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API: Get submissions as PDF?

Question asked by Lance E Sloan ​ on Feb 7, 2020

In Canvas SpeedGrader, I see that students' submissions (for example, a Word document) is shown on the page as a PDF and that an annotated PDF of the submission can be downloaded.

Is that submission-to-PDF feature available in the Canvas API?

 

I maintain an LTI application that lets students download a copy of some of their peers' submissions for review.  A problem that has occurred many times is that the Word document submitted cannot be opened by the person doing the review.  As a workaround, when reviewing students complain, the course TAs will download the problematic submission as a PDF from SpeedGrader then email it to them.

 

This is a cumbersome workaround, so I think it might be better for the LTI application to get submissions as PDF rather than the original file format to prevent incompatibility problems.  I've looked through the Canvas Live API for an entry point that might provide this feature, but I can't find it.  I suppose I could try to see how SpeedGrader produces the PDFs and replicate that, but that would take a lot of time.  I'd rather use the API, if there's an entry for this.

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