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Community Member

Can the student to-do list be disabled?

I would like to know if it is possible to hid the to do list from the student view.  We are having an issue with some students clicking on the assignments from the to do list instead of following the order of the modules.  It would be less confusing for our middle school students to see less on the homepage of their course.  Thank you!

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If a question has not been answered, marking it answered makes no sense. Disabling the to-do list so we don't have to perform all the workarounds people have to do (see below) would be much appreciated. And giving us that option would be a good answer.

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davidh@cos.edu, use of the "Assumed Answered" status for questions in this forum is explained in https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/community/blog/2019/10/08/how-we-keep-your-questions-flowing 

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david_hurst1@my.vcccd.edu,

I completely understand the frustration of the to-do list issue (I have a number of faculty at my institution that would like to be able to turn it off) but marking an item as "Assumed Answered" does not mean that there is actually a specific answer.  See this posting for a deeper explanation https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/community/blog/2019/10/08/how-we-keep-your-questions-flowing 


Robbie

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David, I found this open for voting if you would like to go vote the idea up. https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/15601-disable-the-to-do-list 

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The "To Do" list is problematic for many reasons. We need to have the ability to hide the "To Do" list. The "To Do" list is the digital equivalent of a staff member standing in a classroom door telling the students to not enter the classroom and go do their homework. We have tried countless ways to direct students to ignore the "To Do" list, but students are understandably attracted to it. The "To Do" list feature is well-intended, but does not serve students well. 

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Community Member

The To Do list has been a nightmare for my students. I have two different deadlines for submissions on discussion boards (one for the student's response to my prompt and one a couple of days later for their responses to classmates' postings), but the To Do list only shows the latter of the two. Similarly, I have a full credit deadline on exams and a 75% deadline a couple of days later, but the To Do list only shows the latter of the two. I would love to be able to disable the To Do list as it has caused so much confusion!!!

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profcrane@hotmail.com 

Sounds like you could benefit by leveraging the To Do list, rather than disabling it. A lot of people struggle with this and I've experimented with different things and finally came up with what I feel is the best solution.

Make your due date for the discussion the day the initial post should be done. This will disappear from the To Do list as soon as the students make their initial post. By making the due date the day the discussion ends, then students don't get the first date (unless they pay attention to other things you say/write) and once they complete their initial discussion, the item is gone from the To Do list and there's nothing else to remind them to go back in.

After changing the due date to the date the initial post is due, then go into the Assignments page and create an assignment for the second due date. For the description, make a note that they need to do the follow-up responses to the discussion and provide a link to the discussion. Change the "Display grade as" to "Not Graded". This will keep it from appearing in the gradebook or having a grade, but it does place it on the calendar and on the To Do list. The only way for the student to get rid of it is to X it out as having been completed. The item will show up in the To Do list with the prefix of "Complete" so I change the title to match that. "Complete Discussion 2 Response" would be called "Discussion 2 Response" as the assignment title.

I would also set the Available Until date to be the last date you want students to post, the one used in the non-graded assignment. This way, students cannot post past the time when the discussion closes.

Switching things around does not work. Putting the due date as the end date removes it from the To Do list as soon as people post, so having a non-graded reminder of the initial due date doesn't disappear when they post, so they're like "What happened? I posted that?" and the second reminder (the due date one) disappears at the same time.

I tried adding events to the calendar rather than non-graded assignments. Those show up on the calendar but not in the To Do list. My students who used the calendar were fine, but those relying on the To Do list didn't get the message and struggled. Make it a non-graded assignment so the To Do list users get the message.

On a non-related issue, I set the students to not be able to see other posts before they do their own and then disable the ability for them to edit their posts. That keeps people from putting in gibberish to see what others have done, then editing it to look like it was their original first post.

That is the best technical solution I've found. Getting students to be more responsible or work ahead of time is something that it doesn't fix. Trying to trick the students or setting due dates before the real due date doesn't work well -- mine just figured out how to figure out when it was really due and then waited until then to attempt it. Instead of making them fight Canvas, help Canvas work for them.

You can do the same thing with your other issue, but then it would show up to everyone, including those who have already done the exam. If the exam is in Canvas, then a better way would be to go into the Gradebook for that assignment and choose "message students who" and send those who haven't completed it a reminder. That way it keeps it out of those way of those good students who did it on time. You could use a differentiated assignment (too much work) to assign to just those who didn't turn it in. Or in the instructions for the second assignment, just make a note that they should ignore this reminder if they have already completed the exam.

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Community Member

This is a great way to design discussion board posts and responses. It's not exactly the subject at hand here (disabling the To-Do list), but I'm always happy to stumble upon useful tips and tricks. Thank you for that! 

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Community Member

I, too, would like to be able to disable this function!  

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Explorer II

james@richland.edu‌ - I appreciate your guidance on how to deal with the multiple dates for discussion responses, those were very useful.

However, we still need a way to manage what is available from our courses on the to-do list. Any ideas posted for this? I'm not sure what it would look like, though. From the student POV, I see the importance of having such a list. I see the convenience of having items in the list link directly to the item; assignments, discussion, etc. Perhaps some logic that determines if the item lives within a module and then have the link take students to the module instead of the item? Any other brainstorms?