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How to unlock a file after a student completes a quiz or a group completes an assignment?

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Each of my course "units" (implemented as "modules") has two assessments:

1. A quiz.  This quiz includes multiple choice questions and a file upload question.  Its easy for me to let students see the solutions for the multiple choice questions.  I've tried two things to let them see the solutions for the file upload:  (a) I used the rich content editor and then the HTML editor to painstakingly create a suggested solution in the question's answer "comment" box.  It all looks good when I edit it, but all the formatting disappears when the students actually view the question.  So...a wasted half hour.  (b) I tried to make the quiz, then the solution file both "required" and said the students need to complete the requirements in order.  Works fine UNTIL...I add

2. An assignment.  This one is by group, but it doesn't really matter.  I have a "suggested solutions" file that I'd like to give students after the assignment is completed.  There is no "comment" I can make after submission...and, even if there was, if it loses the formatting, it doesn't do me any good anyway.  So, I make both the assignment and the solution file both "required" and said that the students need to complete the requirements in order.

Now, we have the problem...there is no natural ordering of the quiz and assignment.  Students can do the quiz and assignment in whichever order they want.  Some group members may do the (individual) quiz first and submit the group assignment before other group members submit the quiz  Maybe all the group members want to complete the quiz last.  Maybe some want to complete the quiz before the group gets around to the assignment.  In fact, the quiz is only a self assessment and is not actually even required.

What I REALLY need to do is make a file release conditional on finishing a quiz AND another file release conditional on completing an assignment.

Is there any way to accomplish this?  (Before you tell me to create separate modules for (1) the "base content" of the module, (2) the quiz and (3) the assignment, don't.  I already went down that route and tripling or merely doubling the number of modules makes the course ungainly and way to complicated to work through the modules...)


1 Solution

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Turns out it opens to your test student regardless of the date so long as the course is not yet published. So you can't test the restrictions until your course is "live."

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Hi  @thomas-rietz ​ - You raise several issues here, and I can't help with all of them, though I think I can help with the others.  Regarding students not seeing your formatted comments correctly, I did a test file-upload question, and interestingly I noticed that students can see something I wrote  in bold and italics, but I also tried red-colored text--which the editor allows--and they could not see that.  You may want to submit a ticket to Canvas support on that one, but also let them know exactly what kind of formatting you were using.  Use the Report a Problem link, as mentioned here: How do I get help with Canvas? 

As for your Modules questions, that can be solved--I think--by editing the Module, as outlined here:  How do I edit a module?  I did a sample Module with similar assignments as yours.  The "trick"--and I admit the dialog box does not always make this crystal-clear--is that you have to click the Add Requirement link at the bottom of the dialog box.  Contrary to what you may be seeing in the box, that does NOT just apply to the last radio button ("Student's must complete one of these requirements") but rather to the entire module settings.  Below is a screen capture of something similar to what I think you are trying to do:

edit module.jpg

So above, after I enabled Students must move through requirements in sequential order, I clicked the Add requirement link and added both of the items that I had already placed in the module courtesy of the drop-down menus that will appear.  I want them to at least TAKE the quiz, so I say that they have to score at least 0 on it.  Then, I require them to submit an assignment.

Using the ever-handy "Student View" I can then see that this works as it should from the student's perspective:

student view.jpg

Notice that the "Sample Upload Assignment" is grayed out.  They literally cannot click on it until they take the quiz.

Does this help your situation?

Thank you for the idea.   But, this is exactly the problem.  This forces the quiz to be done before the assignment.  We're looking for a solution that (1) allows the quiz and assignment in whatever order the students want, but (2) forces the quiz before the quiz solutions and (3) the assignment before the assignment solutions.

w/r/t the formatting, I seem to lose everything...but the most important thing is tables.

Other than the separate module solution - which you don't (understandably) want to do - the only thing I can come up with is just not releasing (making available) the file until the quiz and assignments are due. Students wouldn't get access immediately, but otherwise it should work the way you want it.

Thanks.  There is no due date on the quiz because it's a self assessment.  So it doesn't help there.  The assignment has a due date, but doesn't restricting by date only work in files view?  If so, it still doesn't help.

 @thomas-rietz , you don't need to have the files navigation link enabled in order to use a date restriction on the file. You can drop a link to the file in a module so that it appears somewhere in the module sequence after the quiz.

However, as you note, this isn't going to help you if there's no due date on the quiz.

If you set up the module requirements and prerequisites as Ken described above, and place the file immediately after the quiz, students will not be able to access the file until they have completed the quiz. So you could put the assignment and quiz in separate modules so that they exist independently of one another. This will allow students to select which one--the assignment module or the quiz module--they want to complete first, but they still will not be able to view the solutions sheet for the activity until they've completed the prerequisite for viewing it.

Does this come close to what you're hoping to accomplish?

I have 7 to 16 modules in a course organized around content areas.  Each contains everything a student needs to do to cover the content area.  Doubling or tripling the number of modules creates a navigation nightmare and defeats the organizational purpose of a module.  We might be able to solve it with a hierarchy of modules.  But, we can't do that in Canvas.

While this won't help your perspective of the course, just a reminder that not everything has to be published at once in the course site, unless the entire class is supposed to be self-paced.  Making the more advanced modules available on a specific date or just flat-out not publishing them at all until you choose to publish them will at least help make the course more manageable from the student's perspective.  (Again, not YOUR perspective....but at the students', at least.)

OK.  I tried this with the solutions to the assignment.  The assignment solutions are restricted in files to only be available after 10/31/16 at 11:59 am...the final due date on the assignment.  Students don't have access to the files section because there are files I don't ever want the students to I link to all the files through modules.  There's a link in the module to the restricted solutions file.  But, in theory, it shouldn't work until 10/31/16 at 11:59 am.  Seems like it ought to work.

BUT, when I go into student mode, I can click on the restricted file.  I can see it.  I can download it.  If I'm actually seeing what a student sees, then it's not working. 

Is it a problem with student view?  Or is it a problem with restricted release dates?

I think last time I tested this it was an issue with the browser remembering that the file had already been opened (by you as an Instructor). Yet, that was a while ago, so I'd need to double-check this and test it. You could try testing it by resetting your test student and clearing your browser cache (possibly even switch to a different browser).