Restrict assignment submission attempts

Currently there is no way (that I am aware of) to limit the number of times a student may submit an assignment. This functionality is available for quizzes, but not for other assignment types. It would be very helpful for our instructors to be able to set the number of times a student may submit an assignment, whether for a revisions process or simply to limit the number of files they need to comb through in grading.

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For details, please read through the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-18579-canvas-release-notes-2020-04-18 

75 Comments
james_trueman
Community Contributor

Hi Deactivated user‌, I appreciate that this is on product radar - I was just wondering if there was an update that could be offered?  It's something that clearly has interest (as do the billion other feature requests Smiley Happy) - and is something we'd be veeery interested in.

Cheers

cainl
New Member

This is desperately needed at the college level! Please Canvas, add this as a feature!!

benjamin_rodrig
Community Contributor

We need this feature in our Canvas lives. I've been providing training for our instructors and this is almost always a loaded topic (especially for our online teachers). Many instructors see the ability for students to make unlimited re-submissions as a moving target as far as grading goes. The ability for teachers to set a limit on the number of submissions would appeal to all instructors because it gives them the room to accept drafts and revisions, as well as set limits on the amount of review and unnecessary duplication of work.

Pretty please, add this feature!

-Ben

roselle_basa
Community Participant

It makes sense that we can be provided with an option to restrict submission attempts of students.  Once may be the default setting and this can be adjusted to specif students as the need arises.  

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

 

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

i_oliveira
Community Member

We had a couple of problems in our faculty where this setting would solve the problem.
On the first, a class where all students are sitting in the same classroom working on an assignment. After they're finished, they must submit their files at once and are asked to leave the classroom.

The students have 3 hours to do the assignment, but some finish after 30 minutes and leave the room. They could actually discuss their answer outside the room and re-submit the work and that's not desirable.

On the second case, students were given a due date to deliver an article. The teachers postponed the "until date" of the assignment so a couple of students could deliver their late assignments (due date was maintained).

Teachers downloaded all the assignment files for discussion.

Turns out that other students were still uploading after the due date, and when you download the assignments Canvas offers the last version without any indication of whether it's late or not (in the filename).

While there were other ways to have avoided this having a limit of uploads would be the easiest.

We are running Canvas officially here for the last couple of months, so I expect limiting submissions tries will be a desirable feature in the future.

j_c_turner
Community Contributor

This would also be useful in supporting anyone using the turnitin canvas plagiarism framework. This currently allows students to submit and view the report immediately as many times as the student wants. This could lead to gaming the system. Having this restriction would reduce the number of times a student could submit and view the report. #canvas turnitin

benjamin_rodrig
Community Contributor

Hi  @j_c_turner ‌,

I second that. A workaround in the meantime is to adjust the TII settings so that students only see the results after the assignment was graded, after the due date, or not at all. 

benjamin_rodrig
Community Contributor

We switched from Bb to Canvas, so most of our instructors were used to setting a specific number of submissions on assignments.

During Canvas training sessions, I'll let instructors know that students can now submit assignments any number of times. Then I validate any frustration they may have.  I also offer this less than ideal yet mostly doable workaround:

  1. Set an Available from, Due date, and Until Date.
  2. Let students know that they have until the Until date to make a submission.
  3. Tell the students that only the most recent submission will be graded.
  4. Only grade submissions after the Until date has passed.

I'm still anxious for this restrict number of submissions feature to be implemented. 

Best regards,

-Ben

j_c_turner
Community Contributor

True  @benjamin_rodrig ‌. You can also make staff and students aware that every submission/resubmission is recorded in the canvas assignment.

293124_Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 20.29.03.png

Meaning a staff member could look back to see if there has been accessive submissions. In a way, and notwithstanding staff workload, seeing this activity could help staff identify weaker, or more confused students. Perhaps the better solution would be to indicate to the student the number of attempts they have had, and indicate more clearly to the staff member, through the speedgrader, the number of attempts. In a perfect world, you could imagine that a tutor could track back through the changes with the student to explore the changes.

