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Customizable Checklists to Add to Modules

Customizable Checklists to Add to Modules


This is a feature that I was expecting to find in Canvas because I have used it in D2L Brightspace. A checklist is something that is added to a module and created by the instructor. Here's an article about it in D2L and here's a video tutorial



The checklist would be interactive in that students could "check" the boxes of tasks that they've completed as they work through a module or project or course. Those selections are kept so when students return to that page minutes or weeks later, they can still see which items were checked and which weren't.

For example, I often would create weekly checklists that included a list of the assigned readings/videos as well as the assessments/activities for the week. They could come to the checklist as often as they wish to keep track in a quick summary view of what they had and hadn't done so far that week.

The data in terms of what was checked/unchecked was never integrated with the grading system. Checklists were strictly to help students stay organized. 



The biggest reason for adding this feature is that it's helpful for students. It is also aligned with Universal Design for Learning in that it supports differences in executive functioning, project management skills, etc. It is especially beneficial for students with learning disabilities and/or processing disorders. For students who don't need or want this feature, it doesn't add any extra work or responsibility since it isn't graded in any way. A benefit to many and a harm to none.

Community Participant


Sadly, I am unable to find your request to change this process.

New Member

Here's a related use case for something a checklist in Canvas. In some cases, we include term-long projects, which have incremental deliverables. The To Do list on the dashboard is very organized by date, which could result in project deliverables being mixed together with regular assignments and tasks. 

If I could create a checklist, I could create a list that shows all the basic elements of a project together. It lets the students know where they are in the project, and where they're going. 

Of course, one of the strongest use cases is really a weekly roadmap. This would be something that lays out all the things a student needs to do in a week, and allows the student to keep track of where they are in terms of accomplishing the week's work. The To Do list works for this, but it results in a very impacted calendar (imagine a week that has five videos to watch, a discussion to participate in, a document to read, a milestone for a group project, and some reading). 

One other comment - a checklist would help with the challenge of the discussion assignment where students have to post, and respond to two other students. At the moment, Canvas doesn't have a way to enforce this type of "assignment." If there was a checklist, at least the students would see "Post a response" and two additional "Respond to 2 other students' responses." 

New Member

I cannot believe this isn't a BASIC function of Canvas. We are educators - checklists for students are FORMATIVE FEEDBACK 101.

I get it - Canvas creators are looking to exponentially capitalize on every innovation but, this - THIS - is just dumb. 

Any chance I get, I will vote Moodle instead. 

In this regard, much like analytics and quiz format options - Canvas SUCKS!

Signed - "Stuck without another option and NOT happy about it",

A. Bakker

Saudi Arabia 

Community Contributor

Allison, there are many features that Canvas lacks so whether this one, adding checkboxes, will ever be looked at and implemented seems doubtful.  (My guess is that the current 73 votes are still very far from putting this request in the upper 10%, but we will never know with the Canvas current voting system that gives us no clue about how close 73 is to the breakpoint for being archived.)

My guess is that your time would be better spent convincing your school to adopt Moodle than spending time convincing Canvas to implement a Moodle and D2L feature.  (I am not trying to be "mean" or "unkind," I am just trying to portray a realistic perspective.  Of course, my opinion.)

New Member

I also cannot believe that a checklist isn't in the basic code. Students need to keep track of things for outlines, for step-by-steps of procedures - not just that they finished a page in a module. We need the ability to have checkboxes and checklists on individual pages. I added my upvote!

Community Member

I still cannot believe that Canvas has not added this as a feature in Canvas.  We are vetting Brightspace and Canvas, and this would be a nice functionality to at least keep up with Brightspace.  

 @buffy_matthews ‌ am I right?!?



 @rjb9514 ‌

Community Member

I am a fan of Canvas for the record.

New Member

It would be a life saver if we were able to manually mark an assignment in our modules as done!! This quarter I am taking 3 online classes and 1 in person class, a total of 18 credits. 3 of my classes have McGraw-Hill books, and all of our assignments are online. For some reason, when I complete an online assignment through the McGraw-Hill website it doesn't cross of my assignment as done on the calendar, even though it is linked through canvas and that's where I go to access it. I didn't realize how big of an issues this was until after the 2nd week of the quarter and I had unfortunately skipped over not just one assignment, but 2 assignments that were not turned in. As i'm trying to graduate with high honors, this was terrifying and since I write my assignments down and have them in the front of my binder, but it would be so much easier if we could do it on canvas. I am uploading a day from my calendar so you can see how there was a couple crossed off but the others were not, but the assignments were done. 

A screen shot of my Canvas Calendar with only a few assignments crossed off, however they were all completed.

New Member

Has anyone heard any updates on this? Being able to have a to-do/checklist tool is essential for students and instructors.This is an issue for those of us who are accustomed to writing things down but are having to spend most of our time in the online environment, usually Canvas. We need to be able to check tasks off and have an idea of what we need to do next to keep us on track. 

