Get Started With The Gradebook

The Grades function within Canvas allows you to maintain all of your grades online. It provides a robust tool for tasks typically done in a spreadsheet application, making it possible to keep all grading online. To enter your grade book, click on the Grades button on the left side.  A list of your students appears on the left, with columns to the right for any activity you have set up to be assessed within Canvas.

The grade book can be used for grading:

  • Enter grades for assignments that are submitted and reviewed outside of Canvas.
  • Enter assignments that are submitted through Canvas to review and grade them.  Detailed annotation and general commenting are both made possible through Speedgrader.

The grade book is also the place to organize grades and grading schemes:

  • If you are placing assignments into Groups that can be weighted as a certain percentage of the grading scheme, you can set the weights of Assignment Groups in Grades.
  • It is possible to download a spreadsheet of scores to work with outside of Canvas.  See the instructions on downloading scores, and note the information at the top about differences between the download and the table viewed online in Grades.

The grade book also shares grades with students.  See the information on the student view of Grades to get a sense of what they see.  Please note the following concerns:

  • Grades in Canvas are always displayed in points; for assignments using a GPA or Letter Grade, the corresponding point value appears next to it.  IDeS staff can assist instructors in thinking through their best options in cases where they do not want points to be visible.
  • In cases where no grade has been entered, the default setting in Canvas is to not factor the assignment into any grade calculations.  It is possible to change this setting so all ungraded assignments are given the value 0 in calculations, but it is not possible to apply this only to particular students or assignments.  After students have received grades for an assignment, instructors should determine what to enter for students who haven’t completed it, to accurately reflect their positions.
  • Instructors can leave private comments for students and send messages as part of the grading process. Selective communications are available to target anyone who hasn’t submitted an assignment yet or who scored more than X or less than Y on an assignment.

Best practices for grading assignments:

  • Instructors can block students from viewing grades until they are finalized.  See the information on muting assignments in Grades.
  • By default, students see grades for individual Assignments and cumulative grades for Assignment Groups, but not the total grade for the course.  We recommend keeping this setting to avoid confusion by showing the total before final calculations are complete.  If it is preferable to show the total, this can be changed in course Settings.
  • To retain a margin for instructor discretion, create an Assignment Group and associated Assignment that will not be graded until the end of the semester.  Many instructors have used a Participation Assignment worth around 10% of the grade for this.

For further information on what the Grade book can do, see these guides from Instructure: