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Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions

Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions

(243)
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>

383 Comments
htandeta520
Community Member

Yes!

boneill2
Community Participant

Brilliant -- it's frustrating having to create two separate assignments for one discussion. 

jlambert3
Community Participant

Hi Jordan, it is 2018 and this idea was introduced in 2015. Instructors are still posting about this matter. Do you know if and when this idea will be addressed. Or if it has already, please help me figure out how to set multiple due dates for my discussion board without it being too confusing for my students. Thank you.

smoeller
Community Participant

I have several instructors who are using Moodle Workshop and they are hesitant to switch to Canvas because this feature is missing. Currently, for peer review assignments, we use different due dates for uploading the assignment (for instructor grading) and for peer review. Only the assignment due dates appear in student calendars, not the peer review due date. Please add the feature (better fix this). 

brent_scholar
Community Participant

So whatever happened to this suggestion from 2015?

aadderley
Community Member

I was just getting ready to post the same thing!!! It is OVER 3 years, and we are still requesting it!!! 

Jeff_F
Community Champion

An enterprising person with our institution has suggested use of a to-do task as a prompt for students to post the initial reply by day x of the week.    Does this approach jive/ blend with the intended use of to-do's and will it course copy from a template?  Can a course designer set this up for the instructors later use which will be a copy of the course?

Or can only students create a to-do??  erinhallmark‌, can you please clarify.  On this page it seems to say only students can create to-dos.    https://community.canvaslms.com/message/104815-to-do-tab-on-calendar-item   (see last comment)

boles
Community Participant

Hi Jeff -

The new "to-do " calendar option doesn't resolve the issue. It's a private prompt; for yourself as instructor, or for the student individually. The instructor's prompt doesn't appear on the course calendar for students, and vice versa.

The work-arounds to the problem of not having the option of multiple due dates in discussions includes (1) creating a calendar event, but that doesn't work well because it doesn't show as a due-date in a module. (2) One can create a non-graded assignment in the module, which will also appear by default in the Calendar, with the title, "First Post Due Date for X Discussion." But that confuses students because they also see a different due date for the Discussion itself, presumably a few days after the first post due date, in the module and Calendar. To work around that work around, one could label the actual Discussion "Second Post Due Date for X Discussion" but that also confuses students because they have to go to that item, labled Second Post, to make the first post. I suppose one could label the actual Discussion, "Second Post Due Date for X Discussion, But Make First Post Here Too." Still confusing, especially to freshmen.

In short, there is no happy work around and Canvas simply needs to create the option of multiple due dates for Discussions, or at least Team Discussions, if not also for multi-part Assignments.

- Elson

Elson Boles

Professor, Department of Sociology

Saginaw Valley State University

Gilbertson Hall N266

University Center, 48710

bdalton_sales
Instructure
Instructure

Elson

I've got a couple of questions which I'd like to ask how you see this being implemented.  I've seen a few people who seem to think that this would be a trivial thing however my feeling is this would be more complex than it appears. I'm genuinely interested in knowing peoples opinion on these things.

How would you propose to present the multiple due dates in the Calendar if using multiple assignments is already confusing for students?  How would it present in the new ToDo list for students? 

How would you propose late penalties operate with multiple due dates? or shouldn't they?

How would available from and until dates operate with multiple due dates?  would they only apply once? 

How would late and missing labels be applied appropriately in the grade book, opportunity center etc. ?

How is this presented to the student on the Assignment page?  When they are submitting can they select the checkpoint they are submitting to or can they only submit to the current checkpoint even if a previous one hasn't be submitted?  Can they submit to future ones? 

How is each submission presented to the instructor in SpeedGrader? as a single submission or individually as the contribution from each checkpoint?  This would be particularly important for discussions where each checkpoint could be numerous posts, but also affects other assignment types.

There are a lot of other touch points I probably haven't thought of yet either.  Can anyone see where else in the UI might be affected?

Jeff_F
Community Champion

Thanks for the smile re: work around the work around.

For the time being I am thinking this may well remain a classroom management item where we prompt students to set reminders on their calendar.  Now only if the To Do entry in the calendar had a weekly repeat capability.  Then it would be a one step process to set that reminder.    You know what they say... if you give a mouse a cookie...

calendar

Steven_S
Community Champion

Brett,

I proposed making the reply a new assignment type as a solution to many of those questions.  I know it wouldn't solve everything for everyone, but if it made the solution easier for canvas to implement we might actually get somewhere.

