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Embedded Office assignment files are getting orphaned - how to avoid or recover?

I am an instructor working with a version of Canvas that has Office 365 integrated such that we can make an assignment and for the assignment's submission choose External tool - Office 365. When we do that, the student view of the assignment opens a preview of the document we want them to edit and they then edit it within the browser. If they leave the assignment tab open, everything works as advertised. HOWEVER, if they close or navigate away from the assignment page, and then return to the assignment page, they are presented with a new copy of the document. The copy of the document they were working on gets "disconnected" from the assignment. Even though the file exists on their OneDrive and all of their work is saved, if they click on "submit" on the assignment page the file that is submitted is the newer, blank version. I have attempted to rename the files to see if I could "trick" Canvas into submitting the correct one (the one the student worked on), but that doesn't work. I can create a new assignment and have them upload the file they worked on, but I would like to avoid that (if I had wanted to do that why use the external tool in the first place?).

Is there any way to re-connect an orphaned Office 365 file to the assignment it came from so that the work done by the student can be submitted?

Thanks,

Nyssa73

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While I cannot reproduce the exact behavior I was describing (to provide screen shots), I was able to reproduce something similar by deleting the copy of the file that Canvas created when I viewed an assignment with embedded O365. So here is what I see.

This is an example assignment with an embedded PowerPoint document:

 

Working file link.jpg

Now, there is a copy of the source file in my course directory on my OneDrive:

OneDrive file name.jpg

and I can edit the document:

Editing doc.jpg

Now, I cannot "submit" the document since I am the instructor, but I can break the link between the assignment and the document by downloading the edited file, deleting the edited file from my OneDrive, and then uploading the exact same file back onto my OneDrive. If I look at my OneDrive, it is exactly the same as it was before:

Copied doc.jpg

But if I reload the Assignment page, I get this:

Error assignment.jpg

Clicking on the "Load" button does nothing. The only way to fix this error that I have figured out is to edit the assignment and re-link the original document. This gets me back to a page that looks like the first image in this post. I can go in and edit the document through the assignment page, but this new work is saved in a new copy of the original document. But let's say I had done a _lot_ of work in the version of the document that got "lost".

Is there any way to re-connect that document to the assignment so that the system recognizes it as belonging to that assignment (and therefore could be submitted)?

Thanks for reading all the way through the post,

Nyssa73