How do I use Draft State in Assignments?

Draft State allows content in Assignments to exist in an unpublished (draft) state. Unpublished assignments are invisible to students and excluded from grade calculations.

Note: If you use Modules in your course and add an Assignment to a Module, please be aware that the state of the Module overrides the state of all module items. You may want to consider leaving Assignments unpublished until you are ready to publish the entire Module. For more information please see the Modules Draft State lesson.

Open Assignments

Open Assignments

In Course Navigation, click the Assignments link.

View Assignments Index Page

The Assignments Index page is designed with global settings at the top of the page [1], followed by the Assignment groups [2]. Individual assignments are nested within each Assignment group [3].

View Assignment Global Settings

Global settings include searching for assignments [1], adding a new assignment group [2], and adding a new assignment [3]. To weight assignment groups, click the Settings icon [4].

View Assignment Groups

Assignment Groups house the assignments within each group. Groups can be expanded and collapsed by clicking the arrow next to the group name.

Manage Assignment Group Settings

Manage Assignment Group Settings

The icons and links to the right of the assignment group control the entire assignment group.

If assignment groups have been weighted, Canvas will display the weighted percentage of the total assignment score [1]. Additionally, if rules are assigned to the group, Canvas will show the number of rules; hover over the link to view the rules [2]. You can add a new assignment to the group with the Add icon [3], and in the Settings drop-down menu, you can edit, delete, or move the assignment group [4].

Manage Individual Assignments

For each individual assignment, you can use the settings drop-down menu to edit, delete, or move the assignment.

View Module Association

If an assignment is associated with a module, the module name will appear on the individual line item of the assignment.

View Status of All Assignments

View Status of All Assignments

On the Assignments Index page, you can view the status of each assignment. Green cloud icons with a white checkmark [1] indicate the assignment is published. Solid gray cloud icons [2] indicate unpublished assignments. You can change the status of an assignment by toggling the published and unpublished icons.

Publish an Assignment

Publish an Assignment

To publish an assignment, click the assignment’s unpublished icon. The hover text will confirm you want to publish the assignment.

Unpublish an Assignment

Unpublish an Assignment

To unpublish an assignment, hover over the assignment's published icon and view its status. If the assignment can be unpublished, the hover text will confirm you want to unpublish the assignment, and the icon will change from gray to red [1]. Click the icon to confirm.

Assignments with student submissions cannot be unpublished, and the hover text will notify you accordingly [2].

View Status within an Individual Assignment

Within individual assignments, the assignment status is shown next to the assignment name.

Publish an Assignment

To publish an assignment, click the assignment’s Publish button. The button will change from gray to green.  

Unpublish an Assignment

To unpublish an assignment, hover over the published button for the assignment and view its status. If the assignment can be unpublished, the hover text will confirm you want to unpublish the assignment, and the button will change from gray to red [1]. Click the button to confirm.

Assignments with student submissions cannot be unpublished. The the hover text will notify you accordingly [2].

Assignments Student View

Students cannot see any of the actions involved with Draft State, such as published and unpublished icons and setting icons. Students will only see published assignments, which are posted in gray text.

(Optional) Lesson Feedback (0)

Please let us know if any information in this lesson appears to be incorrect in terms of Canvas functionality only (please do not submit feature requests here). This is not a help site, and submitted comments cannot be answered. If your Canvas course/account is having trouble completing any of the tasks outlined in this lesson, please contact Canvas Support by submitting a HELP TICKET via the Help Link within Canvas or emailing support@instructure.com. Thank you.

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