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Option to Disconnect Old Outcomes/Rubrics Before Content Import

Option to Disconnect Old Outcomes/Rubrics Before Content Import

Canvas must make it possible for teachers to disconnect old outcomes and rubrics from imported content so they don't ever populate the Outcomes page or the Mastery Gradebook. 

Many teachers have been using Canvas for years, so they have a lot of content to import each fall as they prepare for their courses.  School districts that are standards referenced, meaning teachers keep track of student learning and teacher success through the Mastery Gradebook, may run into rogue outcomes populating the Mastery Gradebook.   As districts edit/adapt Outcomes to meet the learning goals of new online resources, or a teacher changes from one grade/subject to another, a new set of outcomes has to be set up each year for those courses.  Teachers who set up their new outcomes have to deal with the old outcomes that are attached to rubrics in the content they import.  These unwanted outcomes populate the Outcomes page and the Mastery Gradebook making it a process to delete, a permission that many teachers may not have.  Before they recognize the mistake, teachers may assess the rogue outcome making it impossible to delete, and producing inaccurate data in the Mastery Gradebook. 


If teachers are teaching the same outcomes from year to year, the import process can remain the same.  Canvas needs to create a way for teachers to unlink old Outcomes/Rubrics from imported content for those teachers who may have changed subjects, or have a new set of Outcomes to assess.252789_pastedImage_1.png

 learning outcomes institutional outcomes #removing outcomes from imported content

Community Member

Hi If the outcomes are created inside of Outcome Groups would this provide you the method of deleting a group of Outcomes at once? How do I edit or delete an outcome or outcome group in a course? 


Adam, Our outcomes are created at the district admin level.  They are unique to our district, and align with our Data Management System, Infinite Campus.  Teachers don't have many permissions to edit them.  Most teachers who have the same class and outcomes from last year, can simple import content, and the same outcomes will populate the mastery gradebook.  It's the teachers who have changed grades or have subjects with updated outcomes that have this problem.  If they don't notice, and assess a pulled rubric with an old outcome, even I can't delete it.  


I am in Tim's district, and I have encountered this issue not only with changed courses, but within the same exact course when outcomes have changed from the previous year for some reason.  For example, there was a spelling error in one of the outcomes.  The following year, imported assignments carried with them the old outcome, with the spelling error, and new assignments were associated with the corrected version.  Not only did this mean that the embarrassing typo stuck around, but it meant that the data was analyzed as if these were two completely different outcomes.  V. frustrating!

Community Member

Thanks timothy.kohl@oshkosh.k12.wi.usand for the additional information. Would it be correct to summarize this idea as a way for instructors to delete outcomes even if they have been previously used? As I think I understand the idea better after some review and research, and was I am going to move it back to Open for Voting.


I mean, that might be a way of doing it, and I'm not the OP here, but I think that what is being asked, specifically, is that one could import an assignment without importing the outcomes that had been previously associated with that assignment.  So, if in 2015 I created an assignment and associated it with a outcome X, and now, in 2018 I want to do that assignment again, but I no longer evaluate outcome X, I would like to be able to just import the assignment, not outcome X.  

Community Member

I did find a similar idea Open for Voting regarding the management of outcomes you may be interested in, 



David Millington's post is very similar, and he made a good point about other similar ideas dealing with outcomes.  I'm not sure his motive is the same as ours.  It sounds like he sees outcomes as a burden.  In our district, outcomes are a necessity.  In a few years, the mastery gradebook should become the leading tool to measure student overall achievement and teacher innovation.  The points gradebook will be a place to demonstrate specific activity proficiency. 

I am beginning to understand that these similar Ideas need to collaborate on one Idea.  Perhaps there is a solution that will meet everyone's needs.  I guess that is your job.  Can we count all our votes together?  Smiley Happy

Surveyor II


While making judgments about one's ideas and actions is perfectly acceptable, casting judgments about one's motives is another. With respect to your uncertainty about my motives, then, perhaps these comments of mine will clarify things:

..."While there is clearly a case to have a visual aid (colour schema) to enhance viewing of Learning Mastery with resect to aggregated values in Outcomes, there is surely a case for the same applied to individual grades".

...Elsewhere I have stated ideas to improve Mastery and Grade book, as the two are not mutually exclusive.

Several others have commented in agreement saying they love Canvas, but realise that Grade book and Outcomes are not yet the finished product in terms of viewing optimisation. Please realise that while you perceive Outcomes and Mastery to meet the needs typified in the US, doesn't necessarily translate to a universal panacea for all. I would hope that if you read again all my comments in context, in spite of my limitations at crafting the definitive argument,  you would appreciate my motive is to enhance and not diminish the viewing experience on Canvas. To this end, there is a case to encourage Instructure to develop its product vision beyond the parochial needs within the US borders, as huge as that may be. Since Instructure has seen fit to chance its arm at selling its product outside the US border, it will surely have to pitch its ambitions within the requirements of those countries as well. I believe the case I have previously made will, if fully grasped by the Instructure team, help realise this.



No disrespect was intended.  I sincerely apologize if you were offended.  

Community Member

In the interim, perhaps faculty could be encouraged to use the "Select specific content" option whenever they are copying content into a new course site?  This can be helpful for a variety of issues, since copying over only the content needed can save time in trying to delete all the extra items.  It won't help all situations (since I believe outcomes would still come over if attached to specific assignments that are brought over), but it might help reduce it a little.