Do You Know Students Can Submit Late Assignments Unless You Use an “Until” Date?

The Do You Know? series provides tips for working with quirks in Canvas. Please email Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

Why Does Canvas Let My Students Submit Their Work After the Due Date?

The guiding principle behind this default ability is that decisions about whether or not an assignment should be accepted late is an instructor’s prerogative, so rather than deciding for the instructor that students cannot submit their work after the due date, Canvas leaves the choice about whether or not to accept the late submission up to the instructor, marking it “late” without taking any further action.

"Late submission messahe for students

If Canvas were to automatically block students from submitting after a due date, allowing extensions would require working with complex settings, and intervention from a Canvas support specialist would most likely be necessary. By accepting late submissions by default, Canvas obviates this need and defers to the instructor’s judgment, letting them manage late submissions according to their personal policies.

The gradebook cell for a late submissiomn is pink.

A pink gradebook cell means a submission was late.

Thus if you gave a student an extension, the submission would be marked “late,” but you would be able to grade the submission according to the grading terns you defined for the extension (full credit, partial credit, etc.). If you did not give a student an extension but they submit late anyway, you can decide how or if to grade the submission according to your lateness policy.

SpeedGrader has a message in red for late assignments.

SpeedGrader labels late assignments with a message in red text.

I Don’t Give Extensions. Can I Stop Late Submissions?

Yes, in addition to a due date, you can use an “Until” availability date to completely cut off student access to assignments after a certain date, including the ability to submit an assignment.

Set the "Until" Availability Date for at least 5 minutes after the due date to allow for technical difficulties.

Set the “Until” Availability Date for at least 5 minutes after the due date to allow for technical difficulties on your students’ end and to account for possible slight time differences between computers and Canvas.

Students see a "locked" message when they access an assignment after an "Until" availability date.

Students see a “locked” message when they access an assignment after an “Until” availability date.

More Information

Please click on the following link for information and instructions on using availability dates in Canvas:

What is the difference between due dates and availability dates?

Please contact Courseware Support at canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have any questions.

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