Student assignments should not be just a way to measure learning; it should improve learning as well. In this spirit, you may sometimes want to give students the option to resubmit assignments as a way to scaffold their improvement. Of course, if many students have to revise and resubmit, you might want to consider if you need to provide additional instruction, change assignment instructions, or provide a variety of assignment formats such as the free-range assignment method.

Professors who adopt the specification grading method (book, and short intro) may already give options for students to revise and resubmit, but even if you do not use this grading method, the “revise and resubmit” method can be applied to some, if not all, assignments. In this Faculty Focus article, Dr. John Orlando argues for the use of “revise and resubmit” to improve student grades instead of using extra credit.

There are multiple ways in Canvas for you to implement “revise and resubmit.”

First, you could create separate assignments for different drafts, assigning no or smaller grades for earlier drafts. This is clear for you to manage their assignments, but having too many drafts for each assignment can cause your grade book to become overly complex and confusing.

Second, you could use the new “resubmit” option to remind students to revise and resubmit. Before the deadline, you could “reassign” the assignment to students to ask them to revise and resubmit. However, I find the use of this method a bit cumbersome and the feedback you give to students can be missed by students as it does not show up immediately in the student grade book, especially if you hide grades from student view.








The third option would be to allow multiple attempts for an assignment.  Canvas has a detailed guide showing what happens when you set up such assignments. This might be a great way to implement “revise and resubmit.” Also, be clear to students whether it is optional. Some students may get a satisfactory assignment the first time and there is no need for them to submit it again.

Assignment attempts