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Issues related to student file submissions being re-named

Question asked by Beck Hasti on May 4, 2018
Latest reply on May 8, 2018 by Beck Hasti

When a student submits a file to an assignment more than once, Canvas will re-name the re-submitted file:

The first submission of HelloWorld.java is named HelloWorld.java

The second submission of HelloWorld.java is named HelloWorld-1.java

The third submission of HelloWorld.java is named HelloWorld-2.java

etc.

 

(This always causes a certain amount of consternation for my beginning programming students who have been taught that the exact name of a file is very important in the programming language they are learning - Java, C++, Matlab, etc. - and know that, for example, you cannot compile and run a Java file named HelloWorld-1.java.)

 

Obviously, when I go to grade the student, I will grab their most recent submission (unless they have left me a comment asking me to use an earlier submission), and currently I have to add code to my grading scripts code to fix the names of the students' files before I can compile and run them.

 

Question 1: Is there any way to turn off the renaming feature in Canvas, even if only when downloading?

I understand completely why renaming is happening, so if the answer is "not in Canvas as it is", I'm perfectly fine with that - I just thought I'd check.

 

Question 2: Has the way Canvas renames files like this been consistent (or has Canvas previously used other renaming approaches / are there plans to use a new renaming approach)?

I ask this because D2L (my previous LMS) also did file renaming, much of which wasn't apparent until you downloaded a student's submission and found a bunch of somewhat decipherable stuff prepended and/or appended to the file name (or sometimes even the file extension). They also frequently changed the format of what they were prepending/appending which meant frequent updates to those sections of my grading scripts.

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