"Optional Submission" Option

0 Kudos

I have an assignment where the submission is optional that is worth points. However, I have my gradebook set so that a student gets an automatic zero after the deadline so when a student does not optionally submit they are given a zero. I manually change this but until I am able to do so I get flooded with emails from my students. It would be nice if in addition to 'submission', 'no submission' there were a 'submission optional' option. This would be beneficial on quizzes, assignments and discussion boards. 

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
Community Champion

Rated 5 stars, @tmtoscano! For me, the ideal implementation would prevent MISSING flags from being set automatically on assignments designated optional.

Community Participant

OMG! I have the same issue!

I'd like to see an assignment setting that allows to indicate the assignment is "optional" or for "extra credit". 

This way, if the assignment remains undone by the due date, it does not get marked as 
"Missing" and graded as zero (or F) (when grade book is set to automatically grade "missing" assignments once the due date passes). 

Students get concerned if they see an assignment as "missing" with a grade of F/zero when it was an OPTIONAL assignment. 

Ideally, I'd be able to have Canvas automatically mark this one assignment as "excused" instead of "missing" and leave the grade blank rather than enter a grade of zero/F.

Sure, I can manually change that to "excused" but that is AFTER the fact that students will see the automatically entered F.

Yes, I can check "do not count toward final grade" however, if a student does do this, I DO want it counted. And I think Canvas might still mark it as "missing" even if "do not count" were checked off.

And yes, I can leave a due date off the assignment. But in my experience, due dates encourage students to get work done in a reasonable time frame. Having no due date, the assignment will either not be noticed by students (it won't show up on their "to do" list) or they will just put it off until the very last day of the course and that would not give me sufficient time to grade it plus it might not be timely, in context with related work that was done earlier in the semester.

And yes, I can NOT use the "automatic" grading setting. But all of these work-arounds create other issues when it would be simpler to just have a setting in Canvas for "optional" assignments to be exceptions to the automatic grading policy.

(I recently had a disgruntled student email me because he got an "F" on this optional assignment that he choose not to do. He felt that Canvas should be "smart" enough to know the difference between a "required" and an "optional" assignment. )

Community Member

I would love this option.  We have lots of quizzes that are optional for students to review the material.  If students don't do them, parents see missing assignments and get upset. It would be great to be able to identify optional assignments so that they don't show up as missing.

Community Participant
You might set the optional quizzes to "ungraded". This means they won't show up in their grades at all. 
If you want to count the optional quizzes for extra credit If done, you can still check the quizzes directly (I think using the "moderate" option) to see who did them and what they got. Then you can manually add those points to a grade book item set to "no submission".
Community Novice

@lshulman That is a good suggestion for the extra credit. Mine is for a presentation that is worth a grade and I want to allow them to optionally submit presentation resources. Thus I cannot set the assignment to no submission if I want to allow them to attach resources there. 

Community Participant
The grade book item can allow for submission. Still can be set to zero points and you can enter whatever points you want. I do this for "extra credit". For students who don't do it, you can mark it as "excused" (although the zero/missing won't impact on the students' grades if they don't do it).