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Community Member

Separating student assignment submissions into classes


The high school I am teaching at has set up canvas courses for each year group in the various subject areas. This works well when you are the only teacher teaching that year group, however when there is more than one teacher on a year group marking becomes problematic. All 120 students in my subject area are submitting assignments into one place so each teacher has to search through the assignment submissions to find the work of each individual student who is in their class before they can begin marking. Is there a solution to this? I am open for any suggestions! Thank you in advance.

7 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @r_calf ​...

I'm not completely sure (because we don't use these at our Technical College), but I *think* that you'd want to utilize sections.  Here are some Canvas Guides I've found for you:

How are courses and sections related?

How do I add a section to a course?

How do I edit the details for a course section?

How do I change the name of a course section?

How do I delete a course section?

How do I view enrollments in a course section?

How do I delete an enrollment from a course section?

Would any of these Guides help you?

Community Member

Thanks Chris. Unfortunately using sections hasn't solved the problem.

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @r_calf ​​, to be completely honest, I'm not sure why you'd want to set-up and use Canvas the way you've described. It sounds quite chaotic and I'm not sure how you get the gradebook to work correctly. It seems like it would be better to have the students broken apart by the course/Instructor - so a different course in Canvas for each Instructor and each of their different courses. So, for example if you taught math you'd have a different course for Algebra 2 than for Algebra 1. Or, if you had three sections of Geometry you could combine them into one course, but separated by section. All the things I'm talking about are covered in the guides  @chofer ​ already provided!

Yet, you probably don't have any control over any of this, so my next question is what CAN we do to help? When you are trying to view student submissions are you going into speedgrader? If so, then you can sort speedgrader by "submission status." This means you could sort it by only those students who have submitted, which should make it a lot easier to sort through - How do I sort Assignments in SpeedGrader? If this isn't what you are trying to do, just let us know more specifically what you are trying to do and we'll try to help!

Community Member

Hi Kona,

Yes I agree it is chaos! As you said we (the teachers) don't have any control over the number of courses that are set up. I have contacted our IT support and they are going to see if they can add a course for each class. Thank you for that suggestion!

Also thanks for the information on sorting assignments. This was really helpful and we will do this until IT create new courses.

Community Member


In addition to the others contribution I agree that your best vet would be use different sections.

  • Each section would be designated for each teacher.
  • When you enroll the instructors remember to click on "Can interact with users in their section only" so instructors will only be able to grade their students.


  • When the instructors create assignments they will have to specify which group (section) this assignment is for. This ensures that each instructor can create their own activities for their students


Hope this helps,


Community Coach
Community Coach

Unfortunately the only way they could use sections in a case like this if they separated the class into different courses in Canvas. The way this Instructor makes it sound is that she doesn't have every student that's in the course in her class and neither do the other Instructors. Yet, to break her students into a section would require that all of the students she has are in the exact SAME courses with the exact same instructors.


Student A is in Geometry, History 2, Junior English, and Economics

Student B is in Geometry, History 2, Junior English, and Psychology

You couldn't put both of these students into the same section because they have a different fourth course. The first three would be fine, but for the courses that they have different there would be problems.

 @kona ​

That's not how I took the original email. It sounded like there was a structure like this:

  • Math 9, Math 10, Math 11, Math 12
  • English 9, English 10, English 11, English 12
  • Science 9, Science 10, Science 11, Science 12

While I agree with everyone that it's a logistics nightmare and should be fixed, it didn't sound quite as bad as you read it.

Adding sections, either by instructor (Mrs. Brown, Mr. Smith) or by actual class and the period of the class (Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry 3, Calculus 4, Algebra 6) would be an improvement, but you run into issues when there are two algebra courses being taught at the same time.

But yes, in the future, break it up by the course and the instructor for maximum benefit or at least by the course (Algebra, Geometry, Calculus). I would still use different courses for different instructors and then sections for the different periods.

If the submissions are made during class time, you could sort in SpeedGrader by Date Submitted and that might be better for grouping than by Submission Status.

The problem here seems somewhat related to Download grades by class?  I'm not sure, but both seem to be asking on how do you impose a structure in Canvas when there was none provided by the SIS. The real answer is you don't and anything you try will be a work-around and really slow down the process. The SIS should be responsible for supplying the structure and you should bring the issues to your Canvas Admin so they can address them.