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Restrict assignment submission attempts

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In the Canvas Community Ideas space, you can share, converse, and rate idea conversations related to software improvements to Canvas products.

Restrict assignment submission attempts

Currently there is no way (that I am aware of) to limit the number of times a student may submit an assignment. This functionality is available for quizzes, but not for other assignment types. It would be very helpful for our instructors to be able to set the number of times a student may submit an assignment, whether for a revisions process or simply to limit the number of files they need to comb through in grading.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For details, please read through the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-18579-canvas-release-notes-2020-04-18 

75 Comments
Community Member

This makes a lot of sense to me. We do want students to occasionally resubmit an assignment, but we'd prefer to allow them an extra attempt through 'moderate' rather than have them able to just submit as many as they want indiscriminately.

Good idea!

Community Member

Great idea mribkoff@unex.ucla.edu​. I've updated it so it will be ready for voting in a couple weeks, on June 3rd 😉

Learner II

In a previous LMS, I had students who would just keep resubmitting assignments for no apparent reason.  I was glad to have the option to limit the number of attempts and then give them an extra attempt if needed.

Instructure
Instructure

I like that my students can resubmit without my intervention. I've had to handle too many panicked "I accidentally uploaded the wrong thing" emails when I used other LMSs but now they can resubmit to their heart's content and I just grade their last (most recent) submission.

For the use case of doing revisions I've handled this two different ways (depending on the nature of the assignment):

1. If the draft itself is being graded I make it it's own assignment so I can track draft 1 and it's grade, draft 2 and it's grade, etc.

2. If the draft is just for the benefit of the student I provide feedback on their submission, then they resubmit and get more feedback, and ultimately a grade, on a single Canvas assignment

Community Member

Great input, David! That's a blog post right there! You should head over to the Instructional Designers​ group to elaborate a little bit and post a blog about this!  I've never thought of the scenario you mentioned but I can see what a relief it would be to allow students to provide and unlimited number of submissions!

Community Member

The drafts make sense to me, but for lots of assignments our teachers don't want the students to be able to keep submitting indefinitely, especially near the end of the course (10 months in K-12) where they're re-submitting an assignment from months before to get their grade up, not because they're actually still involved in the learning process. I don't think anyone is talking about taking away the ability to re-submit over and over, just asking to add the feature to restrict that if desired, just like you are permitted to leave a quiz open for re-submissions but you also have the option to restrict it.

Instructure
Instructure

Making me do more work, Deactivated user​! Smiley Wink

Instructure
Instructure

Canvas already lets you set final submission cut off dates with availability dates (What is the difference between due dates and availability dates?​). With availability dates set students can resubmit up until the deadline then cannot submit at all after that deadline. Would that help with the situation you're describing?

Community Member

Hi David! Good thought but unfortunately no. We're 100% online/work at your own pace, so while one student in the section is in module 8 because she's working on a block schedule and we would not like her to re-submit the assignment in module 2, a different student in the same section is legitimately in module two because he's been on medical leave and might be on a second submission because he's actively working with the teacher.

We set all our daily work activities to two attempts on quizzes so we already get some of the late submission issues, but at least it's restricted to two. With the assignments there could be 4, 5, 6 different assignments submitted and our teachers are required to grade in 48 hours, so they can't ignore submissions until the student stops.

So as long as the student is willing to wait a few days between submissions, they can sort of hold the teacher hostage with them for as long as they want to string them along because we can't stop them from submitting and the teachers aren't permitted to ignore submissions. We could change our rules, but asking teachers to ignore submissions isn't a place we want to be.

I guess in my mind it's an inconsistency with user experience to have that functionality available to the quizzes and not to assignments. I can certainly see how lots of people would want to leave it unlimited even if they had the chance to limit (as it seems like your schools would) but it seems nonsensical to force every user to use unlimited attempts just because some would like to retain that functionality. Both options are available on quizzes, why wouldn't they be on assignments?

Community Member

Exactly our thinking, Amanda, this seems like a simple addition which would make for a more consistent user experience across assignment types.