Skip to main content

Grading in Canvas

Victoria GetisOne of the sessions I attended at the Canvas conference in June was on grading in the system. The presenters had some useful tips and tricks.

First, don’t worry about the grade book. Setting up the grading schema really takes place in the assignments area. Anything with points attached will show up in the grade book.

Second, set up assignment groups (for example, a set of assignments for essays, another for participation, another for quizzes, etc.). If you set up assignment groups, you can weight the areas and the grade book will do all the calculations for you. Trust the grade book’s math (I’ve checked it numerous times). Here are instructions on how to weight final grades based on assignment groups:

Third, don’t forget to add zeroes! If something is supposed to get a zero (perhaps if it is turned in after the due date), make sure you go to the grade book and give it a zero. Otherwise, the grade will appear as a dash and will mess up the grading.

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 9.53.23 AMFourth, you can “mute” an assignment as you are grading it. This means that students will not see grades as you assign them — they’ll only see them once you “unmute” the assignment. Here are more instructions on how to do this:

Finally, here’s a neat trick: if you want to annotate and grade students’ papers outside of the SpeedGrader, you can download all the students’ submissions into a single zip file, unzip the file, annotate and grade the papers, then rezip or recompress the file and upload it to Canvas. This will return the students’ papers, with your annotations, to them. The key is to keep the file names exactly the same. Here are more instructions on how to do this: and