Submit an assignment on behalf of a student

Idea is currently in development

As an instructor, I'd like the option to submit assignments on behalf of my students. This feature should enable me to pick a file from my computer and upload it as a submission for a given student. I should then be able to assess the submission just as if the student had submitted it themselves. A note should appear somewhere that indicates I submitted the assignment on behalf of my student. This would help me in cases where, for instance, my students submit an assignment on paper or the submission is a performance (a speech or presentation) that I capture on video.

transferred from the old Community

Originally posted by: Bill Hanna
Special thanks for contributions by: Paul Gibbons, Sydney Cheek-O'Donnell, Kona Jones, Stefanie Sanders

Community Champion

That's good to know.  When I tested with the test student I did not see the attachments.  Even so, I would like to have access to those attachments in my own view of the gradebook.

Community Contributor

Please please please. My students are younger and often make mistakes, and no matter what I do, they often submit to the wrong assignment. With students for whom just getting them to turn in something is a challenge, it is frustrating to then have to turn around and be "well actually you turned it in, but to the wrong inbox." It would be nice to just be able to do it myself.

Community Participant

Yeah...I still can't believe this hasn't happened yet.  There is a wide swath of teachers that the lack of this feature is enough to use a platform other than Canvas.

New Member

Yes please, i could do this in the old system the school had and it was a big help.

Community Participant

I agree with you on this, Seth.  Sometimes, students just panic or have real technical difficulties and they e-mail me an assignment that was supposed to be attached to the assignment link in Canvas.  For the sake of handling such cases consistently, I don't accept e-mailed assignments because they're "not gradable" through e-mail (especially since I've made it clear that assignment not attached to the proper link by the deadline will earn a score of 0).  This is in part to discourage students from e-mailing me late work (which I don't accept) after the link in Canvas has closed.  However, if a student legitimately has a problem getting the file to attach and they've contacted me prior to the due date to explain the issue, then I would consider accepting an on-time submission received through e-mail (as long as it didn't become a habit) if I could go in and properly attach the document to the correct link so that I could grade it with the rubric, etc. like everyone else's assignments.

Community Contributor

It's going to be available in the New Assignment Workflow for Teachers ( > Students > Actions) in the future.

New Member

I teach in a very diverse school district and sometimes students do not have access to Internet to upload from home. I would like the opportunity to upload for those rare students who cannot do it on their own.  It makes it easier for me to have all the materials on Canvas.

Community Member

Especially right now with the issues of mass online learning this feature is absolutely a god sent to faculty, TA's and support staff... Thanks

New Member

I cannot believe this functionality is missing. I had given my students an in-person midterm right before Spring Break with the plan of grading them and returning them in class. The coronavirus response has cause my university to move to on-line only classes. I assumed I'd just be able to scan in the exams and use SpeedGrader. I assumed wrong.

This is huge deficiency in a tool that supposedly supports both in-person and on-line content.

Community Champion

 @steve_undy ‌, what I do in that sort of situation is to grade my exams on paper, scan the graded tests in, and then attached them to a Canvas assignment (submission type "in person") as file attachment comments. It's definitely not perfect (and I also want them to add proper functionality for it to Canvas), but it's the smoothest way I've found so far to "pass back" something collected in person as a Canvas assignment.

New Member

Thanks Linnea. Unfortunately, I've already scanned in their exams (prior to grading). I don't want to scan in again, so I will mark them up with Acrobat. The next step will be to get them back to them. I'll see if I can do what you suggested.

Community Champion

Yeah, if you've already scanned them in that's probably your best option.

On a side note, if you have the scanned exams for the entire class as one file in Acrobat, the best way I've found to break that into individual files for uploading (so students don't see the tests for other students) is to bookmark the first page of each student's test in Acrobat and then have Acrobat split the file by bookmark, using the bookmark names as the file names.

(I also use a naming scheme for my bookmarks that will lead to them being in alphabetical order so as to make it easier to find them when I'm going through in SpeedGrader and attaching the files, but I do that by assigning each student a number and printing those numbers, along with their names, on their tests using a mail merge before passing the tests out in the first place, so it's a little late to adopt that exact process in your case. I then use the a name scheme that indicates the semester, course, exam, student number, 3 letters of student's last name, and one digit of their first name unless that would lead to multiple students having the same letters, in which case I start adding letters. So, for example, John Smith, the 23rd student numerically in the course, taking the third assessment in Semester 2 in Math 8 would have their test titled as "S2A3M8 - 23 SmiJ" for Semester 2, Assessment 3, Math 8, student 23 Smith John. The numbers force correct alphabetical order even when I'm dealing with a mixed pool of Martins and Martinezes, but I generate them before the test by exporting my Canvas gradebook and numbering the class from 1-n using Excel.)

New Member

Here's a little run-down on the top 10 requests, including this one (asc, up-votes):

Post TitleOpenedTime OpenTotal ViewsUPDOWNUP%
Printable / PDF-exportable quizzes3/31/154 yrs, 11 mo, 30 d35,6082,4612998.84%
Allow folders in Pages11/11/163 yrs, 4 mo, 10 d27,8222,2508296.48%
Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions5/5/154 yrs, 10 mo, 4 d30,2462,2011499.37%
Create Question Banks from MSWord5/17/154 yrs, 10 mo, 16 d36,8251,7282498.63%
Ability to Save and Copy from Frequently Used Comments in Speedgrader/DocViewer5/15/154 yrs, 10 mo, 14 d13,9001,4671099.32%
Regrade quiz when deleting questions9/1/154 yrs, 6 mo, 0 d17,9641,3042098.49%
Notifications by Course10/27/154 yrs, 4 mo, 26 d58,1161,099599.55%
Adjust all assignment and quiz dates on a single page4/7/154 yrs, 11 mo, 6 d19,6811,076999.17%
Submit an assignment on behalf of a student4/14/154 yrs, 11 mo, 13 d21,8461,0422797.47%
Let us schedule a Publish Date / Time for Content Pages11/16/154 yrs, 4 mo, 15 d9,1631,0151298.83%
New Member

I have students with accessibility issues who email me their work. I would like to upload it to Canvas and then grade it so the only copy is not in my email. 

New Member

Please, please, please consider adding this ASAP! It really shouldn't be that hard and would make many of our lives so much simpler. Particularly now we are in the age of Covid-19 with everyone just wanting their students to submit in any way they can, some with problematic connections.

Community Participant

Have to love all these 2015 ones that are still wanted.. but sadly no action.

New Member

I saw a "give a badge" button and clicked on it, but alas, badges are turned off. Just know that you are appreciated for your summary of this request data!

C'mon Instructure! You can do this! What needs to happen for these changes to be implemented...

New Member

This could help with students who for some technical or accessibility reason is having problems submitting an assignment.

New Member

Please implement this. 

New Member

This would be really useful. Currently with the covid-19 lockdown I have a lot of students submitting, who would normally be doing so with me in a lab with them, reminding them that they have 5 mins to save and submit. 

Now I end up with an avalanche of emails claiming "technical difficulties" a few mins after the deadline.