Can Professors See Previous Submissions On Canvas

Can Professors See Previous Submissions On Canvas

You made multiple submissions on an assignment and you’re wondering whether the professor has access to your previous submission.

Maybe you mistakenly submitted the wrong file in your previous attempts and would be grateful if the professor doesn’t see them at all.

Or perhaps you’re simply curious since your student dashboard only seems to show your most recent submission. On the other hand, does the professor see all of your previous submissions?

Although students only have access to their most recent submissions, professors on the other hand, have access to all submissions, both previous and recent, through Canvas’ SpeedGrader feature.

The SpeedGrader feature shows the date and time for each submission. To make it easier for professors to differentiate between the most recent and previous submissions, SpeedGrader shows this alert “Note: This is not the most recent submission” when viewing previous submissions.

Students on the hand would be unable to access or even delete any previous submissions. You can only make resubmissions from your student dashboard.

Let’s find out a bit more about the SpeedGrader

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Canvas SpeedGrader And Features

According to Canvas, SpeedGrader allows instructors to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place using a simple point scale or complex rubric.

Instructors’ jobs become easier with the feature as it simplifies the process of evaluating assignments, quizzes, and more.

Instructors can use SpeedGrader to:

  • Sort submissions by student and hide student names for anonymous grading
  • View submission details for each student, including resubmitted assignments
  • Use rubrics to assign grades
  • Leave feedback for students
  • Track grading progress and hide assignments while grading
  • View submissions in moderated assignments

As you can see, SpeedGrader enables professors to view submission details for each student which includes previous submissions.

However, if you’re worried about your professor reading your previous submissions, you should know that most professors have busy schedules and would only attempt to look through previous submissions when they have just cause.

Does Canvas Override Previous Submissions

While previous submissions aren’t exactly overwritten, they can only be viewed by the professor, as students only see recent submissions.

Old versions of their student submissions are unavailable for students to view in their dashboard. This means students who submitted the wrong file would have to resubmit the correct file without being able to delete their previous submission.

Only the most recent submission will be available for students to view. That said, you should know that professors decide on the number of resubmissions available to students.

Can A Professor See Multiple Attempts On Canvas

Not only can professors see multiple attempts, they can also see the submitted files or links, as well as the date and times associated with each attempt, from the SpeedGrader.

Depending on the settings implemented by the professor, students may be able to resubmit assignments multiple times. However, they lose access to previous submissions on their assignments.

Can You Delete A Submission On Canvas

Users including students cannot delete assignment submissions on Canvas without admin privileges. Admin accounts are the only ones that can delete student submissions in SpeedGrader.

If you’re worried about your submission, you can simply resubmit the assignment without any issues. The professor would most likely focus on your recent submission as opposed to your previous attempts.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean they won’t see your previous submissions. They would simply focus more on your final submission which is your most recent.

This is why professors like to give the option to resubmit assignments. They’re aware that mistakes happen so allowing students to resubmit ensures that students rectify any mistakes before the assignment deadlines.

What To Do If You Submit Wrong Files On Canvas

Professors may allow students to resubmit files multiple times before the specified deadline. But sometimes students don’t have that option since they’re not given any resubmission options.

If you submit the wrong file by mistake, what do you do about it?

Check Deadline

The first step is to check the deadline for submission. It may be too late if the deadline has passed, but in the event that you still have some time, you can reach out to the professor to inform them of the challenge you’re having.

Make sure you apologize to increase your chances of a positive response. Let them know that you mistakenly submitted the wrong file and would like the opportunity to submit the original file.

You can even attach the original file that you want to submit to the email to make things simpler.


Unfortunately, professors don’t always make resubmission an option but you’ll have to confirm this before you try reaching out to them directly.

Check Canvas and see if re-submission is allowed and the number of revisions you’re allowed to do. Simply resubmit the file if the assignment allows multiple attempts.

If it doesn’t, you can try reaching out to the professor to alert them of the mistake. Don’t try to sound entitled as considering your request could be seen as special treatment which they aren’t mandated to do.

Accept that the fault lies with you and that you promise not to repeat it.

If re-submission is an option, you should quickly upload the original file and submit it. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to delete your previous submission but the professor would grade your most recent submission.

The professor would have access to your previous submissions but would only grade the most recent unless the original file was submitted after the deadline.

Contact Professor

Reach out to your professor, through the Canvas inbox, if you’re already aware that the assignment only allows single attempts at submission or the deadline has already passed.

Keep in mind that, while the professor is not mandated to accept your request, they understand such mistakes are possible and most would avoid penalizing students for these mistakes.

Some professors may even reach out to students when they realize that the student may have submitted the wrong file as their assignment.

They may end up deducting some points if the deadline is already past, which is preferable to failing the class outright.

Negotiate Additional Attempt

If the quiz or assignment only allows for a single try, you’ll need to negotiate with the professor and hope that they agree to give you an additional attempt at it.

Explain your reasons for the mistake and accept that it’s your fault. Keep in mind that the professor is not mandated to give you another chance at the quiz or assignment.

This isn’t the time to act like you’re entitled to a second attempt at the assignment or quiz. The professor would simply ignore any such request from a student with that kind of behavior.

How Do I Fix Submission Failed On Canvas

If you get an error message while attempting to upload your assignment to Canvas you can try any/all of the following:

  • Check internet connectivity
  • Clear browser cookies and cache
  • Update browser version
  • Try different browser
  • Try signing out and signing in again
  • Check browser plugins for conflict
  • Check file size
  • Restart the browser
  • Try incognito or private browser
  • Restart computer

If they all fail, then it may be a technical problem that you need to bring to your professor’s notice. In this case, the professor would most likely request that you send them the file via inbox or email.

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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