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E-mail Confirmation Upon Assignment Submission

E-mail Confirmation Upon Assignment Submission

(3)
It would be very useful to have Canvas generate an automated e-mail response when I submit an assignment through the assignment page. This is a feature that my University's legacy system had in place and was very beneficial, especially when issues with submission arose, the e-mail confirmation was a nice comfort blanket to know that my assignment had successfully submitted.
64 Comments
awilliams
Surveyor

If you're willing to allow resubmissions then of course this is a moot point, but I can assure you, allowing late work to be submitted is definitely not an industry standard. Faculty are reaching out to me to get "a note from mommy" that the student did or didn't submit the work so for those that don't have the same approach as you, there is a need for a way to resolve these issues strictly between the student and faculty member leaving the Canvas Admin out of it.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Adam:

Of course we are not the industry standard! The very best teachers never are:smileylaugh:

watsonnk
Learner II

I have to agree about the advantage of sending email confirmation.  Although Canvas generates the email confirmation and records the info. about the upload, if Canvas were to fail student would not receive the email at the time they submitted the work, the student would see this, and then could try to upload again, or tell their instructor about the problem at the time.  And while it's true, emails can be faked, doing a convincing job of faking full email headers requires quites some effort.

As faculty, I'm also much more in favour of getting the work submitted at any time, but there are issues of fairness to other students who submitted an assignment on time.  However, Canvas only has to record accurately when the submission was made, which is the discussion here, it's for instructors to decide once they know when the work was submitted how they handle it, e.g. automatic deductions per day late, etc..

dlyons
Instructure
Instructure

Does the green check/discussion post/attempt confirmation not serve the same purpose? And it's already right in the student's face when they submit/post/take a quiz. An email is expecting the student to not trust the confirmation they see in Canvas, and to go check their email to make sure they got the submission receipt.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @dlyons ​, I've had students claim they saw the confirmation that their assignment had been submitted and it really hadn't, at least not when we went back in to check. I specifically remember way back (like 2012 or 2013) when this was an issue with students using a specific version of Safari. We had a student who claimed he was submitting and seeing the confirmation (even took a picture with his phone), but when we'd go in to check it the submission wouldn't be there. Canvas Support was able to verify that this was a known issue and once the student switched (updated?) his browser the issue went away.

I'm all for this and like the analogy of when I buy something online I might get the confirmation on the screen, but I really like the confirmation email. Why? Because there have been times when I got a confirmation on the screen, no confirmation email, and when I double checked, the order really hadn't gone through. Not sure how hard this would be to implement, but as an Instructor and a Canvas Admin I'd appreciate this feature being added.

Jeff_F
Adventurer II

I am with you on this David.

lindalee
Adventurer II

An email confirmation that could help to reduce student anxiety about whether their work has been submitted is a great idea! I frequently get emails from students who wanted me to confirm that their work had been submitted correctly, or who submitted a copy of their work via email *just in case* something went wrong -- despite course policies indicating that work submitted via email wasn't accepted. Dealing with these emails is burdensome and takes away from time that should be spent on the core mission of teaching.

handvc
Community Member

This is particularly important for assignments requiring uploaded files. If a student submits an incorrect file type, Canvas does not always provide a warning. Thus the student can believe they have made a complete submission, but have not.

dlyons
Instructure
Instructure

Are you using the Restrict File Type option? If you have that set it is impossible for a student to submit a disallowed file type (they get a warning and the submit button becomes unusable until they attach a correct file type.)

You can read about this functionality in this guide: How do I restrict online submission file types for an assignment in my course?

jsparks
Instructure
Instructure

Hello Canvas Family,

Thank you for the submission.  We can look at this idea for future development.  What data elements would you find most useful for this type of confirmation?

Kind regards,

Jason

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

Deactivated user​, this would be a great addition to Canvas!! Here's my list of what I'd love to see get sent when a student submits an assignment.

  • Student name
  • Course
  • Assignment name
  • Due date
  • Date & time assignment was submitted
  • Possibly (pie in the sky) the type of submission - file, text box entry, URL, media, etc...
lindalee
Adventurer II

To add to what  @kona ​ suggested, the filename (including extension) of the any submitted files and whatever details would be appropriate for other submission types.

My pie-in-the-sky suggestion would be including some of the metadata from the attached file(s): filename, last modified date, file type (or at least file extension?). That would be a great benefit to/verification for students who accidentally submit the wrong file. It would provide students with the opportunity to realize that they submitted the incorrect file before the deadline passes. ("I accidentally submitted the wrong file" seems to be the new "the dog ate my homework.")

Jeff_F
Adventurer II

Hi Jeff, this is your self at a later time.

You have just completed a required training course in Canvas and submitted various assignments as a student.  When turning work in you received a visual (green check) and time stamp for the submission. 

1-28-2016 12-36-24 PM.jpg

Sure looks functional enough.

snugent
Lamplighter II

The two biggest issues we have with regards to this feature request are the following:

Students "think" they submitted an assignment; however the user account details data shows a different story. Students should have a digital receipt similarly to what TurnItIn has so they can prove they did submit a file. Canvas is not perfect so error messages should display in easy to read language that shows an error occurred. I typically will escalate tickets that student submit for assignment submissions issues. I think it would be helpful for local admins to have better verification of what a person did or did not do in the system. The user account data should be easier to filter and view. See

Instructors do not have access to user account data so I would really love it if they could see the user account details for students in their courses. I would say that the bulk of calls I get from faculty are about determining if the student even attempted to submit the file and when they did. This helps to sync the student's story of what occurred to what the user account details data shows.

christina_delce
Community Member

I entirely agree...Students frequently claim that they have submitted an online assignment when they actually have not.

herriott10ad
Community Member

I would love to add a single additional field into your email confirmation: a confirmation number or receipt number, that is stored within the LMS so that an instructor can validate a particular email receipt with a course submission.

We have students spoof email receipts with alarming frequency, changing subtle details of a valid email receipt to support a bogus story of our LMS failing to record a properly submitted assignment (when, in fact, it is the student who simply neglected to complete the assignment). In ten years of fielding these cases, I have only found one student who was, in fact, correct in their assertion that the LMS was at fault.

The student population is largely ethical, but we must accept that most disputes will be spurious attempts to deflect the consequences of a neglected assignment. Please, please, please make it easy to validate these email receipts as legitimate.

sarah_smith
Community Member

It's good because that way you know that your assignment did go through.

susan-wallace
Surveyor

I find that the ability to go back in to the assignment and view the uploaded or submitted content as a "confirmation of success" is really helpful from a student perspective.  That said, I do see a use-case for the email notifications. 

I would suggest that you allow institutions to decide at a global level whether this notification setting is set by default as opt-in or opt-out.

bgibson
Community Member

A few years ago, I had a student report that they had taken a test, but it wasn't showing in the LMS (not Canvas).  This person was a "go getter" who was involved in SGA and other activities, which doesn't mean they couldn't be lying about taking the exam, but definitely was a positive for them.  Nothing in the LMS showed any sign that the test was ever attempted, and the student made things worse by giving dates for having taken the exam that were way out of the range of possibility.  At some point, I finally asked the instructor if they had ever "reset" this test (expecting them to say, no), but the professor's "matter of fact" reply to me was, "Oh, yes."  *The student had taken the test when it had first been made available, and the instructor needing to make a change to the test, and thinking no one had taken the exam yet, reset it.  That wiped away any proof that the student had ever taken the exam.  I guess, all the above to say, that the more proof I can have either for or against, will be welcomed!

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Great use case,  @bgibson !