Community Champion

 @sg2021  I turn the modules themselves into the equivalent of a checklist for my students.  I set up each item in the module as a "requirement" to complete the module and set the module to require that students complete all of the requirements before the module is marked complete. 


The settings are in the edit options from the three dot menu at the right end of each module title bar.  Activities can be set to be marked complete automatically when students view them (ex. a page with some learning material), contribute to the page (ex. discussions), score at least (ex. practice quizzes), or submit (ex. quizzes and assignments).  When none of the automatic checks fits your needs, it can be set to "mark complete," which displays a check box on the screen with that activity for students to mark it complete. For example I use "mark complete" on pages that remind students to go back to the discussion and reply to their classmates, because viewing the page is not everything required for completion.  


It's a little bit of work to set up, but the settings import with course copies, so you only have to do it once.  The result is that the students can use the modules page as a checklist.

New Member

Hi Rick, that is exactly what we students need.

This is my first year here at UC, and I am having difficulty to keep a track of all items that I have already read/viewed from the ones I haven't yet in 'Modules'. The checkboxes to the right of each of the activities in 'Modules' would be an awesome implement to Canvas so we can keep a track on the completed activities. 

New Member

Hi Shane, 

Thank you for adding this idea for voting. 

This is my first year here at UC, and I am having difficulty to keep a track of all items that I have already read/viewed from the ones I haven't yet in 'Modules'. The checkboxes to the right of each of the activities in 'Modules' would be an awesome implement to Canvas so we can keep a track on the completed activities. 

Community Champion

This idea, and a similar idea from students are evidence that turning modules into checklists is not an obvious step during course set-up.  Why not add an option to turn the entire modules page into a checklist?  Selecting that option could pop-up a set of default options:

  • discussions - always default to contribute to page
  • practice quizzes - choose between submit and score __%
  • graded quizzes and assignments - always default to submit
  • pages - choose between view and mark complete

Defaults set on the modules page should be over-ridden by requirements set within any individual module.

Settings across the entire modules page would not need to be requirements for completing a module, and so the checklist could be functional for optional activities.  However, when setting up requirements for individual modules these individual options could be available to quickly add as module requirements.

Community Member

I have moved from a Brightspace university to a Canvas university. We used the Checklist tool in Brightspace ALL THE TIME.  It is very disappointing not to have this feature in Canvas.  I hope that Canvas will reconsider this as a very important tool for learner success.


New Member

With our shift to offsite learning, this has quickly become a desired item from our staff and students! Hopefully it gets picked up at some point.

Community Member

I am both a student in a Canvas course and a Canvas course designer. As a student, I am finding a great need to be able to check off or otherwise indicate what I have completed in my course. The to-do list doesn't work for all things in the module, only for assignments. I would like to be able to check off any module item, whether it is a page to read or video page to watch, and journal entry, discussion board, or anything, even the ungraded items. They still need to get done in a timely fashion and clicking back through the module to remind myself where I left off is a giant waste of time. As a course designer, I don't know that I necessarily want to have to "create" the checklist for my students. If I put it in the module, then it needs to get done and it needs to be on the checklist automatically. Simply providing a checkbox for each item in the module would solve the problem and not create any more work for the designers or instructors.

New Member

There should be a checklist on the right hand side of each module and activity/assignment as it would help the student monitor what needs to be completed and whats already been done. 

I know as a first year student using mycanvas for the first time, this is the only thing I would find to be useful and not already in the system. I hope this feature would be considered for students in ensuring completion and success in their courses. Thank you!

Community Member

I support this request, especially now with distance learning.  The To-Do list in Canvas is overwhelming for students at times because it pulls from every course and they can become bogged down.  Allowing a customizable to-do list in each course would give me, as an instructor, a place to create the "these are the Must-Dos for this week," while allowing students the satisfaction of being able to go courses-by-course to meet the expectations and check them off.  There is something intrinsically motivating about being able to mark something off of a to-do list.

Community Participant

Questions: Did all the upvotes from the old system just get deleted? Clearly more than 6 people want this -- you can tell from comments alone. How can we have an accurate view of popularity if that data is gone? I apparently need to try to track down every idea that I've supported in the past and rate them now(?)

Also, I am positive that I wrote and submitted this request (in fact, that's my video that I linked in the opening sentences -- when you open it you see my name and hear my voice). Is there a reason why I see it as being submitted by someone else?

I'm not looking for credit or anything, but I am starting to get bad vibes about this new system between the lack of logged upvotes (a problem across all "idea conversations") and the misleading attribution. When did this aspect of the Community get so shady? Is this something that can be improved?

Community Champion

@callinger  I have seen the older "likes" tally in some views, but I have not kept track of which views display them. 

Sometimes supporters of an idea resubmit it after it is archived.  It is possible that @degensp28  did not want to see this idea conversation get lost, and recreated it to keep the votes going.  Also, in the new community I had a default user name replacing my own name, and then I edited it.  That might disassociate a profile from the idea... Regardless of how the idea was duplicated it is good to see so much support.