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How do I assign an assignment to an individual student?

How do I assign an assignment to an individual student?

When creating or editing an assignment, you can assign an assignment to individual students. You can also set different due and availability dates for a student within an assignment that is assigned to the rest of the class. Availability date functionality is still available for each assignment.

Only the student(s) specified in the assignment details can view the assignment.

When using differentiated assignments with the Gradebook, the assignment appears as a column for all students, but grade cells are grayed out for students who have not been included in the assignment. Grades cannot be assigned for students who have not been included in the assignment, and assignments that are not assigned to a student are not factored into overall grades. 

When Multiple Grading Periods are enabled in a course, assignments are also respected against closed grading periods.


  • To allow a student access to an assignment past the assignment's initial Until date, you must set a different Until date for the individual student.
  • If your course is using MasteryPaths, you do not have to manually assign assignments to individual students. Learn how to assign an assignment using MasteryPaths.
  • If multiple due dates apply to a student, Canvas will assign the latest due date to the student. For example, if a student's individual due date is November 18 and the group due date is November 20, the student will be assigned a due date of November 20.

Open Assignments

Open Assignments

In Course Navigation, click the Assignments link.

Add Assignment

Add Assignment

Click the Add Assignment button.

Enter Assignment Details

Enter Assignment Details

Enter a name [1] and description [2] for your assignment, as well as any other assignment details [3].

Assign to Student

By default, Canvas will assign your assignment for everyone in your course. To assign a different due date to an individual student, click the Add button [1]. Type the name of the student in the Assign to field [2]. Search fields are dynamic, and you can search for students by first or last name. When the full name appears, click the name. Lists are not scrollable.

Assign to Specific Student

Assign to Specific Student

To create an assignment that is assigned only to a specific student, click the Remove icon next to the Everyone label [1], then start to type the name of a student in the Assign to field [2]. Search fields are dynamic, and you can search for students by first or last name. When the full name appears, click the name. Lists are not scrollable.

You can include more than one student in the To field as long as the students are to be assigned the same due and availability dates.

Edit Due and Availability Dates

Edit Due and Availability Dates

In the date fields, add your preferred date(s) with the following options:

  • Due [1]: Set the date and time that the assignment is due. The due date will already be populated for you if you created an assignment shell, but you can change it if necessary.
  • Available From [2]: Set the date and time when the assignment will become available.
  • Until [3]: Set the date and time when the assignment will no longer be available.


  • To allow a student access to an assignment past the assignment's initial Until date, you must set a different Until date for the individual student.
  • Beneath the Due Date and Availability Date fields, Canvas will display the time zone date and time according to context. If you manage courses in a time zone other than your local time zone and create or edit a due date for an assignment, the course and local times are displayed for reference.

Add Additional Dates

Add Additional Dates

To add another student with a different due date and availability dates, click the Add button.

Remove Dates

Remove Dates

You can also delete additional dates by clicking the remove icon next to the appropriate date.

Save and Publish

Save and Publish

If you are ready to publish your assignment, click the Save & Publish button [1]. If you want to create a draft of your assignment and publish it later, click the Save button [2].

View Due Date Warning

View Due Date Warning

If you do not add course sections to the assignment, you will see a warning message asking you if you want to add those sections.

You can click the Continue button [1] if you don't want to add any sections to the assignment, or click the Go Back button [2] to go back and add additional sections.

Note: This warning message will not appear if everyone or all course sections are assigned to the assignment.

View Date Error

View Date Error

If you submit an invalid string of due dates and try to save the assignment, Canvas generates an error notification. Such invalid entries include not unlocking the assignment before it is due, not placing the due date inside the range of availability dates, or assigning a date that is outside the course or term dates.

Correct the date and then update the assignment again.


  • If the course does not include specified course start and end dates, Canvas validates the assignment against the term date set for the course.
  • If your course is using Multiple Grading Periods, the Assign field validates the due date against the closed grading period and requires the assignment date to be past the date of the closed grading period.

View Assignment Dates

View Assignment Dates

View the dates and users assigned to the assignment.

View Assignments Page

View Assignments Page

On the Assignments Index Page, the assignment shows there are multiple users and dates assigned to the assignment. Hover over the text to view date availability.


My problem is that I need to accommodate some students with double time (not an extended due date as demonstrated) on a timed quiz. I don't think there's a way to change the time for one student (right?), so I've had to set up a second, separate assignment with double time and assign it to just that student. That works, but I then need to unassign that student from the original quiz. The only way I have been able to do that is to *manually* assign it to every student in the course other than the one being accommodated. What I'm hoping for is something like the "Everyone Else" option in the "Remove Dates" image above.

Part of my reason for wanting this capability is that I don't get these accommodations memos all at once. They come in one by one, many before drop/add ends, and I'd like to set this up as the memos come in. However, manually adding everyone else's name (as noted above) before drop/add ends could mean I leave out someone who adds the class after I do this.  

Just spitballing, I was thinking I could assign it to that student with a one-minute due date window, effectively ensuring the student won't use this assignment and giving me the option to use "Everyone Else." The only problem is that if it is assigned to that student, it will show up in the gradebook, so this quiz will be in the gradebook twice for this student.

So is my best option to wait until drop/add ends (so I have a final list of students in the course) and then and only then manually add all other students to the assignment?


@jbielecki On a timed quiz, you can add time in quiz moderation.

