ARCHIVED: Collect assignments

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The information here is part of a series intended to help instructors Keep teaching in online or hybrid formats.

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Collecting assignments is fairly straightforward, since many instructors already collect work electronically. The main challenge is whether students have access to computers, as anyone needing a campus computer lab may be unable to access necessary technologies. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Require only common software: Students may not have access to specialty software located in on-campus computer labs. Some of that software may be available via IUware or IUanyWare, but unless the students have permissions to load software onto a computer they can access, they may be unable to use these tools. Be ready with a backup plan for such students.
  • Avoid emailed attachments: It may be easy to collect assignments in small classes via email, but larger classes might swamp your email inbox. Balance what is simplest for students with what is easiest for you to manage.
  • State expectations, but be ready to allow extensions: Some students will undoubtedly have difficulties meeting deadlines. Make expectations clear, but be ready to provide more flexibility than you normally would in your class.
  • Require specific filenames: It may sound trivial, but anyone who collects papers electronically knows the pain of getting 20 files named Essay1.docx. Give your students a simple file-naming convention, for example, FirstnameLastname-Essay1.docx.

Tools for collecting assignments from students

Canvas Assignments

Any course that makes use of the Grades tool in Canvas requires use of the Assignments tool. To create a quick and easy graded assignment for online submission, use the +Assignment button at the top of the tool, enter the name of the assignment and your instructions, and select the Online submission type. Text Entry allows students to type their submission (or paste the content) into the browser, and provides the best option for students who will be turning in video recordings, as it includes easy access to the Kaltura media storage tool. Use the File Uploads option to allow attachments, including files that students can add directly from their Google at IU My Drive accounts, or from any drives they may have mounted to their computers, such as Microsoft OneDrive at IU.


Canvas SpeedGrader

Any graded assignment in Canvas (including graded discussions and quizzes) can be accessed by SpeedGrader in Canvas. In addition to providing a place for comments, SpeedGrader can be used with rubrics, and grades that you enter pass directly into the Canvas Gradebook. See How do I use SpeedGrader?

To take full advantage of the inline commenting features in SpeedGrader, have your students turn in assignments as Word documents (.doc or .docx), PowerPoint (.ppt or .pptx), or PDF.


This is document aryd in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-10-20 14:38:32.