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Canvas Spotlight

Use Late Policies to manage submissions after deadlines.

By Tanner Wilde, Todd Wolfe and Alex McDaniel

September 7, 2021

Students missing deadlines is an inescapable part of the teaching-and-learning experience, whether in person or virtual. You probably communicate your late-work policies clearly in your syllabus, but it’s also important to ensure that those rules are formally implemented in Canvas as well. By correctly using Canvas’ Late Policies, you can let the system do the work for you as it automatically makes the proper deductions, freeing up your time so you can focus on other tasks.

No one is perfect, and mistakes made while grading late assignments can cause confusion for students. For example, Canvas will not automatically assign a zero to unsubmitted work without having a Late Policy programmed in Gradebook. This means that the student might have an inflated impression of their grade (since Canvas will not calculate the grade as a zero). It’s always important for students to have an accurate understanding of how their performance is being assessed, and setting late policies is a big part of that.

Best practices

  • Above all, make sure your late-work policies are prominently displayed to students, such as in the syllabus. The most important thing is for consequences to be clearly communicated.
  • Ensure that the settings in Gradebook for late work are accurate before the course begins. This will ensure that students always understand what their grade is and how to improve it.
  • Any work students need to submit should have accurate due dates and availability windows. If their work is too late to be submitted for credit, the availability window should be closed.

Let’s walk through it together

For complete written step-by-step instructions, visit the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design Ready Spotlight tutorial page.

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Topics: Best practices, Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, Online Learning

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