How do I setup Assignments in Canvas?


Assignments: an introduction

Assignments are one of the most important components of Canvas.  Assignments are where students will submit work for grading.  Papers, projects, presentations, and even class participation will be graded using assignments.  In the most basic configuration, Assignments allow students to upload their documents to a place where teaching staff can view them and provide feedback.  In more complex configurations, Assignments use integrated rubrics for grading and allow Canvas to calculate each student's final grade.

Creating a basic assignment

To create an assignment, navigate to the Assignments menu of your course and click the blue button to add an assignment:

+Assignment Button

On the next page, you will configure your assignment.

First, name your assignment (e.g. First Analytic Paper: Charter Schools).  Second, in the Rich Content Editor, add the assignment description.  You can add documents, text, images, and videos here just like you can in Pages.


Configuring your assignment

There are many options to choose from when configuring your assignment.  When configuring a basic assignment, many of these can be ignored.  We will go over the essentials here, with brief descriptions of more advanced features below.

For a basic assignment, set "Display Grade as" to Complete/Incomplete.  Detailed grading information will be provided in Comments.

DIsplay Grade As


If you are accepting papers for this assignment, set Submission Type to Online, and check the box for File Uploads.  The Canvas Team recommends restricting file types, so that all documents can be viewed by teaching staff.  Be sure to follow the syntax if you change the list of allowed file types (i.e. no periods or spaces, separate file types by comma).

Assignment Submission Type


Lastly, use the fields at the bottom of the page to configure the due date for your assignment:

Assignment Due Date

Publishing your assignment

If your assignment is ready to be seen by students, click Save and Publish:

Save and Publish Button

If you still have more configurations to make on your assignment, and want to leave it in a draft state, click Save:

Save Button



Overview of Advanced Assignment Features

Points, and Canvas Grading - These settings are used to configure Canvas to facilitate more of the Grading progress.  

Assignment Grading

Other Submission Options - Text Entry provides a Canvas Rich Content Editor box for students to submit their work.  Website URL allows a URL link to serve as a student's submission.  Media Recordings allows students to submit audio or video recordings made in Canvas or elsewhere to Canvas assignments.

Other Submission Options

Group Assignments - In a group assignment, a single assignment submission will count for multiple students.

Group Assignments

Peer Reviews - The peer reviews option allows students to review fellow students' work prior to grading.  Feedback is facilitated through Canvas, and it can be configured to be anonymous. 

Peer Reviews

Assign to - This field is used to apply assignments to specific students or specific Sections.

Assignment Assign To

Available from - This feature prevents access to an assignment outside of the specified dates.  If either field is left blank, there will be no restriction. 

Assignment Availability

+Add - You are able to add additional Assign boxes to give different students or sections different due dates.

Add More Due Dates