Assignment Due Default Time

Hello! We appreciate having a time and date that an assignment is due in the assignment center. Unfortunately, this means that all assignments appear due at 11:59pm by default which is confusing some students. For instance a teacher says during a asynchonous meeting time. Of course, you can specify a time when creating or editing an assignment case by case. But we would like if we can have a ability to edit the default time, for instance to the end of the school day. Having the global timestamp of 11:59 (for LS-US) for an assignment that is due conflicts with our ideas of wellness and might seem as though we condone very late night work for students. Thanks for considering.

  • Courtney Burke
  • Apr 27 2020
  • Implemented
  • Attach files
  • Guest commented
    28 Sep, 2022 11:21am

    This is marked as implemented in April 2020, but my students still see a due time even thought I literally NEVER change the due time. Is this something in my school's settings? It's making me nuts and I really really need the due time not to display. What's going on?

  • Angela Addison commented
    26 May, 2020 03:47pm

    We removed the display of 11:59 default time in the list views. If the teacher puts in a different due time intentionally we are still displaying that. This went live this morning.

  • Danielle Keeney commented
    4 May, 2020 12:48pm

    Same thought:

    It would be great to have an assignment setting that allows us to turn the time display off. A default due time would be helpful as well. As a student, an assignment due date normally meant by class on the due date. The virtual classroom has made that a little hazy, but the 11:59PM showing has also caused some confusion.

  • Patti Barrett commented
    1 May, 2020 11:39pm

    I would be happy with a short-term fix of just being able to turn if off by default. The option of having it just not show up for the assignment if the teacher doesn't edit it is also fine with me. Thanks!

  • Angela Addison commented
    1 May, 2020 11:17pm

    Thank you @Bill Campbell for the lovely synopsis yes we have determined that despite it being as it was, the visibility is the troubling part to folks. I had a call earlier today with 3 schools that were so good to put themselves out there to help us figure out what the happy low-hanging fruit was to alleviate the distress. What we came to and will be going into dev is - if the default time is entered by the teacher then it is an intentional date/time that they want communicated and we will show that to students. Otherwise, the default 11:59 time will not be shown. Assignments in their assignment list will then be sorted if they do by due date/time by the those with an explicity time entered by the teacher at top, then defaulted system 'end of day' time following. The second pain point that I took away from the feedback is online submission assignments having to share the same mark at late time. We can remove that field and give online submissions the same due datetime functionality per section publish as other assignment types. The piece we will be tabling for now is any admin default due times because it opens up a rabbit hole of some schools will be ok with a flat due time default, some will want it by school level, some will want by teacher or course or schedule, etc. So we will table the admin school wide due time for now until we get into discovery on personalized learning demands. I very much appreciate our school input and folks that take time to get on the horn with us to debate and very much sympathize with all of you in the trenches. I hope this accomplishes the happy medium until we can bite off a bigger project.

  • Bill Campbell commented
    1 May, 2020 08:59pm

    So the complaint we got by (surprised) teachers when the due time started showing is more about the idea merged into this one as opposed to what was suggested here. Previous behavior, as discussed in the comments, is that no Due Time used to be shown. The fact that 11:59 PM was the time in the background didn't really matter because students never saw that. The understanding between teachers and students in most cases was that work was due at the start of class. Now students are seeing that an assignment is posted as due at midnight the day of class, which is even more confusing with distance learning. So, rather than being able to set a default due time, which would still require teachers to customize something they didn't have to before since each class meets at different times, I'd like the ability to turn off showing the times. In a perfect world with unlimited developer time and resources (I know that's not a reality), teachers could have a default setting to either show or not show the time, and maybe an admin could set the initial default. With a more realistic nod to limited developer time, an admin setting to disable the due time display would put us back to where we were with what teachers and students were used too. (Making major changes like this in behavior without an opt-in is extra stress teachers don't need at this time.)

