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Canvas - How to Allow a Student to Access Modules Early Using a No-Submission Assignment

This article provides instructors with a streamlined guide to using a no-submission assignment to control early access to a module for an individual student, without affecting final grades, in Canvas. The guide covers the creation of the no-submission assignment, individualizing it, setting it as a module prerequisite, manually grading for early access, and finally, making the module available to all students.

Before You Begin

  • Using this technique, you can make multiple modules appear, but you must edit the requirements for each module.
  • These instructions assume you wish to not count the no-submission assignment in the Final Grade.

Step 1: Create a No-Submission Assignment

  1. Click on Assignments in your courses navigation.
  2. Click the "+ Assignment" button.
  3. Enter an assignment name and description. It may be helpful to name the assignment something that cues students to ignore it.
  4. Click the "Do not count this assignment toward the final grade" checkbox to exclude it from final grades.
  5. Change the Submission Type to No Submission.
  6. Save & Publish the assignment.

For more information: How do I create assignment columns for non-submiss... - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com) 

    Step 2: Individualize the Assignment

    1. From the Assignments page, click the name of the newly created assignment to edit it.
    2. Assign it only to the specific student who should get early access. In the "Assign To" box, enter the name of the student who needs early access.

    For more information: How do I assign an assignment to an individual stu... - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com) 

      Step 3: Set Module Prerequisite

      1. Click either Home (for-credit and sandbox courses) or Modules (non-credit and training courses).
      2. Find the module you wish to release. Click the three-dot "kebab" menu, and select Edit.
      3. Add the no-submission assignment as a requirement.
      4. Click Update Module.

      If you have other requirements, you may need to click "Students must complete one of these requirements."

      For more information: Setting module completion requirements in Canvas - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com) 

      Step 4: Manually Grade the Assignment for Early Access

      1. In your courses navigation, click Grades.
      2. Enter a grade for the no-submission assignment for the specific student.

      The module will now be accessible for that specific student.

      For more information: How do I enter and edit grades in the Gradebook? - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com) 

      Step 5: Unlock Module for All Students (When Ready)

      1. Click either Home (for-credit and sandbox courses) or Modules (non-credit and training courses).
      2. Find the module that was previously locked, click the three-dot "kebab" menu, and click Edit.
      3. Remove the no-submission assignment as a requirement.
      4. Click Update Module.

      For more information: Setting module completion requirements in Canvas - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com) 

      For More Information

      If, as an instructor, you would like assistance or have feedback regarding this article, please contact the CETL Support Commons.



      KeywordsCanvas LMS, no-submission assignment, module, prerequisite, early access, final grades, individualized learning, manual grading, Gradebook, course navigation   Doc ID130740
      OwnerDavid D.GroupCETL
      Created2023-08-30 11:04:01Updated2023-10-26 08:35:46
      SitesUW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
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