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Delete submissions by students

Delete submissions by students

(29)
Hello!

 

A situation recently came up in class where we wanted to remove a submission that a student uploaded to an assignment. We were told by support that "the only way to do that is to remove the assignment completely from the course," which isn't the most convenient thing (because then we delete other submissions by other students).

 

It would be useful to have an option for faculty and TAs to delete submissions for individual students.

 

Thank you!

141 Comments
amberh
Community Member

That is a good point. I love this feature idea, but if we could include this function into the User Permissions options then each school could control which roles have access to performing this function ( Help Admins, Teachers, T.A.'s, Students) I can see this curing a lot of concerns.

ep8736
Community Member

I think that it would be even better if it was a course creator's choice. The school may be concerned about teacher integrity, but that problem is solvable by a deletion log that is visible to all that can view the page, no matter who can delete submissions.

sgriffith
Surveyor

Another use case scenario...

Instructor used Crocodocs to grade the assignment, put a lot of work into it and has a lot of great inline comments on there! Student accidentally resubmits assignment. Now the student can't see the original submission with all those awesome comments, only the resubmitted assignment.

If this feature was implemented the instructor could easily remove the accidentally resubmitted assignment and the student could then see all the feedback the instructor left on the original submission.

The alternative feature idea for this use case scenario would be to create the option for students to toggle between all assignments submitted, like instructors and admin can.

ezaurova
Community Member

Is that true??  I hadn't realized that students couldn't cycle through their submissions like we can.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @ezaurova ​, yes, this is absolutely correct. As soon as students resubmit to an assignment they can't see previous submissions, including any feedback you might have provided on the original assignment. Here is the feature idea for this -

sgriffith
Surveyor

Thanks for including that previous feature request,  @kona ​!

olexar
Community Member

Just last week, I ran across a couple of scenarios where I would've liked to delete a submission. In the first, a student inadvertently started the wrong quiz. I could tell from the quiz log that she indeed started, immediately closed the quiz, and emailed me about it. The second scenario was after a student reported technical difficulties while taking the quiz on his phone. (I require screenshots for reported difficulties, and he sent one. All my sleuthing efforts supported his report.)

In both of these scenarios, if I allow another attempt, he/she could review the previous submission (the incomplete or partially complete submission) prior to re-taking the quiz. While I do use question pools, some questions may reappear. Without the ability to delete the attempt, I simply go with an EX grade vs allowing an extra attempt; however, I would rather not do the EX.

I should add that the ability to disallow review of ANY kind, before a certain date, could've helped as well. See my idea that got eaten by the panda-cat:

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

These are great user cases and mirror some of the same issues/problems we've seen on our campus!

amcallister
Surveyor II

Not exactly the same request, but we want a way of an administrator programmatically deleting all student submissions from a semester 1 year after the end of that semester. We need to trim our data storage and some of these submissions can be large, and there is no reason to keep the student submissions in Canvas.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @amcallister ​, I don't hear of many people who are concerned about data storage/usage who use Canvas, but couldn't you just delete the whole course? As long as you save the course number you can always go back and restore the course if needs be - How do I restore a deleted course in an account?

amcallister
Surveyor II

 @kona  we don't want to delete the course, because the faculty and their Faculty Office wants to retain their materials for future reference: getting agreement around that is even harder. It's the student file submissions we want to delete because no grade appeals can happen after a certain deadline so there is declining value in that data. I'll have to inquire more with Instructure about data file storage.

Thanks,

A.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Definitely talk to your CSM about the data file storage. We've been fully using Canvas since 2012 and haven't even come close to reaching our original contract data limit. I also know for us that it's important to retain the information for accreditation purposes. If one of our accrediting bodies (for our College and for some of our various programs - Health Information Technology, Nursing, Surg Tech, etc) comes in and wants to see student information we have to be able to pull it up ASAP.

Side note, if your faculty/faculty office want to keep the course content you could create master courses for them for each course and then have them copy the course over into the master at the end of each semester and then you can go through and delete the course. You could also technically have them upload their entire courses into Canvas Commons - and only share it with themselves or those who needed access. That would save all of the content, make it easy to add into new courses, share with anyone they want, and you could then delete all the courses.

marthazumack
Learner II

It's really frustrating that with so many votes, that idea was shelved. I hope Canvas will come back to it, because it is still causing us trouble, and I imagine is for many others!

marthazumack
Learner II

 @canvas_admin  - whenever we have an assignment submission as a prerequisite, we actually set the prerequisite to be a minimum grade (we put 1). This prevents students from being able to submit any old thing to get around the prerequisite. This only works because we have tutors grading submissions very quickly, so it might not work in other kinds of situations.

adenico
Community Member

I'd like to add that my, "pleeeease let us do this" vote comes from a really problematic technical issue: If a student's paper gets corrupted as it is being uploaded into an assignment, or if a corrupted file  is uploaded, it makes it impossible to use the grading function for ALL papers within that assignment. If you cannot remove the corrupted paper, there is no recourse to fix the problem and the whole assignment for all students is then corrupted. I have had to ask my students to resubmit their papers days after they were due! The grading function regularly saves me hours of time grading with a rubric, and it's one of my top favorite features. But if it's that easy to corrupt SpeedGrading, then this significantly affects my use of (and my preference for) Canvas. Please consider either fixing this really problematic bug or allowing us to erase files if necessary.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @adenico ​, does this (a student's paper getting corrupted or a corrupted file being uploaded) happen often? In nearly five years of using Canvas--during which time I've had literally thousands of files uploaded by students to my assignments--I have not had this happen once. I'm not being snarky, just curious; this is honestly the first time I've ever heard of this.

adenico
Community Member

Hi Stefanie,

I'm new at Canvas this year, but I have had a very crack IT team looking into this, and it does seem as if this is what is happening. So, I can't answer whether it happens _a lot_, but I did read online that it is a "feature" of the system that if a paper gets uploaded that is incompatible with the system, the tools for grading disappear. Other people have noted and asked about this disappearance. What wasn't clear in the on-line conversations was whether the entire set of papers under that assignment became ungradable--like they have in my case.

We have also looked for some time at other reasons that this could be happening and couldn't find any. We _do_ have a corrupted paper and the tools are mysteriously missing (and there is no way to enter a curser into the paper) for the all of the papers within the assignment.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

I agree that this is something new/strange that I've never heard of happening either. We've been using Canvas since 2012 (and I provide assistance to all faculty and teach myself) and I can say I've never heard or seen this issue before. Occasionally a student turns in a file that won't load, but everything still works for the other students submissions and we've just had the student with the bad file resubmit.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @kona ​, yes, that's been my experience too (a student submits a file that won't load, but he or she resubmits--no harm, no foul). Wow, we've learned something new here, and  @adenico , thanks for letting us know; this is an exceedingly strong use case for the proposed feature!

millerjm
Adventurer

I support this idea as long as there are a few things in place to prevent bad things from happening: 

1.  Log of deletion and who deleted it.

2.  Log of original submission, available to instructor and/or admins, that includes the original submission and files submitted.

3.  New Permission for the ability to delete submissions at both account level and course-level.  Not bundled in with any of the current create/edit assignment or "manage all other course content" permissions.