The assignment would work like this:

1.  Create a Discussion, "Canvas Talk," select allow threaded replies, and assign as normal.

2.  Create a "Reply to Discussion" assignment, selecting the Discussion "Canvas Talk" for replies (both "Canvas Talk" and "Reply to Canvas Talk" assignments will point to the same discussion)

  • use options to indicate how many threaded replies are required for the "Reply to Canvas Talk" to be complete
  • include the normal discussion grading options, or if replies are graded as part of "Canvas Talk" instructors mayselect not graded
  • include the normal due dates options - if replies are due later than the due date of the "Canvas Talk," then once "Canvas Talk" closes, students clicking on "Reply to Canvas Talk" will still have access to create threaded replies to each other, but will not have access to buttons for replying to the instructor's initial prompt

3. Students reply to "Canvas Talk" and that discussion is marked complete

4. Students add threaded replies to each other.  After the required number of replies "Reply to Canvas Talk" is also marked complete.

hensonj
Community Participant

I'll just mention again, that I'd like to see this functionality added for assignments as well. This would be useful for things like first draft/ final papers, etc.

bennej28
Community Participant

I love the effort to see this get approved. As others have stated, it was authored over 3 years ago, Implementation feels like it takes a lifetime doesn't it.

Discussions and how they are used in the fully  course or other modalities have come a long way. Not too long ago it took a lot of data to convince the engineers or IT folks at the LMS companies to add a rubric button for discussions. I am more incline to see an option for students to enable 1-2 notifications within a discussion as a reminder on day 3 and 6, not to force them to post by the 4th day, just a due date on day 7. 

boles
Community Participant
Happy to respond to that. I'm not sure I'd say it's a trivial thing, but I do think its not a difficult thing because Canvas already has multiple due-dates for an assignment or discussion (technically they are "different" due dates for different individuals or groups), it's just that they are not designed to be multiple due dates for everyone for an assignment or discussion.  The functionality is there, it just needs some elaboration.
I'd also argue that using multiple due date is not itself confusing to students. But the way canvas does not permit multiple due dates for the same assignment, causing instructors to create awkward work-arounds, is what causes confusion among students.

Multiple due dates in canvas, if permitted, would work identically to the way they currently do for setting different due dates in an assignment for individuals or groups for an assignment.  There would be some obvious differences.  There could be a check a box for multiple due dates (like for multiple attempts).  Clicking on that and entering a number would open up additional due-date boxes and this would cause Canvas to add to the title of an assignment or discussion  "...due date #1", "...due date # 2", and so forth in the modules and calendar (and thus also "Upcoming" or "To Do") If a student accidentally clicked on a later due-date to submit a post or an assignment, they would be informed that it counts toward the first submission.  All first submissions, on time or late, would count toward the first due date.  A late submission would be marked late.  
Seems straightforward to me.

Elson Boles 
Professor, Department of Sociology
Saginaw Valley State University
Gilbertson Hall N266
University Center, 48710
maske
Community Participant

Great idea. Just had an instructor ask about this last week.

erinhmcmillan
Community Team
Community Team

Hi, Jeff,

Currently only students can create personal or course-related to-do items directly from the List View Dashboard or Calendar, but instructors can add a page or a non-graded discussion as a to-do item that displays on a student's to-do list.

We had some previous behavior where instructors were able to view the to-do option in their calendar, but we have since fixed that behavior. Instructors will be able to officially create a to-do option in a future release after the development of the instructor List View Dashboard.

Thanks,

Erin

boles
Community Participant

I think there are errors in your statements Erin.

"Currently only students can create personal or course-related to-do items directly from the List View Dashboard or Calendar"  and "Instructors will be able to officially create a to-do option in a future release after the development of the instructor List View Dashboard."

1.  In fact, currently instructors can create To Do items in the Calendar, not only students. And so these are "official" items.  By "official" do you actually mean that instructors can create "To Do" items in the Calendar that will *appear to students*?  Because that's what matters.  The term "officially" doesn't address this aspect.

2. Being able to create a "To Do" item in a module that provides the due date there as well as in the Calendar would also not resolve the problem for the same reason that creating a page or a non-graded assignment doesn't resolve the problem:  none of those items take students to the Discussion, it only provides a due-date.  And the Discussion where they actually make the posts cannot have the same due date, since then there is no purpose to the non-graded item or To Do item, which indicates the first post due-date.  The Discussion where they make the posts has to have the second due date (or third).  So what does the instructor title the Discussion?  Discussion Post #2?  "Discussion Post #1 and #2?  Regardless, students become confused because they go there to make their first post and they see a different due-date than the first post due-date.  There is work-around that doesn't create confusion.

The solution is to have multiple due dates that post as separate items in the module and calendar, but which take students to the same Discussion. 

boles
Community Participant

I meant, There is no work-around that doesn't create confusion.

j_c_turner
Community Contributor

Sounds like a great idea Chris White 

Anything to nudge participation is welcome. 

Have you got evidence that this increases participation

jim

chriswhite
Community Member

I've only got anecdotal evidence. Early in our switch to Canvas, students were forgetting to come back and follow up on discussions because the date had already passed in the To Do list. The "super students" were still submitting initial posts and replies without a problem, but we would have several in each class not do the replies. With a 0 point assignment that redirects them to the weekly discussion, the vast majority of students remember to post replies. So, no hard numbers, but I'm also not going to experiment when students' grades are impacted. 

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