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Recurring Assignments

Recurring Assignments

(6)
I am a college professor, and I frequently give recurring assignments such as a weekly reflection paper wherein the students answer essentially the same questions each week about that week's materials.

 

It would be great to be able to create this one time with the due date, points value, etc., and then make it recurring for every week rather than having to either create new assignments and copy/paste the content (but still assign all the values), or use Commons, which I find to be very cumbersome, and which still requires me to change all of the due dates, etc.

49 Comments
ajohnson
Community Member

This is how I see the difference.

  • Copying: A similar assignment is done more than once in a course, but has some difference and/or occurs irregularly, so the directions or settings would be changed. For example, a draft and a final version of a paper; weekly homework problems for which you must change only the chapters/pages/problems; something that happens 3 times in a term, at weeks 2, 4 and 9, so can't be an easily recurring time period (hmm, unless those recurrences could be set for any specific date/day?); a regular discussion that just changes the prompt/questions.
  • Recurring: Identical assignments done 2+ times during a course. Only difference is the due date, at the most. For example, a weekly journal/log/blog. [Very specific example from a nursing clinical course with the same due date for all assignments: Students have to submit a case log for every 8 hours of clinical, up to 29 logs for a course. Students do there hours at various points in the term, but everyone must do 29 logs. Directions are identical for all 29 assignments. And it totally wasted time when we had to update the instructions for 4 such clinical courses....)
ajohnson
Community Member

PS, for copying, it would be super handy to say you want to copy it X number of times. That would allow recurring ones to be more easily created if recurring isn't a possibility or comes later (since I imagine it's much more difficult to program).

kristin_bayless
Community Member

Once added, it's important that a particular assignment can be altered without affecting the remaining assignments.  For example, due to a snow day or similar.  This reminds me of our calendar system when deleting a single appointment of a series when it asks if the deletion should only occur for the selected appointment or from this point forward.

esommer
Surveyor

A programming provision for recurring assignments is so important and would save enormous about time. All that cutting and pasting is annoying and then you have to reset the dates and all the other preferences for the assignment! So time consuming. Why just have screen option for recurring assignments and a list of easy to complete boxes for all the dates.

Speaking of "easy to complete boxes" . . . when a teacher imports a course and starts resetting dates, the program should recognize the new year and semester and move the calendar entry dates accordingly. (Yes, I know that when importing we can ask Canvas to "guess" the new semester dates, but it not very accurate--especially when assignments have odd due dates.

jsparks
Instructure
Instructure

Thank you, all, for the updates.  I see how this idea can be useful; however, as any implementation or delivery of this feature is more than six months away, I suggest we archive this conversation for now. I have added this idea to my backlog of possible features.

Regards,

Jason

kmatson
Learner II

Hi again Jason,

Yet another opportunity to ask, where is Canvas on creating a copy tool?

Thanks and sorry for pestering you,

Karen Matson

smoushabeck
Community Member

Hi Jason,

Per your comment, is it realistic to expect this feature to hopefully be available for this school year, 2016/17?  I have my fingers crossed.

Best,

Samar

smoushabeck
Community Member

Guess what!  it has been done! 

However, I am not able to see this feature in my calendar yer.  What should I do?

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @smoushabeck ​, per the comment in the beta release notes linked in the feature idea, and the guide How do I add a repeating event to a course calendar?

Recurring Calendar Events is a course-level feature option. This feature must be enabled at the account level before it can be used for individual courses.

so if you do not see this capability in the Feature Options section of your course settings, please contact your school's Canvas account admin.

smoushabeck
Community Member

@Hi Jason,

Somehow the request/idea got lost in the terminology.  The ask here is for recurring assignments but the implementation of the idea was limited to events only.  This is a badly needed feature that I would hope does actually happen sooner than later.Share IdeasCanvas Feature Ideas

scottdennis
Community Team
Community Team

Hello  @smoushabeck ​,

You are correct that these are separate feature requests/needs that originated in the community.  Recurring calendar events has been implemented whereas recurring assignments has not.  The ask for a method for creating multiple copies of an assignment is something under consideration but at this time we do not have a timeline for when it might be implemented.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
  Idea is currently in Product Radar Learn more about this stage...

mikeys
Community Member

One shortcut to ease the pain of copying multiple assignments. The idea is to create the description in a google doc, and then embed that doc in every Canvas assignment. The benefit is that if you need to change the assignment description, you can do it once in the google doc, and it will show up in every instance of the Canvas assignment. (you still need to create X copies of the Canvas assignment grrrr)

  1. Create a google doc which is the formatted description of the assignment.
  2. In google docs, go to File -> Publish to the Web
  3. Click the 'embed' tab
  4. Click 'Publish' and then copy the code that just appeared.
  5. Create or open a Canvas assignment and enter Edit mode
  6. Click HTML view
  7. Past the code you just copied
  8. You're done!
  9. (To remove the margins in the canvas view, go to the google doc -> File -> Page Setup -> [set margins as desired])
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Great idea, mikeys​! I love leveraging Google Drive for repetitive items, and I've written up some ideas in Using Google Docs for dynamic Canvas content​.

you still need to create X copies of the Canvas assignment grrrr

This is definitely a pain point, but you'd be surprised how quickly it can be accomplished simply by right-clicking + Assignment to open the assignment the interface in multiple tabs. The windows will automatically launch in edit mode. Then it's just a matter of switching tabs to the one completed assignment, clicking on HTML View, copy-pasting the code, and then pasting it into the HTML view of all of your open tabs. I recently saw a demonstration where the presenter was able to create 15-20 identical assignments in under a minute.

And, once you've saved them all, you can use  @James ​'s handy Canvancement Adjust All Assignment Dates on One Page​ (video demonstration is here: Adjust all assignment due dates on one page​) to give each assignment a different due date.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

 

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

jennifer_canna1
Community Member

Similar to setting a weekly, biweekly, or monthly calendar item in Outlook - I would like to see the ability to do this with assignment due dates/times.  For example, instead of having 16 different assignments to set up over a semester for a recurring assignment due weekly, creating 1 that populates the 16 weekly due dates would save me a lot of effort in course prep.

susanjaehn
Surveyor

Do we have any updates regarding the implentation of this recurring feature? I see that we can add recurring events, but being able to have recurring assignments without having to edit due dates would be incredibly useful for those of who have multiple courses. 

TeacherjesA
Surveyor

I was just thinking of this today and didn't see anything in the Help section.  I hope this can be implemented soon.  Right now I'm just duplicating things and changing the due date and available dates.

schopenh
Surveyor

I agree, this is exactly what I need and its missing. Taking way to much time and adding more stress than necessary. 

mary_mincy
Surveyor

I can't believe that after sooooo many people have requested this feature that Canvas can't come up with this one.  I even saw a thread where a software developer gave canvas the solution to develop the feature.  I've tried to find a way to vote on this but I'm guessing it isn't open to vote anymore.  If I'm wrong and Canvas has added this feature, will someone please let me know? If I'm right.....then Canvas, PLEASE give us this ability to create recurring assignments so we don't have to go in and duplicate, edit, rename, change the date, and then save.  If I can set a recurring payment with online banking, surely you can do this.....