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Surveyor II

How to message students from Anonymous Assignments

As the title suggests, I'm in a bind here.

How can students be chased if the ability to message students who have not submitted is disabled because of anonymous marking?

The workflow we use is as follows: We use Tii LTI

A student has been graded in Tii.

Tii then sends information to the courses Gradebook (Grades)

This defeats Tii's own anonymous setting by making information visible to Tutors inside Canvas.

So it logically follows to ensure complete anonymity the Assignment container used by the Tii LTI should also be set to anonymous. Now the assignment is completely anonymous, but we cannot contact any students who have not submitted.

I'm looking for creative solutions that maintain anonymity but also allow students to be contacted if they have not submitted.

Things I've already suggested:

Turning off anonymous inside the canvas assignment, but that compromises the anonymity of the student

Turning off the anonymous setting to message students and then turning it back on (you can do this on the assignment), but that compromises the anonymity of the student and we don't know when people are looking at the course as page information can be served at the time information is being revealed and stays in position until the user leaves the page.

Mainly I want to make sure I've not missed something and if anyone has hit this.

Thanks in advance

3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Interesting dilemma.  How about going into SpeedGrades, setting the option to Sort by Submission status (to get all of the people who haven't submitted in a row), and then using the comment feature in Speedgrader to post a note about missing the Assignment?  Even if this is a fairly large class it wouldn't take much time to paste in the comments, submit it and then go to the next student in the list.


Thanks Rick, that is a very interesting suggestion, I'll give that a test to see this workaround in action. 

hi Rick,

I did try this and it hasn't worked. I think I understand where this confusion has arisen:


From this article:How do I select a grade posting policy for a course in the Gradebook? 

"Additionally, when assignment grades are hidden, students cannot see their assignment grade, submission comments, or grade change notifications."

This then seems to be contradicted.

"Students can see peer review comments when assignment grades are hidden. However, students can only see instructor comments if the instructor posts grades or submission comments."

I'm not sure what that sentence is talking about, its in the context of Peer review so likely the peer reviewed assignment.Obviously there is an ability to post comments and for these to be seen if the Assignment is Peer Reviewed.

If Instructure are reading this I'm going to ask they clarify this. I will also pose this question on the documentation.

The test I conducted :

Set up an Anonymous assignment in my Sandpit course

Setup Tii on the assignment and make this anonymous too (as described in OP)

Added myself to course as my custom role based on Teacher

Added two test students to the course, one using my own email address, one a colleague at work

Checked emails work

Checked notifications are set to immediate

Posted work as one of the students

Went to the assignment speed grader

Added comments to both

No notifications or message went to either (on dashboard or email)

I think from this that its not possible to do it that way.