Is there a way to add these differentiated assignments into the same module as assignments given to the rest of the class?  They are not populating on my list when I attempt to add them to the module.


When adjusting due and availability dates, the default is to assign the assignment to "Everyone". When you add additional dates (see the Add Additional Dates step in the guide above) and add specific students to the new Assign to area, the first Assign to field will change to "Everyone Else". That will allow you to adjust due dates and times for specific students. However, those won't change the amount of time given if the quiz is a timed quiz. 

If you'd like to give specific students more time on a timed quiz, you'll need to adjust the time allotted for those students from the quiz moderation page like @jmattern mentioned. For steps on how to do that for a quiz created with the Classic Quizzes tool, see Once I publish a quiz, how do I use the Moderate Quiz page?. For steps for a quiz created with the New Quizzes too, see How do I moderate a student's assessment attempt in New Quizzes? If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out.



Just to clarify, were you able to use the steps above to create a differentiated assignment? If so, when you look at the Modules Index page, you should see a "Multiple Due Dates" link for the assignment. When you hover over that, you'll see differentiated due dates. For an example of what this looks like, check out the View Modules step in the How do I view differentiated assignments with different due dates in a course? guide.


Following up on @jbielecki 's question, is there a way to exclude one student from an assignment without typing in the names of every other student in the section?

I would LOVE to see an option to assign to everyone and then exclude particular students or sections.  I'm specifically thinking about differentiating for students in need of a reduced workload, or excluding one student while assigning a different (modified) assignment to those students.

@MrsOHare This would be great, but I doubt they'll implement this exactly--they already have similar functionality by being able to excuse assignments for students (who you could then assign a modified assignment to)

i.e. Assignment #1: assigned to everyone (excuse Students A and B in the gradebook)

Assignment #1a (modified): assign to Students A and B

@MrsOHare I agree with @jmattern since there are already 2 pretty similar features, I'm not sure a feature idea would get very much traction. One thing you can do is assign the assignment to everyone in the course or section with a set of due and availability dates and then assign it to the student(s) you'd like to exclude from the assignment separately without due/availability dates. Then you only have to type in the student names for students you are excluding. Then they don't have to worry about due dates and you can simply give them full credit or excuse the assignment for them. Let us know if you have any other questions.


- Nathan

[I posted this in the general questions forum, but this seems like the right place to ask, too]

I notice a student is populated into an "assign to" field in an assignment when I type a student's name and then type a comma (,). Is it possible to input a string of names separated by a comma or semicolon to autopopulate a group of student names into an assignment? Or does it have to go one at a time? I can seem to find a typing trick to get the Assign To field to generate multiple, discreet student names from one string of text.

Being able to do this would allow me to set assignments for groups of students (distinct from the Groups made under People). Our school is trying to navigate sectioning in a COVID context where people are taking the same course at different times.

As far as I know, the only way to accomplish this is if students were in different sections within the course (for example, if you had an "in-person" section and a "distance learning" section).  For example, all of my students are in one Canvas course, and I can assign period 1 to be due at one day and time and period 2 to be due at a different day and time.

I've never found a successful way to assign something to an "extra time" group--I've always just had to create that second "assigned to" box and enter in student names one-by-one in there.

I have a question that is similar to MrsOHare's, I think: I am using Assignments for timed quizzes (rather than the Quiz functionality). While the "everyone" setting works normally, I now have a student who will be absent this week and will need to make up this week's quizzes at a future date.  How can I *exclude* this one student from this week's quiz assignments?  Simply granting her an extended due date will not work, because I don't want the quiz assignment to be visible to her until that future date/time. 

I tried creating a Group Set with two groups: the "excluded student(s)" and "everyone else".  But then when I go to try and limit the quiz assignment to "everyone else," it doesn't show me that option.  It only shows me the excluded student as an option.  

The only other option I see is to manually opt in all the regular students and leave out the absent student. That is very time-consuming for a class of 75 students.  

It would be *really great* if Canvas had an "exclude" or "except" feature for Assignments.  Is there such a thing?



Also, @jmattern and @CanvasDocTeam 's suggestions/responses don't address my problem, I don't think, because:

1) I need the excluded student not to be able to see the assignment until her future time slot, and

2) Creating a separate assignment (like Assignment #1 and Assignment #1a still requires me to create a group of "everyone else" and manually excluded the one student. I need assistance in how to do just that.

Please help!

You should be able to set an assignment to be "available from " for that specific student. I would handle your particular problem (if I understand correctly) by doing the following:

1) assign the assignment to everyone at the original time

2) assign the assignment to the excluded student, making the "available from" time reflect when the student is back.


Everyone Else: "Available from " Wednesday 9am, "available until" Wednesday 10am

Student A: "Available from" 9am next Monday, "available until" 10am next Monday.

Thank you so much for responding! But if I do step 1 and assign the student to everyone at the original time, then the excluded student will be included in that, right?  But I need her to be *excluded* from the original assignment time -- ie for the assignment to be invisible to her. So I am not sure how this suggestion helps me.

There seems to be no way for me to *exclude* a student from "everyone else." In a class of 75 students, are you suggesting that I manually type in 74 students every time I have an absent student who needs to be excluded from a quiz?

You can assign her separately from the start.  When you go to assign the assignment, you would just click +Add below the rules for "everyone" to add that student's rules separately.

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