    That all said, I feel like I could almost make a case that this is a bug or at least that the interface doesn't reflect what is actually happening. If a teacher leaves the due time blank, it gets set to 11:59 PM in the background when the assignment is saved but doesn't actually show that time unless you go back in to the assignment and take a look or edit it since no default time is filled in like it is for the assigned time. That is what led to this being a surprise. Teachers created assignments the same way they always did, then, all of a sudden, students started seeing the listed as being due at 11:59 PM in the LMS instead of the understood, "it's due by class" as had been common practice when no time was listed. (And a student can't just casually ask a teacher in the hall or stop by the teacher's room for clarification.)

    Thanks to folks at Blackbaud for your attention to this matter and addressing it soon.

  • Angela Addison commented
    30 Apr, 2020 01:25pm

    @Sarah Shartzer not sure if you had a chance to read through the prior posts but assignments have always been defaulted to 11:59 as the overdue time behind the scenes. We didn't alter history or change the behavior we only added the ability for teachers to now set it to what they like if not 11:59. Previously students just didn't see the 11:59 listed as the due time but that was what it was. @Jason yes we are looking at options for additional settings and considering everyone's suggestions as noted. We certainly aren't saying that it can't happen. I have a call with several customers tomorrow to discuss and then we will put requests into development so I'm hopeful that we will have something in production in a couple weeks. Also @Sarah if you could weigh in on what the definition of past due would be without a due datetime? Previously as mentioned we always used the 11:59 on the due date to trigger something showing overdue. I did see one customer's request that there is no concept of due dates/times so nothing is ever overdue just perpetual assignments that students work on as they can. There are downstream implications to this that I don't think we can take on at the moment without a lot of additional discovery i.e. if there were no due dates and times then what grading period does the assignment show up in in gradebooks and grading, which grades would it get included in for calculations - I imagine then that teachers would have to set that for every assignment created. If the ask is to have a setting to hide due time from student then that's something we could also consider. Just putting that out to the group. thanks! Will report back after tomorrow on the outcome.

  • Guest commented
    29 Apr, 2020 07:30pm

    It's amazing that this can be an on/off toggle in the system management. Give us the choice on how to run our environment! You clearly know how to make it work without the times and now you know how to make the times apply, so let us decide.

  • Sarah Shartzer commented
    29 Apr, 2020 06:39pm

    Just adding another frustrated voice to the conversation: The addition of due times has been incredibly confusing. While we understand why some schools/teachers use this, it's generated non-stop phone calls and emails from students, parents, and teachers, at a time when we are all working remotely/trying to simplify and not complicate things. At the very least, we need the option to choose "none" or have it to default to just be blank. Without that option, every teacher has to change every assignment for every class; we counted today and that's 15-20 extra clicks for each post. It's also a big problem that all old assignments are now defaulting to that 11:59 time, which "rewrites" history for assignments that are past due.

  • Cera Marsh commented
    29 Apr, 2020 04:50pm

    I understand you can change the default assign time but it adds one more step for teachers to remember to change since the default is 3:00pm. I would like the ability to change the default time to 7:00am school-wide which is preferred and teachers can still change it if needed. The default time of 3:00pm is causing a lot of help tickets during digital learning right now.

  • Kristi Romanik commented
    29 Apr, 2020 12:43am

    I would like to take it a step further and have the ability to shut time off all together. In some of our classes it is completely unnecessary, creating confusing and will be time consuming for teacher to edit these times for every assignment.

  • Nancy Kierstead commented
    28 Apr, 2020 10:00pm

    reposting as something went awry with the last one

    @Angela Addison - Not sure it's possible, but maybe a dropdown item of "none" as a choice for due/mark late time is an option? Just brainstorming! On a positive note, I do have some teachers who do allow students to turn in work throughout the day (and do not expect it at the beginning of class) that were thrilled with the ability to choose due times! Tough to please everyone, right?

  • Nancy Kierstead commented
    28 Apr, 2020 09:57pm

    @Angela Addison - Not sure it's possible, but maybe a dropdown item of "none" as a choice for due time is an option? Just brainstorming! On a positive note, I do have some teachers who do allow students to turn in work throughout the day (and do not expect it at the beginniing of class) that were thrilled with the ability to choose due times, however! do not expect work due at the beginning of class and are thrilled with the new change. Tough to please everyone, right?