So, at the moment this situation is not ideal, but I could see that development might not need to be around the restriction but on the promotion of they way canvas stores attempts. #canvas turnitin

jim

ann_vuletin
New Member

My issue isn't exactly with limiting the number of submissions.  My issue stems from the fact that all submissions are available when the instructor exports that assignment.  I would like the system to replace the previous version with the most recent submission to eliminate the human error factor of the instructor marking the wrong version.  In a class of over 100, it isn't really reasonable to ask the instructor to comb through each student's submissions to make sure they have the latest version of the assignment.  If there is a workaround for that then I'm game!

aroyal9
Community Participant

Thank you for sharing, Ben.  When we made the switch, I was not happy about the endless submission scenario, either.  You are right; the workaround is less than ideal (though doable because there is no other way), but I'm hoping that this uproar we're all making will turn into something practical!  :+)  I'm agreeing with what you're saying, and I'm just adding my thoughts to the conversation in hopes that my words will persuade others to up-vote.

Without the power to delete or limit erroneous attempts, they just pile up.  And what if a student asks the instructor to grade "attachment 1 of the second submission" and "attachment 2 of the third submission" because those are the so-called correct versions?  Why can't the student just submit both correct documents on the fourth submission then, since that's what should have been done in the first place?  If the assignment is now closed, then there can be no fourth submission, which leaves the instructor to wade through and find what the student is referring to.  Having only one chance to get it right encourages students to take responsibility for being organized and purposeful in their school work; they don't get to just drop their mess on someone else's desk and expect someone else to figure it out.  At a job interview, I wouldn't literally just dump my briefcase out on the desk and ask the interviewer to find the latest final draft of my dossier amongst a bunch of miscellaneous paperwork and assorted odds and ends, so our LMS shouldn't be teaching students to do this virtually.

Waiting until after the deadline to start grading is a real hassle when I have a large number of items to grade, especially if they're all due around major grading periods (such as midterms and finals) or if I'm going to be otherwise encumbered (e.g. attending meetings and conferences).  For this reason, I sometimes end up setting ridiculously early due dates to build grading time into the schedule, and I'd rather not have to game the system in that manner.  It would be nice to start grading earlier (when reasonable) so that my work doesn't pile up on me, especially if I can anticipate backlog or if I suddenly recover some "free time" that could be spent making progress toward the massive grading.  As our institution moves toward offering more courses in 8-week terms, this idea of staying ahead of grading is going to become even more necessary with the decrease in turnaround time.

Occasionally, I would need to allow a student an extra submission if they accidentally attached the wrong document, but it was controlled chaos, and the student was responsible for contacting me before the due date to make that kind of arrangement.  The communication made the student's accountability transparent (having to ask for a re-do is documented officially, rather than sneaked in under the radar as multiple submissions that essentially "don't count"), and it allowed me the opportunity to practice being benevolent (strategically yielding to a student's desire to improve is usually well received).  The current system bypasses this opportunity for instructor and student to build the rapport that mimics the workplace interaction between employees and supervisors.

Sometime, I have difficulty, as do many instructors, with getting students (and mine are adults!) to do as I say or abide by the criteria you mentioned.  If something is available, it can be redone until all submissions are "used up," even if I said no.  The unintentional policy of automatic do-overs doesn't teach students to do their best work and submit their assignments correctly, on time, and on the first try.  This inadvertently encourages the assumption of infinite opportunities, which is unrealistic in most real-world situations (such as job interviews, delivery services, catering, grand openings, live events, etc.).  I'm supposed to be grooming most of my students to go out into the workforce soon after graduation, so one-shot assignments are kind of a necessary evil that get thwarted by a rigid, insensitive LMS.  Having the assignments behave more like quizzes, with regard to submission restrictions, would be an improvement I could appreciate.

