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Customizable Checklists to Add to Modules

Customizable Checklists to Add to Modules

(7)

This is a feature that I was expecting to find in Canvas because I have used it in D2L Brightspace. A checklist is something that is added to a module and created by the instructor. Here's an article about it in D2L and here's a video tutorial

 

Functionality

The checklist would be interactive in that students could "check" the boxes of tasks that they've completed as they work through a module or project or course. Those selections are kept so when students return to that page minutes or weeks later, they can still see which items were checked and which weren't.

For example, I often would create weekly checklists that included a list of the assigned readings/videos as well as the assessments/activities for the week. They could come to the checklist as often as they wish to keep track in a quick summary view of what they had and hadn't done so far that week.

The data in terms of what was checked/unchecked was never integrated with the grading system. Checklists were strictly to help students stay organized. 

 

Rationale

The biggest reason for adding this feature is that it's helpful for students. It is also aligned with Universal Design for Learning in that it supports differences in executive functioning, project management skills, etc. It is especially beneficial for students with learning disabilities and/or processing disorders. For students who don't need or want this feature, it doesn't add any extra work or responsibility since it isn't graded in any way. A benefit to many and a harm to none.

43 Comments
richard-jerz
Surveyor II

I support this feature request.  Yes, it is available in D2L and in Moodle.  (Moodle's method is the more flexible and powerful.) It is a beautiful method of allowing students to keep track of where they are in a course.

In the original post for this feature request, Kona provided a link to a method that Canvas provides, called requirements. I spent a fair amount of time with this "requirement" feature, and it is not what we are talking about in this feature request.  The "requirements" feature is very awkward and inconsistent in its use.  For example, for an "Assignment" the student can check this off, but not for quizzes and URL links.  These can only be checked off by the system, which is not what we want in this feature request.  We want a method that puts this control to the student, not the system.  Sometimes only the student really knows when they are finished with a task, for example, when quiz repeats are allowed or when a student decides that they really have no need to view a URL again.

Shane, it is nice that you provide links to several D2L resources.  I would like to do the same for Moodle, but somehow, I believe that someone in Canvas should be keeping track of what the other major LMSs provide.  I am going to leave it up to Canvas to get smarter about their competitors are doing.  (If Canvas already knows, then they should reply with a "It's on our Roadmap as a low, medium, or high priority" or "We know, but don't care how many votes it gets."

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Greetings  @degensp28 ‌ and  @richard-jerz ‌

Have you explored theto-do list in the List View Dashboard for a student?  This feature allows more flexibility than just placing it in a module, for students can add content to this list.

degensp28
Explorer III

Hello Renee,

Yes, I have.  

richard-jerz
Surveyor II

Hi Renee, I too have explored the To Do List.  It is not what we are talking about.  For the To Do List, students must individually enter everything themselves.  And this list is not in the course, either.

Look at my example test course graphic.  You tell me where this student is in the course?  Wouldn't it be nice if there were little checkboxes to the right of each of these activities for the student to check off, not the system?

Where am I_

sandy_munnell
Community Member

I also support this idea. If it a checklist can't be added it would be great if I could see in Stats which pages the students have viewed and when.

richard-jerz
Surveyor II

I am not sure if your vote registered, Sandy.  After I voted yesterday, I saw the count double in size (from 1 to 2).  Today, I still see it at 2.  I think that we only need about another 500 votes within six months.  Otherwise, we have to start a brand new request and re-vote once again.

(Oops, I forgot to mention that even if this idea gets 500 to 1000 votes to keep it in the top 10%, if Canvas doesn't like it, nothing will happen.  This seems to be the way the system works.)

sandy_munnell
Community Member

That is odd as I am able to add comments, but not vote.

richard-jerz
Surveyor II

Now that you mention it, that happened to me, too.  I must have tried voting 3 or 4 times, refreshing my browser, etc., while logged in, and then (magically) my vote was accepted.

So I have no idea what is going on with this system, maybe Renee does.  

veronica_armour
Community Member

I would like to vote this idea up but for some reason the vote up/down buttons are not appearing.  I'm assuming because it is in 'moderating' stage.  Regardless, this idea gets an up vote from me!

sringsmuth
Learner II

I support faculty on our campus and many of them have told me that the Checklist feature in Brightspace is one of their most-used tools. Its absence in Canvas is a big deal, and I hope something like it can be added soon. It doesn't have to be fancy, just functional.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Yes, it is because I had it in moderation status while the conversation was developing.  I'll open it back up for vote.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

 @richard-jerz  

I would encourage you to have your students explore the list view dashboard more through this next quarter/semester and see what they find there that helps them out.  They do not need to add every item.  Many activities are added for them.   

