin assignment" instead of "submit assignment."  This confuses my students.

khollis
New Member

I am in compete agreement that the "Submit" button that the students see when they first click on an activity to be changed to "Begin" or something similar.  Students, and even myself on my first encounter, define submit as sending the work to the teacher.  When they begin the work, that it not submit.  I believe "Begin" would be more intuitive for students and myself.

tfirzlaff
New Member

I also feel the "Submit" button is confusing for teachers and for students.  I definitely like the idea to change it to "Begin Assignment" instead.

siouxgeonz
Community Contributor

This strikes me as belonging in the "mundane cleanup" category.     It's a correction, not a new feature, which is probably why people don't keep submitting it as an "idea." 

bdalywilhelm
New Member

My middle school students don't have an issue with this. I've heard many excuses about work not getting turned in, but the double "submit" button has never been one of them. I informally chatted with my classes when this issue came up last month to get their take on it. All expressed that it wasn't confusing. They said, "when we're ready to turn in the work we go to "submit" assignment/task, read the directions on what is required of the submission, and then "submit" it when it's all done.

cbishop3
New Member

I agree, it’s more of a tweak.

siouxgeonz
Community Contributor

That's great!  

I'm concerned about the people who do find it confusing, though (who don't have a teacher nearby to chat with).  

bdalywilhelm
New Member

My students aren't necessarily by me when they submit their work. Like any teacher, I'd only be by them if they happened to turn the work in while in my classroom. That is rare as they usually complete the work on their home for homework.

I am only sharing what I've seen as a teacher. When the topic was brought up I shared the concern with my students asking them their student perspective. Maybe this is an issue for them I was honestly unaware of. They all replied that it isn't anything the find confusing.

One thing I'm wondering - how frequently do the students that get confused use canvas? Maybe it is confusing, like anything would be for any us, for those that do not use it often. Maybe they only use it for one or two classes? Our students are using at least 4-5 of their classes. Perhaps the frequency alleviates some of the confusion? Just a thought.

toldenburg
New Member

The submit button is for the students to turn in their assignment.  They see the submit button and they know this is where they turn in their assignment. The students can begin their assignment when it is published.  They shouldn't need a button to remind them to begin their assignment. 

This is my second year using Canvas and my students have never been confused about the submit button. I am confused why anyone would want to change the submit button to begin????

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

I've been teaching in Canvas for 4+ years, and never once have I or my students been confused by the Submit Assignment button. I have had students (rare) confused about which assignment to submit to, but I have long since improved both my naming conventions and my instructions and that hasn't happened for a long time now. While I realize that this doesn't mean that somewhere someone might be confused, I primarily see this as a training issue.

I am a firm believer in providing students with an adequate orientation to Canvas (or any other technology being used to deliver instruction). I want my students struggling with my curriculum, not the technology I use to deliver the curriculum. when students are orientated to Canvas, they know how to submit an assignment, and are not confused by the name of a button, they just know that is the button they use to submit an assignment.

KLM

siouxgeonz
Community Contributor

Here's my point:   "Submit assignment"  is not what the button should say, because that's not what it means.

Training should be so I can get to new levels and reach the potential for Canvas -- not so I can be told all of its bugs and mistakes!

Mistakes should be fixed.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

For the record Susan, you are correct! That button is the start of the submission process for students. The second Submit Assignment button is the one that is accurately labeled.

Still, if I want to submit an assignment, that is the button I first click to do so - that is the the start of the submission process students need to follow. Because Canvas assignments are quite flexible in their submission functionality, the process is more than one step, so for me this button still makes sense. And, as I stated, I have never had a student confused by that process. I think that sometimes we anticipate that our students will be challenged by technology, when the reality is that they are often just as proficient as we are - or more so.

KLM

siouxgeonz
Community Contributor

Good points -- glad to hear things aren't a problem at your end.

Still, I'm going to challenge this premise philosophically -- realizing that this belongs in the "meta" group.  

  "Anything is confusing if you don't do it enough." 

Why should that be? 

Shouldn't we strive for materials that have the least possible confusion?

Shouldn't we consider that saying "submit" instead of  "begin" would be a possible source of confusion, since it's not what is really happening?   It's the wrong word.  

Shouldn't we be striving for something that *isn't* confusing, period?   Even the first time?

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Oh I agree Susan, but for me this is just not a high enough priority. I would much rather focus on functionality that needs to be made to work, or which needs to be added.

Love talking with you.

KLM

James
Community Champion

"Begin" is worse than "Submit" because it implies this is the start of the assignment, in the same way that "Take Quiz" means begin the quiz. For many, I imagine most, it's really the final step in the assignment as the work on the process has begun and been going on long before they click that button. If anything needs change, which I'm not advocating, it seems like "Finish Assignment" would be better than "Begin Assignment". Although I will agree that "Begin the submission process" is more descriptive of the actual condition, it's longer and doesn't fit on the button as well and probably even more confusing than "Submit Assignment".

All of the other terminology on the screen is about "Submission". While some of this may only be available to the instructor, we have: Submission, Submission Details, and Download Submissions. The use of "Submit Assignment" ties into that common nomenclature, as does the "Re-submit Assignment" if you allow multiple attempts. Do you "Re-begin Assignment" or "Re-finish Assignment"?

Like  @kmeeusen ​ said, a good orientation to Canvas goes a long way. A teacher who can help when there are problems goes a long way. Students are also pretty good at figuring things out when there's only one button that looks like it does anything. Granted it's anecdotal and a sample size of 1, but my 4 y/o, who doesn't have a clue what the buttons say, can still figure out how to do things (not in Canvas). When it doesn't work the first time, she screams and throws a fit, and then she figures it out, sometimes with help from us but often just with fit throwing, and from then on she has it.

siouxgeonz
Community Contributor

(I've learned in programming that tweaks can cause tsunamis, though... especially "change some of these to that" tweaks.)

ccadman1
New Member

The only problem my students have is when they start the assignment,using a canvas tool-textbox or the pdf feature, and do not finish before having to leave, don't hit submit (because in their mind they are not ready to "submit" the work to be graded) and therefore lose the work they have completed at that point.  With some teaching and tips on my part and suggesting the use of a word processing software or the notes feature on the iPad and then cutting and pasting in the work when ready to submit, or even take a photo of the paper they did the work on, or just always hit submit and then go back and cut and paste and then complete the work and submit again, I have had no problems.  Maybe a feature that "saves" and allows the student to save the work, come back later and finish, then "submit" would be a better solution.

ujones
Community Member

I also think "Begin" assignment is more confusing than "Submit." I can envision thousands of my college's online students suddenly being very confused if this were to change. I see this as a user training issue, not a UI issue.