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Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions

Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions

With the way that many schools set up forum discussions and require "check-ins" to the forum throughout the week, it would be great if we could include multiple due dates in the discussion activities. For instance, I have classes that require everyone respond to the prompt by Thursday night and respond to at least 2 peers by the following Sunday. Being able to remind students that they have responses due, especially if we could scatter responses over multiple days, would likely increase participation.


<Sorry if this is a repeated idea. I couldn't find it elsewhere and I'm a newbie>

Community Champion

This made me think that, if the assignment coding is complex to get multiple due dates, and the workarounds are just okay for now, the upcoming student dashboard (I'm hoping that it goes live this summer, he said hopefully) could be an excellent workaround. It would allow you to add to the students' to do list something that isn't an assignment. That would put it in front of many students and hopefully work out better.

Community Contributor

I agree with cms_hickss‌. I would like to see parameters on the multiple due dates. For example, a discussion post could have an initial post and a follow-up post set of parameters. If a student doesn't post to an initial discussion but the due date, the wouldn't be able to post to the follow-up.  Peergrade has something like that and I like the functionality of the professor having the options at least.


Community Participant

Generally, I do not vote on Ideas because a) I haven't figured out how to get a current feed of new Ideas, and b) labels with voting dates in the past, e.g. June 3, 2015 through September 3, 2015, make me think that my vote would not count.

Community Member

I concur with Kelley Meesuen's post on August 1, 2015!

I also complete the steps she outlined to provide the students every opportunity to complete their assigned discussion board posts timely.  Discussion boards is so vital to online coursework; this is where you can expand upon a subject content and help develop the students critical thinking skills. 

However, students rely on the Canvas calendar and the dashboard to guide them when course assignments are due, and in my experience with Canvas, many of my students miss the first due date for initial posts because it is not on that calendar.  I have had students complain to me about this, even though they have a weekly module calendar available to them for review for assignment due dates because their dashboard only allows for one due date per assignment to be viewed.

I hope Canvas is listening to us, the instructors, as to what is needed regarding the dashboard and calendar to help our students succeed in our courses.  It is frustrating for the students and the instructors and this issue has gone on far too long to have not had a resolution by now.

Donna Pritchard

Community Member

Original suggestion was in 2015!! This will greatly enhance the Discussion feature for students without requiring us to build in work-arounds and multiple reminders.

It's 2018 folks. Move this up in priority. (Please...)

Community Participant

This is now the voted to the 6th highest position on "Radar".  Two of those voted higher are quiz related, one is a request to modify the ability to copy or move "anything" in Canvas,  and the other two are great (why haven't those been implemented too?)

Community Participant

instead add an event to the calendar for that course. It will show up in the syllabus page but not in the gradebook. Smiley Happy

Community Member

Yes, this needs to happen along with the ability to turn off the option to make new threads, essentially turning the discussion into a reply-only environment after the first checkpoint/due date.


That would be my suggestion.  Recurring calander events make that insanely easy.  The upcoming student todo list view may also help this (its in beta at the moment).  

Community Participant

Multiple dues dates is a great idea and long overdue. I encountered this same issue with another LMS. Some faculty would set the assignment due date to the initial post date (there can't be a discussion until someone posts) and direct students to respond to each other by n days later. Others would use the follow-up due date as the assignment due (that's when all comments are due, after all) and hope students would read the assignment instructions before the due date to make the initial post on time. Both approaches had their problems to say the least.

Community Member

Tomorrow marks the three-year anniversary of the original post, and I know that this feature was requested in the previous version of the Canvas Community long before I ever got around to asking for it. I've enjoyed reading the additional feature ideas and supportive comments from everyone that has posted here, but I think many of us would like to have some feedback from the product team. Is this idea doomed to stay "on the radar" indefinitely?

Community Member

This would be huge for me. In my two week modules, students need to create a post in the first week and replies in the second week. I have discovered that rather than go through the modules, students tend to access work by its due date (from the To Do List or the Calendar), so they miss work if I can only input the later due date or later work is marked late if I input the earlier due or they miss it all together if I choose not to put any due date.

Community Member


I first submitted this request three years ago. Frustrating that hundreds

of academics agree with the idea but Canvas has done nothing.

A student suggested a temporary solution: put the first posting due date in

the Assignment/Discussion* title*. Then put the final due date in the

required calendar setting. At least they will see both when it shows up on

their To Do List or personal Calendar.


Patrick Lindsay

Farmer School of Business

Department of Marketing Faculty

First Year Integrated Core Faculty

Pi Sigma Epsilon Business Fraternity, Faculty Advisor

Office: 3071 FSB, Oxford, OH 45056

Ph. 513-505-0828

"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it.

The hard is what makes it great." Manager Jimmy Dugan Rockford

Peaches from A League of Their Own.

On Fri, May 18, 2018 at 12:38 PM, <

Community Champion

This is an excellent idea that has a lot of support from the community.  It would be nice to hear the input from canvas about why it is only on the radar three years later.  I'll bet the community could suggest a solution or two! 

Community Member

As someone who has concurrently used Canvas as both an instructor and a student, the desire on both sides to have multiple due dates for discussion boards is palpable. Discussion boards typically require a student to post an original reply to the instructor's question on the DB, then require the student to respond to classmates' replies. Canvas prohibits a student from seeing others' postings on DB - until they have responded once to the instructor's question. So students have two assignments in one DB: post an original reply AND respond to classmates' replies. As an instructor, I want to give points for making the original reply, and also points for responding to classmates' replies. AND I typically give a couple of days after making the original reply to reply to classmates. So, from the instructor's view, I need to have multiple due dates for Canvas DB assignments to allow my students to meet my DB requirements.

Lynn V. English, MAEd, CHES

Credentialed Course Instructor

Doctoral Student

Educational Studies in Diverse Populations: Health Disparities Concentration

"A society is only as strong as its weakest members" -attributed to Gandhi

Community Champion

I concur, Kelley is putting things well.

I am wondering if the proposed student dashboard we saw during last year's InstructureCon could help as it allowed the addition of things that weren't assignments to be added to it (even content pages so I'm wondering if an assignment could be added to it twice... seems plausible).

Often optimistic, mostly sarcastic, Neal

Community Member

This is a great idea! We need multiple checkpoints for discussions to hold students accountable throughout the unit or topic.  I think this will allow for students responses to be more meaningful, instead of requiring them to respond to a certain number of people and the responses begin to lack substance.

Community Participant

While I would hope that this doesn't derail the conversation, this is also a feature that would be beneficial for assigments (think first draft, final draft).

Community Participant

High time, been upvoted since 2015...! I do not even need this specific feature, but I would argue that smooth instructor workflow is positively correlated with time spent with students in meaningful ways. 

Community Contributor

Like everyone else, I would love to see this.  I want to add two details that I think could be useful

  • The to-do list item that students see should tell them how many more posts the need to make
  • When a rubric is used for grading, being able to scale the total points based on the number of posts would be useful.  So, if 4 posts are required and the student only makes 3, their assignment score would be 3/4 of the rubric score.  Right now I have a rubric element for the quality of the discussion post along with one for the quantity.  This feature would let the rubric focus on the quality of the posts.
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