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Student view: View submissions and comments for all submissions

Student view: View submissions and comments for all submissions

Right now students can only view their most recently added submission to an assignment. This means that all previous submissions to the assignment are not available to students, including feedback that the instructors have provided. This is a big problem because students are losing critical information that could help promote learning and understanding.We need to eliminate this lossylearning problem and make all assignment submissions visible to students!
Community Participant

@Stef_retired - this beta feature still needs a lot of work. I discovered it while searching for a solution to this issue and I walked through it with a couple of faculty. I will check out the Student Assignment Enhancements Group and post in there as well, but one of the issues is that, for students, while viewing their grade/feedback on the assignment, the only way to view the previous assignment submissions it to go back to "Resubmit Assignment." That's clunky as can be. 

Community Member

I totally agree! I'm surprised that this idea from 6 years ago still hasn't been implemented. Can we get it back on the review track? This has been very frustrating for me and for my students, and is really an equity issue that students can't access previous comments to continue to improve their work and writing. Please support anti-oppressive grading practices by making all submissions/instructor comments available to students, not just the most recent one.

New Member

Yes, @hechla and @rcottrel

I would like to see this happen too! 

New Member

Yes! This is a huge problem.  Students should be able to see all submissions for an assignment, and the feedback they are provided on each submission.  Often, I require multiple documents to be submitted to complete an assignment. Students cannot see which documents they have already submitted, or the feedback I provide.  Correcting this problem should be a priority..  It doesn't make sense that students can only see the most current submission. 

New Member

I find it not only dis-heartening but counterintuitive that students can not see previously submitted assignments. I regularly have students submit work, either in pieces or needing continued feedback on their work. If they can't see it, how are they to know where they are right and where they need to focus more attention. 

Students/parents need to have access to view their previously submitted assignment pages. Thanks!

Community Member

I want to add a comment here as well. This is very annoying and it discourages us from using the re-submit feature at all. Instead, we will be creating duplicate assignments so that student feedback is not lost for students. This is absolutely ridiculous and bad design. Please get this back to review!

Community Participant

Many of my assignments require students to submit multiple things--screenshots of source copies, handwritten scansion, etc.  I have to tell them multiple times not to submit more than one document, and teach them to combine everything into one long PDF, rather than the much more intuitive system of adding attachments in separate files--because otherwise, they only see the last thing they submitted (usually a source copy) and then I write a bunch of comments on their essay that they can't even access.  At least half of the submissions I get, I need to contact the student and have them re-submit their multiple files as one long single file, every time having to explain that Canvas has this glaring design flaw where I can see their multiple submissions but they themselves cannot.  


Then, when I allow them to resubmit an essay they've revised, although it would make much more sense to have them submit in the same assignment window where it would replace the grade, I don't want them to lose the extensive feedback I wrote on the first one.  So I have to instead create a whole new assignment window, make the revision worth zero so it doesn't show up in the grade book as a double grade, and then remember to go back into the original assignment to adjust the grade after I read the revision in a different window.  WHY?? Please allow them to see all of their submissions!

New Member

Literally just want to be able to view all my submissions. if I upload a text submission then click resubmit and upload a video media submission I can not find the text submission unless I am a teacher or get on my phone and look in the app

Community Member

I’m a ok glad it’s “OK to be critical and express frustration from time-to-time” here, because it’s been over six years since we started complaining about this bug.

Community Participant

I've heard so many colleagues request this "view previous submissions/annotations" feature, and I wholeheartedly agree with them.

We are a language school, and so our students have to submit a lot of essays. We encourage them to resubmit improved versions and to keep an eye on their personal growth. However, to do this they have to be able to see previously received feedback. How else will they keep track of improvements, frequent errors and things they consistently do well?

I currently have to tell my students to download the speedgrader feedback as soon as they receive it (unfortunately, it does not always translate well to the pdf), before they upload a new version.

(What puzzles us most is why this feature is apparently only available in the app...)

Community Member

I am a teacher and also a parent so I can see both sides when DocViewer is used to leave feedback.

It would be nice to have a way for students to view their submission history so that they are able to see annotations made in DocViewer for ANY and ALL of their submissions. As it is now, as soon as they resubmit any assignment, the comments on the previous submission are no longer available so the teacher needs to then re-annotate and give feedback again. This makes it almost useless for a teacher to even use DocViewer to leave feedback because it is gone the minute the student resubmits the assignment.

Community Member

@kona I recently had a student not implement several of my suggestions on the first submission. When I asked the student to go back to see my notations on her original submission, I thought she was just trying to dodge work when she said she couldn't see them! After several back and forth emails - all of which felt like a "Who's on first?" routine - I finally had the student do a Webex with me so they could share their screen. No words to describe my surprise that the student could in fact NOT see those original comments! An even bigger surprise was to see that you posted this in 2015 and that a solution still does not exist outside of using the app. (I did like your 2018 suggestion to download the comments and send back to the student as a submission comment - thank you for that!)

I just gave it a 5-star rating, but do you have a sense of how many ratings it takes to move this to the next phase of product development? I was rating #59 (avg. rating of 4.966).

Community Member

SOOOOOO.... it's been SIX YEARS and this still has not been fixed? It is the most basic feature of an LMS! Students need to see their past submissions and their teachers' annotations in order to learn! WOW! Canvas LMS SUCKS!

New Member

When students upload a new version of an assignment they can no longer access their previous feedback. It would be very useful from a teaching, learning and reflection point of view for students to be able to see all of the documents that have been annotated by their tutors.

New Member

Has there been any progress on this feature request? 

It seems like this is an essential feature that would benefit countless instructors. Perhaps it would be possible to tweak the code so that the student view could mimic the instructor view in the DocViewer? Thanks so much and please advise.

New Member

It is frustrating for students to have to start all over with a new student annotation to edit an assignment. They should be able to edit their original. 


New Member

As a student I cannot see previous submissions of documents in Canvas. This is not very good for credibility for either student or teacher.

New Member

Currently when students resubmit an assignment, they can no longer see the previous version OR any of the feedback.  This is difficult in writing classes when students submit multiple drafts and the teachers make annotations with suggestions for edits. 

The teachers can still see the feedback (in this case, annotated the student submission), but in order for the student to see it, the teacher has to download it and email it to the students.  

Please consider adding the ability for students to see previous versions of assignments AND the teacher feedback.  I've talked to Canvas tech support and I am told this is not currently available.  

Community Participant

@Melissa1276 Exactly! This is such an essential part of the writing process, and it's practically being nullified because a feature is missing in student view!

And then there's the fact that it is not obvious that the access is different (i.e. that teachers can see previous feedback, but the student can't). It's not mentioned anywhere, so some of my colleagues didn't even know about this until someone (either a colleague or a student) pointed it out. It is so frustrating!

One of my colleagues suggested that it might be even better if students could not just see past submissions with feedback, but also open two submissions for a task side by side. That way, they would be able to really compare any feedback on the first and second versions of an essay.

New Member

This is definitely needed.  Otherwise students lose the feedback on earlier drafts, or on comments faculty made to files that were in an earlier submission.  The instructor then has to do the work to make these accessible by downloading, then uploading the file back into the Speedgrader.