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Community Member

Module requirements, availability date, and the ensuing troubles

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The new changes made to module requirements is really throwing me off. So, here is what is happening: I have an assignment as a module requirement - so that students cannot move onto the next module before completing that assignment. I used to set an availability date for the assignment - which was the same as the due date. This way, assignment would be locked and I wouldn't accept late submissions. Before the latest major release, I would grade the assignment and those who didn't complete it would get a zero - which would automatically unlock the next module. But as I understand, this feature is removed due to being classified as a "bug".

With the new release, things are not going well for me. I give zero to a student who doesn't make a submission, but the next module is still locked. Since the assignment has an availability date - and therefore no longer available - the student gets stuck. They keep emailing me and asking me to unlock the next module. So, I ended up removing the availability date. This opens the door for late submissions - and me having to keep track of who should get credit for their late submission and who shouldn't. But then, even though I grade assignments as zero, late submissions sometimes override my grade and give credit to students - especially if it is an automatically graded survey. I'm very frustrated. I'd like to hear recommendations for the following scenario:

- Make an assignment a requirement (to move onto the next module)

- Assign an availability date to lock submissions for this assignment.

- Make the next module available to students who didn't turn in their work for the required assignment (as I mentioned, this used to happen when I graded their work as zero - but not now).

I'd like to avoid manual tracking/unlocking etc. since I have a large number of students and I simply can't keep track.

Thanks,

VK

1 Solution

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Community Team
Community Team

Hi, vkayhan@usfsp.edu​ and l1465451@hindscc.edu​!

The current behavior for module requirements is that requirements are honored regardless of whether the item includes a grade. In the case of submission requirements, a student must submit the assignment before progress can be made in the module. This change has been in Canvas since Canvas Production Release Notes (2015-07-18)​, when setting a manual grade did not fulfill any requirements associated with submitting an assignment. This change fulfilled a bug report where instructors did not want to allow students to progress through modules unless they actually submitted the assignment. In the Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-01-09)​, an additional bug fix was made to restrict submission requirements from being fulfilled if a grade was added and then removed from the course. (Both changes are under the Modules heading in the Fixed Bugs section.)

Differentiated assignments has made workarounds slightly more accessible as you can add a specific student to an assignment and extend the availability dates. Extending the dates allows the student to ultimately submit the assignment, fulfill the requirement, and progress in the module. I realize this option may not be an optimal solution for your workflow, but it is a way to avoid changing module requirements for the entire class.

Hope that helps!

Erin

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7 Replies
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Community Coach
Community Coach

vkayhan@usfsp.edu​, have you contacted Canvas Support about this issue? Just curious to see if you had what their specific response (and suggestion(s)) were. If you haven't, then my recommendation is to contact them to see what they say. The best way to do this is to click the Help link and then "Report a Problem." Make sure to include specific information (including specific assignments and students) so they can try to help.

Thanks!

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Surveyor

I actually have the opposite problem. I set a module with criteria that must be completed before they can move on and even if I assign a zero, they can't move on. (And yes, Kona, support has been made aware but it ended in an "I don't know" situation which only further frustrated me.)

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Audra,

I think both of us have the same problem. When a student doesn't turn in the required work and I give them a zero, they are still stuck in the module. I wish that zero unlocked them - as before.

Kona: Yes, I escalated it to support. The answer is: can't do it, put in a feature request but it is not guaranteed.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

vkayhan@usfsp.edu & aleverton​, what? Seriously? That basically eliminates the usefulness of tool for educators. :smileycry:

I'm going to check into this with some higher ups and see what I can find out. Stay tuned.

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Community Team
Community Team

Hi, vkayhan@usfsp.edu​ and l1465451@hindscc.edu​!

The current behavior for module requirements is that requirements are honored regardless of whether the item includes a grade. In the case of submission requirements, a student must submit the assignment before progress can be made in the module. This change has been in Canvas since Canvas Production Release Notes (2015-07-18)​, when setting a manual grade did not fulfill any requirements associated with submitting an assignment. This change fulfilled a bug report where instructors did not want to allow students to progress through modules unless they actually submitted the assignment. In the Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-01-09)​, an additional bug fix was made to restrict submission requirements from being fulfilled if a grade was added and then removed from the course. (Both changes are under the Modules heading in the Fixed Bugs section.)

Differentiated assignments has made workarounds slightly more accessible as you can add a specific student to an assignment and extend the availability dates. Extending the dates allows the student to ultimately submit the assignment, fulfill the requirement, and progress in the module. I realize this option may not be an optimal solution for your workflow, but it is a way to avoid changing module requirements for the entire class.

Hope that helps!

Erin

View solution in original post

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Hello Erin,

Thanks for your input. I understand the workaround. And yes, it is not the optimal solution. In my case, the student gets stuck in the module and I have to extend their due date individually for each student for every assignment. This opens the door for late submissions, etc. Also, students still don't know that making a late submission will unlock the next module. So, they keep emailing me about not being able to move.

I don't think this was a bug in the first place. But, that's OK.

Ideally, I'd like to see a check box while setting module requirements: if I check the box, then grading the requirement as 0 should unlock the next module (if the requirement is set as "must submit"). This is the only way we can make both uses cases possible. Otherwise, I'm left with extending due dates, accepting late submissions, etc (or constantly juggle with availability dates) - which really affect my overall course design and delivery. So, Canvas is now dictating course delivery instead of me.

Thanks,

Varol

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Surveyor

A better solution to this problem would be to allow logic to be used in pre-reqs.  None of this would be a problem if you could set a pre-req of:  (completed previous assignment) OR (after due date of previous assignment) 

This was a moodle feature that I used all the time before moving to Canvas...

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