Submit an assignment on behalf of a student

Idea is currently in development

As an instructor, I'd like the option to submit assignments on behalf of my students. This feature should enable me to pick a file from my computer and upload it as a submission for a given student. I should then be able to assess the submission just as if the student had submitted it themselves. A note should appear somewhere that indicates I submitted the assignment on behalf of my student. This would help me in cases where, for instance, my students submit an assignment on paper or the submission is a performance (a speech or presentation) that I capture on video.

transferred from the old Community

Originally posted by: Bill Hanna
Special thanks for contributions by: Paul Gibbons, Sydney Cheek-O'Donnell, Kona Jones, Stefanie Sanders

Community Member

@p_bier We at KTH have found that the feature actually exists in Canvas API ( passing the parameter submissions[user_id]) and are building an LTI app to do exactly that: import scanned exams to Canvas to allow teachers to mark them using SpeedGrader.

If you want, you can look at our solution here (it is open source). Probably you have different setup in Canvas than us and different scanning system, etc. but it is actually possible to do it!


New Member

I guess this is not high on the list but would be super convenient to be able to do this as an instructor, especially for struggling students. I'd rather get the assignment via email than have to go back and forth with trying to get them to upload.

New Member

@carsai thanks for the tip.  One of our local developers through together a script for me that allows us to bulk upload submissions on behalf of students.  Seems to work well.  It was designed with the bulk use case in mind and the ability to specify exactly what files map to what students.

Community Member

I would like to support this idea, there can be so many reasons why a teacher would need to upload a document on behalf of a student. 

Community Participant

This idea was first submitted in 2015? It is 2021.

Make this happen please. It is needed and opening up the assignment for one or more students is cumbsersome.

Community Member

How is this idea 5 years old? This absolutely needs to be implemented. 

New Member

Please implement this. It is such a clear use case! First submitted in 2015. If user feedback means anything this would be a good way to act on it. 

New Member

I teach EAP (English for Academic Purposes) to second language learners. Students are just learning vocab like "upload", and they have diverse tech backgrounds, so many struggle with having an LMS along with a new educational system. They put their files in the comments, for example, instead of uploading to the assignment, or they email stuff to me because that's what the last teacher did. Gradually, we get everyone on board, but this would save me time vs. re-opening the assignment, emailing students, etc. There is a time for that, but there is a time when I just need to get the assignment into the Speed Grader and near the rubric. Add to that an increasing number of students with accommodations who do not submit in the prescribed way for legit reasons, and you have two excellent reasons for implementing this change. Of course, there must be a mechanism to identify the prof as the "uploader".

New Member

I want to record a vote in favor of this. Please do it.

New Member

Please implement this!

Community Participant

This has been open for six years! Why is this not progressed? This is rather important for multiple reasons. Not ok, Canvas!

New Member

What exactly happened with this feature?  Has it been reviewed? If not, why hasn't it?

New Member

Yes, please!  It would be a great service to allow instructors to upload assignments submitted outside of Canvas for whatever reason so that they can be graded using assignment rubrics with comments available to students.  This would be especially helpful for group assignments.

New Member

Please do this! It would be very helpful for grading assignments from students who are struggling, without having to go back and forth to ask them to upload to Canvas (especially in cases where that would also require updating the assignment). 

New Member

YESS!!!! Please make this feature happen!

Community Member

I want to echo the many comments here about how important this feature would be. My students sometimes email me if the system is down, or if I do projects that I want to take a photo of and put into Canvas to grade there with a rubric. Please!! 

New Member

I have students who have have power outages, internet outages, or other technology problems.  I would love to be able to submit on their behalf.

New Member

I, too, would love to have this feature.

Community Participant

Did this ever get entered as a formal feature request?

I just hit the case of wanting to start students midway through a course they had done work in a previous version on where there are requirements of "submitting an assignment" before moving forward. I had manually entered grades, but that doesn't match the rule. My only option was to change the rule to "viewed" for now so i could use Next to move them forward.

I intentionally want to let them move forward upon submission vs grade so they are unblocked. Inability to submit for the student is ironically blocking.

Community Participant

@JenniferKolar NO this never got entered as a formal feature request.


As far as I can tell, these "conversations" are completely ignored by the Instructure teams.  After six years, I'm wondering if a comment full of expletives might be required to get the attention of someone in charge.