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Disable the To Do List

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In the Canvas Community Ideas space, you can share, converse, and rate idea conversations related to software improvements to Canvas products.

Disable the To Do List

I want students to work from the Modules and complete work in the order on the Module.  This ensures student learning progresses in a sound pedagogical order.  The student To Do list completely sabotages student learning.  If they click on an assignment on the To Do list without doing all the preparatory pages and information I have listed, in order, on the Module, they are not properly prepared or reinforcing their learning.

I have to put big red words to asking them NOT to work from the TO DO list, but some students will take the short cut anyway.  

Also, the student To Do list takes up too much screen real estate.  This right frame is completely counter-productive and unnecessary. 

Please put in a feature where the instructor can control or disable the student To Do list.

(1)
16 Comments
Community Team
Community Team

Thanks for sharing this idea, jmccarth; it's open for voting. Like you, when I was teaching I organized my courses and managed content delivery through the use of modules—and, in addition to hiding nearly all of the course navigation links, I used prerequisites and requirements liberally in my modules, as I discovered that this cut down dramatically on students' ability to jump around in the course from the to-do list (or from the Course Activities list at the bottom of the Syllabus page, for that matter). Setting availability start dates for the assignments also helps manage the course flow.

Learner II

Now that we can add to-do dates to pages in modules, it is possible to put all those other activities on the to-do list as well, but unfortunately the order set in modules does not control the order displayed in the to-do list or syllabus.  It would help to at least have the sequence of activities in those other areas match the module sequence set by the instructor.

Community Member

I totally, agree. I have quiz questions at the start that ask them to acknowledge that they should start with modules. I have added pre-reqs and to-do thingers in the calendar and still they'll come to me mid quarter and appear to discover for the first time that they haven't been doing the ungraded pre-work or that they didn't know one discussion had two due dates (first post by monday, all posts due Wednesday, etc).

There are work arounds, but they are lots of work for instructors and so easy for students to stop thinking and just use the todo list.

Community Member

Concurr!

The "to do list" is a big distraction from going to the Modules and follow the content, not only the assignments.

I'd love to see this gone!

Community Member

Come on. As a student, the to do list has saved me so many times from forgetting to do an assignment that is due. If your students aren't doing the required readings, thats your fault for not making the assignments more involved and requiring those readings to be completed. I can't believe you want to punish every student who uses canvas and benefits from this function simply because you can't engage your students enough to do the readings.

Community Member

If the to do list can be disabled, that would eliminate mass confusion among my students. 

Learner II

Another idea has been added that would allow the to-do lists and calendars to continue to display reminders, and instead address confusion about what to do next by disabling the hyper-links.  That solution might be more beneficial to students.  https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/16391-option-to-turn-off-hyperlinks-in-calendar-to-do-and-cour... 

Community Member

Enough people have requested this - from threads years ago I found online. I'm attempting to find a way to disable the to do list due to fully online learning right now and am disappointed that there doesn't seem to be a fix. My students KNOW after using CANVAS all year that they need to go to Modules, and yet they continue to work off the to do list. I have locked the modules so they have to complete them in order, so now I get emails and messages reporting that the assignment is locked. So students think, well I tried to do the work, but the teacher screwed something up in posting it, so I'm off the hook.

Unless this is software breaking code to remove I don't see what the big deal is about making this an OPTION rather than a feature we have to repeatedly tell our students to ignore.

Learner II

I agree, although I prefer the related idea to turn off (or redirect to the modules page) all the hyperlinks that students use as shortcuts bypassing the modules page: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/16391-option-to-turn-off-hyperlinks-in-calendar-to-do-and-cour... That way, students still see the reminder that there is something to be done, but they have to go to the modules page to open it.

Community Member

You are making uninformed assumptions.  The To Do list is an incomplete representation what the students actually need To Do.  I don't want to punish "all students."   I want to benefit my students by not misleading them, some of  things they need To Do simply won't appear on the To Do list.  I give students a checklist of assignments, so they can't forget an assignment.  The To Do list is just a tempting distraction that will entice students To Do work out of order.  It is not unreasonable that, as the instructor, I should be able to control the look of the user interface.  If there is something in the user interface that is counter productive to sound pedagogy and student learning, I should be able to shut if off.  For example, if I were a in-class teacher, Instructure should not have control of my bulletin boards.

I am just requesting control over my interface.