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Parents and Students Need to know the date an assignment is assigned

Parents and Students Need to know the date an assignment is assigned

When I enter a new assignment into the calendar it is posted on the due date and NOT on the day it is assigned.  Not good.  It would be much better for parents and students using the calendar to know when the assignment was assigned AND the due date. Very important.  Many parents rely on looking at my calendar every day.  If they don't see the assignment they have no idea when it was assigned NOR when it was due.  

Simple fix is to have it show up on both the assigned date and the due date.

Please fix ASAP as I have parents emailing me and soon I am going to have to call our district office and ask them what to do...

(1)
17 Comments
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi mlmodelski@bluevalleyk12.org

This would be a wonderful idea, and it has been asked for before.  There really is nothing to "fix", since this is the designed behavior of assignments and the calendar, so I do not think you will see anything "ASAP" although that would be wonderful.

What you can do is manually add an event to the calendar that states something along the lines of "Assignment available" or some such thing. You can learn how at How do I add an event to a course calendar? 

I would like to add that we warn our students to not live and die by the course calendar; but rather, to always navigate to their actual classrooms to review course content, schedules, the coming up and to do lists, and all the other tools Canvas (and you as a teacher) have made available to the students to help them stay on track.

Kelley

Community Team
Community Team

mlmodelski@bluevalleyk12.org, by "assigned," do you mean the date the instructor created the assignment, or the date on which the instructor wants students to start work on it—keeping in mind that these are not necessarily the same thing? I'm guessing you mean the latter, in which case kelley.meeusen@cptc.edu‌'s solution should work well for you, and is how many teachers are currently managing their calendars.

Community Member

It would be ideal for students and parents to utilize all those tools, but if we are being honest with ourselves, they won't and they want the quickest and easiest way - especially in our district where parents and students are both incredibly busy.  Also, I am working with 8th graders here.  

The other strong consideration is that if you put an assignment in as an "event" it is colored blue.  The assignments are colored red.  If I am putting my assignments in the blue part along with my events it gets a little too blue and messy. Students and parents will be confused by it.  If Canvas separates assignments and events, why would we then mix them together?  Parents will ask the same question.

Doesn't seem like major change, but I understand that these things take time.  I'll make due with whatever and will get on with it and won't complain - just wanted to help my students and parents.  Hope it works!

Community Member

I would like to see it in red both on the day I assign it and the day it is due.  Parents look at my calendar to see what I did that day and what I assigned on the calendar - that is what I know my parents will use and an overwhelming majority of my students.  I don't understand why Canvas would separate assignments and events, and then expect the teacher to put them together if parents want to see when the assignment was assigned.  I'll make whatever work Smiley Happy I just want my parents and students to have something simple and easy for them to use.

Community Member

Something I didn't think about is the fact that an assignment could be due on the same day you give another assignment.  Then there would be two red bubbles on that day which could be confusing.  Maybe it is best to leave it the way it is.  

Maybe it is worthwhile using 3 colors.  Blue for events; red for an assignment assigned that day; green for it's due date. 

Just some ideas. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi again, Marc:

Canvas does not use the terminology "assigned" in association with assignments. Instead, Canvas provides settings for "Available From" - most likely the equivalent to your "assigned" date, and "Available Until" - the last date students will be able to access that assignment in Canvas. These settings are available in assignments, discussions and quizzes in Canvas. This terminology is fairly consistent across all LMSs because of the nature of graded activities in an online environment. An activity becomes available to a user (student), then an activity becomes unavailable to the user.

Past feature requests have asked that the Available From and Until dates also be automatically generated as calendar entries in Canvas. You might want to revise your feature idea to reflect this more standard terminology, or to better define what you mean by "assigned", as I note stefaniesandershas already asked about.

I personally primarily teach 30 somethings looking for a new career, and if you think they are better prepared and more willing to engage in the online classroom than 8th graders, you might be surprised!  This is why I create schedules of studies, post reminders in announcements and every other trick I can find to get them to actually read the course materials.

Kelley

Community Team
Community Team

Hey Marc,

Thank you for posting your idea and for coming back and continuing to think about this.  I'm wondering if we maybe even might want something besides a calendar for this kind of tracking?  Maybe in the syllabus or elsewhere have the date assigned, date due, date graded by, etc for a list of assignments?

If we were going to add multiple dates for a given assignment to the calendar they'd have to be denoted by something other than just color for accessibility.

Learner II

As a person who works in higher ed who is also the parent of an 8th grader and 5th grader, it looks a bit like a difference in how instruction happens.  In higher ed, most faculty plan the whole semester out, with due dates for all assignments listed on the syllabus and in the LMS course. Students are mostly expected to figure out on their own when to start working on an assignment, comparing their other commitments to the due date.  When the assignment is made / created is pretty irrelevant.

In my kids' schools - and this is what it sounds like Marc is doing - assignments are made in class, as the semester progresses. Giving the assignment is understood to mean the beginning of the time when students should start working. 

I do think the "available from" date is the key to making this work for both audiences.

Surveyor II

Marc,

I've found that looking at the monthly calendar view of the calendar is the least efficient way to keep up with a course. Students and parents should be encouraged to look at the "Agenda" view of the calendar and the Syllabus tab, where all assignments and calendar events can be viewed in a list, by date. If you have an assignment with a due date and a calendar event saying that the assignment has been given, both dates would be easy to see in the Agenda view and on the Syllabus tab. Since many instructors would find the calendar too crowded if Start dates were automatically published to the calendar, I think this would be a good solution.

Community Member

Have your students and parents set an alert for when a new assignment is published and wait until you give out the assignment in class to publish it. Then, parents will receive an alert that a new assignment was published.