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What are your workarounds for dealing with the lack of basic functionality in the modules interface?

So you cannot assign modules to student groups. To explain:

Course C has 8 modules, M1 through to M8. Students need 6 modules to complete the course and these are chosen for the students.

Class A and B are both on Course C.

Class A has modules M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M6.

Class B has modules M1, M2, M3, M4, M7, M8.

They are on the same course with the same qualification. The modules should only be visible to the specific student group that needs them.

You cannot do this basic and extremely obvious function using Canvas. There has been multiple requests for this for at least 5 years now.

What are your workarounds for this simple task, so far I have read some great ones like:

- Use Mastery paths and a quiz.

- Use an assignment to hold the whole module.

- Make a new course for each group.

and finally the one I have opted for, hide and ignore modules all together and just run the thing like a standard webserver running some 90's HTML website and index everything that way. It means that students can still access the incorrect material but I can see no way of really stopping that.

Have you got anything better?

1 Reply

It sounds like you have some good alternatives to the 90s style html website indexing all content for both courses.

  1. You can put a quiz in the start here module connected to mastery paths and use that to assign the content of the final modules.  Since the first for modules are used by both classes you can assign those to everyone without any filter.  Students will only see the content that is assigned to them, and the gradebook will calculate scores based on only what is assigned to each student.
    Notes: Mastery paths deletes any associated due date when assigning the activity.  For me that is a deal breaker, but since these are the final two modules in your courses, you would have plenty of time to add due dates while students work through the first four modules.  I recommend making the sorting quiz for mastery paths a requirement of the start here module and setting completion of the start here module as a prerequisite for accessing every other module.  This will help you get 100% response rates from the classes, given how common it is for students to skip content that is not required.  If students skip the sorting quiz they will be assigned none of the final modules, and you will have to manually detect that - the gradebook will simply show the content of all four final modules as not assigned.
  2. Your classes are likely already created as cross-listed sections (if not this a change your canvas admin can make).  Assignments, discussions, and quizzes can be assigned by section instead of to everyone, and so you can start out the semester with all graded activities in those final modules only assigned to the course that requires them.  The gradebook will calculate scores based on only what students are assigned to, and with this method you are in complete control of which activies students are assigned to.  Students will only see the graded activities assigned to them, but ungraded content displayed in canvas pages or external links will still be seen by everyone.  Students tend to skip ungraded content unless tools like module requirements are used to "require" that content, and since it is ungraded it could be viewed as enrichment.
    Notes: It is also possible to use assignments to replace pages of ungraded content in a way that allows you to decide which content is seen by each class.  Setting the assignment display grade as "not graded" will exclude the assignment from the gradebook, and prevent students from trying to submit something in response.  The assign to options will still allow the ungraded content to be assigned to a section instead of to everyone. You can include everything you would have displayed on a canvas page in the instruction box of the assignment using the same formatting as a canvas page.  It is a bit annoying to have to scroll the instruction box while preparing the content, but students will see the content displayed just like every other canvas page with a simple addition of a line stating "Due: No Due Date    Points: None" between the title and content. (If you choose to set a due date it will display there.)  If you already have your content in a canvas page, you can save time by copying the html view of a canvas page to the html view of the assignment instructions.
  3. You could also choose to divide the two classes completely.  In separate canvas courses, you could import/publish only the content relevant to the students in that class, and no extra programming would be required.  It would not be possible to hold discussions or have group activities that include students from both classes.

You might also like to contribute to an idea conversation about adding a feature to allow assignment of modules by section:

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