Gwinn

chip_gagnon
New Member

I'm actually surprised this feature doesn't already exist as an option . Much as I hated Blackboard this was an option there.

It's important for my purposes that students can only submit before the deadline if it's on time, but if I lock it at the due date/time, then it won't allow for late submissions, which I do allow (with a grade penalty).

As I've found teaching both face to face and online courses, the simpler the better, so I don't want to have to explain this. It should just be a regular option.

Please add this ASAP!!

cjp93
New Member

I read through this discussion thread, but I am not clear if the change has been made. I need my final assignment to only allow for one submission [i.e. eliminate the re-submit button] How can I limit the assignment to only one file submission?

james_trueman
Community Contributor

I'm not sure if this is helpful to anyone following this.

We're also really interested in this feature - and given the discussions we'd found about this, we thought it was impossible at the moment. Then we recently spotted the following in the API:

317330_Screenshot 2019-07-15 at 22.43.24.png

We double checked with Instructure and had it confirmed that, via the API, we can set a number of submission attempts.

They advised that in the assignment description students and teachers see a description that says:  'Allowed Attempts' and a number (e.g. 2 as below).  Once that number is reached by the student the resubmit button is no longer yellow and becomes greyed out. The image below is an example they supplied for us.

317260_pastedImage_1.png

Best wishes

thompsli
Community Champion

To my knowledge, there is no way to do this with an Assignment currently, but the work-around would be to do it as a Quiz with the "File Upload" question type: How do I create a File Upload quiz question?

You could then set your Quiz to only allow one submission.

james_trueman
Community Contributor

Hi  @thompsli ‌ and  @cjp93  - to our knowledge, we still cannot limit submissions via the Canvas UI, but as illustrated in my comment below, according to Instructure support, if you are able to use the Canvas API, there is a parameter that does this.

BW

James
Community Champion

This sounds like some of the functionality needed to address Assignments 2.0 that was demoed at InstructureCon last week. The Assignments 2.0 was still in beta (for a while) and they said that once it was enabled, you could run both Assignments and the Assignments 2.0 in parallel. Assignments 2.0 would not have peer reviews and one other thing at the beginning, but it did have the ability to require multiple file uploads, allowed students to see all of their previous submissions, and some other things.

Assignments 2.0 was mostly a repackaging of Assignments, with little change to the underlying structures, but it did have some features that weren't currently available.

The main thing I focused on was the new look, presenting the students with the information that was most relevant for the phase of the assignment that they were in.

james_trueman
Community Contributor

It may be useful for Assignments 2.0, but I'm kinda unsure that it was released 'for' that - as this parameter was added to the API as part of the 2019-01-05 release. I understand they've been working on this (Assignment 2.0) for a while - but that seems a while ago and unrelated? Probably wrong - usually am.

It should work with current assignments - as that is what Support tested with for the screenshot provided. We asked them for confirmation because of threads like this - which conclude there is 'no' way to limit. But as we use the API, for us there (now) is 'a' way.

EDIT: This connects with a general understanding we're forming - that there are are a number of things that 'are' possible via documented API parameters - which are not available via the Canvas UI. This started a while ago (a year or two) when we wanted mute by default.  Not possible via the UI (wasn't then anyway) - had to create the assignment then manually mute - but was already possible via the API.  Then we discovered that restrict student submissions for assignments wasn't possible at all via the UI - but could be achieved via the API.  Our dev guys have spotted similar things. So we're currently looking at the API to understand 'what' is possible.  

BW

dlyons
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

APIs for new features will typically exist before the UI part of the feature, and because Canvas is open source and has an open API, that can lead to situations where eagled-eyed customers notice those APIs "early". APIs won't always lead to just a single feature in the UI so I wouldn't spend too much time trying to connect dots (though some speculation is surely a fun pass time!)

"Muting by default" is a perfect example; you noticed it in the API a while back and now it's in the UI (via Post Policies).