Dave Patton

Assignments vs Pages for Pre-Class Reading

Discussion created by Dave Patton on May 18, 2017
Latest reply on Jun 9, 2017 by Tammy Ellison


Our school is in the process of migrating from Sakai to Canvas. I am helping design standards and practices that will be used for all our programs. We use Modules as the main organizational tool for the course content. It occurred to us that Assignments could be used to store reading homework. The main benefit is that time sensitive readings will show up in the Syllabus, Calendar, and To-do List. The main drawback is that it is overly prescriptive and affect students' sense of ownership of their own learning process.


Has anyone had experience playing with Assignments in this way? I am curious how it went.


Upcoming webinar on leveraging modules (5/19, 1:30-2:30)

JIVE Agenda: Leveraging Modules - Google Drawings 

Interesting blog post related to this topic:

Share UDL Course Design Tips, Tricks, and Techniques 

UPDATE: Thanks for your thoughtful responses. I think this design idea points to a needed feature in Canvas. What's missing is a way to tag modules and module items with dates. Students could see their readings in "Coming Up" instead of cluttering up their Assignment lists.


My current thinking on the topic has shifted, thanks in part to your responses.

  • Learning is highly individual. Forcing students to adapt to a single approach may interrupt their learning process. Instead, we should be equipping students with the skills necessary to take command of their own learning.
  • Syllabus, Assignments, Calendar, To-do, Coming Up would become overwrought with content. This could potentially create a lot of white noise across the course and courses.