How do I view my student's assignment feedback as an observer?

This lesson applies to users at institutions that have enabled the Canvas for Elementary user interface.

You can view most assignment comments added by your student's instructor in the assignment submission sidebar. However, your student's instructor may choose to include comments directly in an assignment submission using inline comments, or annotations. If an assignment's submission details page includes a View Feedback button, you can view these annotated comments through a preview tool called Canvas DocViewer.

Some browsers may not initially render comments correctly when viewing feedback. If your browser includes a built-in PDF viewer, select the option to view the PDF in the system viewer. You can also download PDF files with comments to view on your computer. The settings required to view or print the annotations in the PDF vary based on the software installed on your computer.


  • If the assignment attachment displays a Preview button instead of the View Feedback button, your student's file is not DocViewer compatible and will not include any annotated comments.
  • If your student submitted a group assignment but are not a member of a group, instructor comments may not display in the Submission Details page. You can view comments in Grades page or the Submission Comments folder of the Inbox.

Open Subject Grades

Open Subject

If you are observing more than one student, select the name of the student you'd like to view feedback for in the Observing drop-down menu [1].

From the Homeroom, click the Grades tab [2].

To view your student's grade details for a subject, click the subject name [3].

Open Submission Feedback

Open Submission Feedback

If your student's instructor has added feedback to your submission, you can view their feedback by clicking the View Feedback link.

Note: The View Feedback link only displays if your student's instructor has left feedback on your student's submission.

View Submission Feedback

View Submission Feedback

Any instructor comments added to your student's submission, as well as any comments added by your student, appear in the Comments portion of the sidebar [1].

If your assignment includes a rubric, your student's instructor may also leave comments in the rubric [2].

If your student submitted the assignment with a file upload, your student's instructor may have included annotated feedback in the assignment. If your student's instructor included annotated feedback, you can view it by clicking the View Feedback link [3].

Note: If the assignment attachment displays a Preview button, your student's file is not DocViewer compatible.

View Annotated Feedback

View Annotated Feedback

View the annotated comments from your student's instructor [1].

When an annotated comment includes multiple content lines, the content box displays an ellipses link [2]. To expand a comment, click the ellipses link.

To view stacked replies, click the comment to expand all replies [3].

To download a PDF of the submission and annotations, click the Download icon [4].