In regards to the screenshot you shared, there is one feature that comes to mind.

An instructor can utilize  requirements in a module to require a student to move through a module in sequential order.  There is an element to requirements where a student can mark pages as done or not done.  How do I mark a module item as done for a module requirement? 

sringsmuth
Learner II

I appreciate the input Renee, but the Checklist feature in Brightspace was very basic yet highly effective and currently these and other solutions in Canvas don't really offer the same features. It's really just a list of items that the instructor creates, along with optional descriptions for each item, that students can mark as completed. It's not the same as using Prerequisites and Requirements, and it's not intended to be automated at all. It's just a really basic but highly effective tool for helping students stay on track with their tasks.

I have an example below of the Checklist I use in my Preparing Online Instructors class for faculty. Many people have told me that this one single feature is their most-used tool, and hopefully something like this can be implemented in Canvas.

Brightspace Checklist Example

richard-jerz
Surveyor II

Renee, thanks for your comments.  I have looked at both the dashboard and at the requirements features of Canvas.  Neither of these produces the results that Shane's feature request is about.  The requirements feature is really poorly designed, and inconsistent in its behaviors.  Have you looked at Brightspace (D2L) and Moodle to see how they nicely provide activity completion checkboxes?  If not, someone in Canvas should.  This is the kind of feature that we are seeking - the ability for students to check off what they have done.  Simple, and effective.  Sorry, but Canvas is way behind as it lacks this feature.

richard-jerz
Surveyor II

You are right on, Simon.

It was several years ago that I took a MOOC course that used Moodle, and there was this exact feature of being able to check off items.  In a MOOC, where there were days before I was able to get back in, this check off feature was invaluable for knowing where I had left off.  Then, I discovered this in D2L, and made sure it was always turned on in my courses.  Moodle can put a little checkbox to the right of every activity, equivalent to the checkbox that you have shown to the left.

I have tried to make this point to Renee in my reply to her.  What Renee suggests is not what we seek.  The "requirements" feature provides minimal control to the student with only some activities.  The To Do list in the Dashboard... well, students might as well use a Word file or whatever other To Do list they are currently using.

degensp28
Explorer III

It is really disappointing that an idea listed as trending in the monthly email was already closed for vote.  It is further disappointing that people routed to that idea from the email were told to resubmit because reopening is not an option.  Further still, after following directions and reposting the idea as a new one, the idea was closed off from voting until the momentum from that trending email has died down.

This whole process is quite disheartening.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

I notice that a very similar idea, https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8834-task-check-off-in-modules , is currently open for voting. From the description: 

I have had several students request that they have the ability to "check off" and "flag" certain items within a modules. They would like to be able to "check off" when something is completed and flag things to come back to.

If that idea were to be prioritized and implemented,  @degensp28 , would it essentially accomplish what you're hoping to see? I ask because we strive to keep vote totals and comment threads unified in one spot, and if that idea encompasses what you've requested, we'd want to archive this one to prevent vote dilution.

Thanks!

richard-jerz
Surveyor II

Shane, I agree with you.  It is worse than you described. I will add a few more.

It is disappointing that ALL of the feature requests in the Canvas Community newsletter dated 12/27/2018 were already in "Cold Storage."  As I understand this process, the movement of archived feature requests into Cold Storage occurs after an archived feature request is in "archive mode" for a number of months.  Cold Storage is like "double archived."  Cold Storage items are harder to find.

It is disappointing that votes that were cast on the exact same issue posted before are not moved to this re-post of the original feature request.

It is disappointing that this feature request has only six months to gain enough votes to remain an open feature request, before it gets canned (archived.) I give this feature request less than a 1% probability of remaining active.  We are just going through the motions.

I do recall that there is a feature request to change this process because I provided my ideas to it, but you (Shane) will have to let me know if you can find it anywhere, and if you can vote on it.

degensp28
Explorer III

Thank you for linking to this other idea.  I have also upvoted that idea, and hope that both are eventually implemented.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Thanks,  @degensp28 ‌.