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Download a subset of assignment submissions

Download a subset of assignment submissions


I have browsed around a bit and am thinking i am missing this so feel free to close this down if it's a duplicate but in working with our large enrollment computer science classes I've noticed that it would be ideal to allow for some kind of partial download of assignments.

If there were a way for an instructor/TA to select a subset of students and download their submissions, that would make the download size, time, and load more manageable. I suspect you 'can' download 200 computer program submissions in one zip file but for larger enrollment courses you might not want to Smiley Happy

- Melanie

Community Member

Melanie, this would be very helpful for me as well.  I teach two of the five sections of one course, and we all share one canvas course, though we're able to differentiate between the sections.  Still, when I go to download the submissions, I have to get everyone's, and then go through and select those from my students only.  It would be much easier to be able to download the submissions for specific sections.

Surveyor II

I was just about to submit this idea, Melanie, and I am glad to have found yours.

Building on Elena's post, I would recommend that the "download submission" option downloads the submissions for whichever section the user is viewing (entire course or a specific section).

Explorer II

Absolutely fritzvandover it makes the most sense tied to sections I think as well. 

- Melanie

Explorer III

 @kroeninm ‌

I have just drafted this and then saw your post here, completely agree on this feature  

"Assignment Submissions download to match Sections

I’d like to make a feature request with respect to downloading of assignments.

We use sections to organise our students so tutors can easily identify their students and the ones they have to mark. The issue we are having is that if a lecturer goes to mark their students they can’t download only their students submission via the download submission option.

They download all submission by all students. This can be seriously problematic when you have over 140 students but you as a lecturer only mark 6-8 students. It also kind of makes the section origination defunct as the lectures see everyone’s work .

Can we please have a feature that means you only download the active section you are viewing or can select the students section to download.


Community Member

Thanks for writing this up!  For an additional perspective, please see our idea which was marked as a duplicate of this idea:‌.


Community Member

Upvoted :smileygrin:

Just had a call from a teacher, 1578 students in the course, 56 tutorial groups delivered via sections. He wants to download the assignments from only his group of 30 students. The download command downloads all 1578 submissions even with only his filtered view of the Gradebook.

Herding some cats here to get more upvotes!


Voted! This feature is sorely needed. In our institution's large, multi-section courses, we work around this by enrolling TAs (sometimes teachers) as limited to only interact with other users in the same course section. That is the primary way in which Canvas can currently filter bulk Download Submissions by section.  It would be nice to be able to do this regardless of how teachers and TAs are enrolled -- and as  @michael_fedyk ‌ suggested to have this match the current Gradebook filtering.

Surveyor II

Seeing this information, I fear that my hope of creating sections to decrease gradebook issues with very large enrollments is a pipe dream, at least for now. I am struggling to understand what the benefit of creating sections is and frustrated that it can't do such a seemingly simple thing.

Surveyor II

I am totally surprised that this is not currently a feature given privacy concerns. We have our enrollments set to only interact with those from the same section but even if I filter by section in the Graebook,  a teacher gets all the submissions.



We also need to be able to download the submitted documents per section instead of one big file. (700 students in one course, 12 sections, managed by 6 instructors)

Or at least download the documents in a subfolder per section.

One way to work around this is by creating assignments per section, but that is of course not a good way of working.

update: Thank you  @RobDitto ‌ for your suggestion to limit the user view to their own section. That works!

Community Member

I can't believe that this is not a feature, as well. I expected to be able to sort via time, date, or classes; however no option for that, and one does not realize that until they learn the hard way. As an art teacher, I wanted to print my students' art  for a contest, and cannot begin to explain the frustration and extended time that the lack of this feature caused me. I would expect the feature would be offered soon.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

We often have multiple teachers sharing a Canvas shell. This feature idea is greatly needed. On top of this, if students don't name their files correctly it becomes even more difficult to sort through and figure out which student is who. 

Either a sub-folder per section or download based on a selected section. 

Learner II

Has voting on this been deactivated? I've tried to vote this up, but it won't register my vote (and I am logged in).

This feature is critical -- I have over 500 students in my course and 10 TAs. Downloading everyone's submissions and them writing scripts to sort them into the correct discussion sections is extremely time-consuming and should be something that a Learning Management System supports (without having to beg for votes on it).

Community Team
Community Team

 @hasti ‌, this idea is still open for voting at this writing. The most common reason members who are logged in are not able to vote upon an Open-for-Voting feature idea is that they have already upvoted it.

299761_voted up already.png

Learner II

Thanks, Stefanie - I forgot I could manually search the list of folks voting on the idea. I seem to recall that it used to show me that I had voted on an idea already, just like it shows me if I've already liked a comment. Am I imagining that or has that feature been removed?

Community Team
Community Team

 @hasti ‌, I'm fairly certain this feature hasn't changed since we moved the Canvas Community over to this platform—and wow, it's been nearly four years now! I did some testing and can confirm that the interface is slightly different depending on whether a member who is authenticated into the site has or has not voted upon it:

Not Voted Upon: Button is not shaded, "You have not voted" verbiage appears

299762_idea not voted upon.png

Voted Upon: Button is shaded, "You have not voted" verbiage is not present

299763_idea voted upon.png

Learner II

Thanks, Stefanie. Wow, that's subtle. Especially since, even if I have voted, the "Vote down" button toggles from unshaded to shaded when mouse over it. I guess I never noticed that I should assume I've already voted on something unless I explicitly see the words "You have not voted" -- which is kind of a weird design choice, since there are way more things I haven't voted on than have. It'd be much more intuitive to have something analogous to the "Like" option which shows me "Like" if I haven't already liked it and "Liked" if I have.

Also there are plenty of other places where there are two button options and one of them shows up shaded by default; the "Add Comment" / "Cancel" buttons when I add a comment and the "Save" / "Cancel" buttons when I edit a comment in this very forum, to give two examples.

Community Team
Community Team

 @hasti , we on the Community Team aren't able to make changes in the baked-in design choices implemented by the third-party software provider. We have a Meta Community Group‌ where anyone can go to discuss all-things-Community (as opposed to Canvas-specific feature sets).

Community Member

As a TA, I have to download the entire gradebook for a 600+ student course to transfer my excel grades in for my two sections.  It's so frustrating!

Community Member

So there aren't updates from Canvas yet to include this feature?!?