  • Nancy Kierstead commented
    28 Apr, 2020 09:35pm

    @Angela Addison Thanks for your explanation. Unfortunately you have assumed the "due" time for online submissions was the "mark late" time that our teachers didn't use since it couldn't be adjusted for each section. I think what happened up to now is that the asignments were "due" at the beginning of class, but they would be automatically "marked late" at midnight by default. A teacher could still manually mark an assignment late on their own as well. Now it is showing 11:59pm as the "due" time all their online submission assignments.

    I'm sensing they would prefer a "due" time for online submissions such as the new feature you rolled out with discussions/assessments/traditonal assignments that can be adjusted for each section.

    I understand not wanting to mess up online submissions right now, so if you don't want to allow for online submissions to have unique "due" times, the best option is to allow for teachers to hide these "mark late" times again. That would alleviate lots of confusion.

  • Angela Addison commented
    28 Apr, 2020 09:10pm

    Ahh ok now I get what you're saying @Nancy Kierstead, I wasn't following earlier that the issue was only with online submissions. Yes you're correct the functionality remains what it used to be for those essentially. It was recommended we continue the existing behavior for online subs to minimize disruption i.e. with the other assignment types there was never an option for due time. Everyone got 11:59 across the board. In online submissions there was however due time functionality via the mark late field. Removing a field folks were used to using we anticipated those "someone moved my cheese" complaints. So definitely while the flow didn't gain the efficiencies on that one, I think we at least didn't take away something they had. My understanding is there was always only one mark late at field that all sections being published shared. If you went in after publishing and edited one instance, it did so for all of them. Please let me know if I'm missing something and you think we introduced a bug or removed something they had. Otherwise I will take this back to the team to revisit and as proof that people would rather have the consistent experience with times then having their cheese moved. Thanks for your help!

  • Nancy Kierstead commented
    28 Apr, 2020 07:24pm

    @Angela Addison, I don't understand. A teacher assigns an online submission to 3 sections of same class, and it will not allow them to adjust to a different time for each section. Are you suggesting they triple their work and create three separate assignments so the due time that shows up can be unique? Right now, teachers cannot adjust due times for Online Submissions with multiple sections as they can with other assignment types. It is grayed out and locked down and they cannot edit these times. It defaults to the "mark late by" time, which is the same for all three sections. Our teachers are actually livid about this.

  • Angela Addison commented
    28 Apr, 2020 07:17pm

    @Cera Marsh, you can already set the default assigned time in your grading setup assignment settings. @Nancy Kierstead - we aren't enforcing a due time. The teachers are able to edit them to whatever your due times are (since each school and teacher may have different rules i.e. next class, end of day to accommodate students in multiple time zones, etc.). We only default them to 11:59 if nothing is entered. There is logic in the system that flags assignments overdue at point in time so it needs a date and time to do that and the system has always used 11:59 for this behavior. Previously teachers just didn't have the ability to change that and it wasn't visible. We're clear that there is a request for additional options (either a corporate default end time and/or the ability to select the next meeting datetime for the class section automatically). We are meeting this week to discuss what we can do so will have more news on this soon. Thanks!

  • Nancy Kierstead commented
    28 Apr, 2020 06:45pm

    Also, PLEASE understand that Online Submissions cannot have a different timestamp for different sections!!!! Our teachers are very upset! We are still rotating our classes, even remotely. Many assignments are due at the beginning of class, which is a different time for different sections. We are NOT able to give different times for Oncampus Online submissions.

  • Cera Marsh commented
    28 Apr, 2020 06:45pm

    I also would like the ability to set a common assign time. Currently it assigns at 3:00pm but we would like to corporately change that time. Perhaps allowing the admin to set a default assign/due time and then enabling the teacher to alter those individually.

  • Angela Addison commented
    28 Apr, 2020 03:34pm

    Hi @Courtney Burke! I commented on the idea that I merged into yours with some additional information and questions but wanted to also let you know we will huddling later this week on this to come up with a path forward. Stay tuned!