Get Started With Assignments

This feature includes many options to enhance learning and offer convenience for both instructors and students.  Here are a few suggestions for purposes they might serve:

  • A research paper requiring students to draw extensively on Library resources:
    • Incorporate links to databases, subject specialist pages, and other services through the rich content editor.
  • A language assignment requiring close feedback on student writing:
    • Provide detailed annotation through SpeedGrader, and a general summary through a rubric.
  • A public speaking exercise requiring students to record themselves for instructor review:
    • Have students use the Media Recorder available through the rich content editor.  If they are more comfortable with an already familiar device, the editor can upload recordings saved on a computer.

Methods of grading:

There are 5 different options for grading standard Assignments and Discussions (Quizzes are automatically graded with points).  To enable calculations and weighting, Canvas uses and displays points for all of them.  CTE staff can work with instructors to determine the best option to meet particular teaching goals.

  • Percentage will make that calculation based on any number given as the total.
  • Complete/Incomplete will give all points the assignment can earn if it is complete, but none if incomplete.
  • Points allows the number to be entered directly.
  • Letter grade and GPA both refer to a grading scheme.  When a letter or GPA number is given, the corresponding number of points also appears in Grades both for the instructor and the student.
  • Ungraded assignments still display fields for points (“none”) and submitting (“nothing”).  Explaining this to students can help correct any message that these tasks are unimportant.

5 Keys to Grading in Canvas, from Instructure

1. Assignments = Gradebook Columns.

You add columns by adding assignments.  They can be no-submission.

2. All assignments must eventually have a grade.

Students with missed assignments should have a 0.  Use “Set Default Grade” option on columns.

3. All required assignments must specify a total points possible.

This is done in the assignment settings and is needed for Canvas to accurately determine the total points possible for the course and, therefore, calculate an accurate total percentage.  Carefully check your total scores column to make sure grades are what you think they should be. 

4. Unique calculation scenarios are managed in Assignments

Create assignments groups with grading rules to drop lowest or highest n scores.

Check the “Weight the final score” box to set up weighting by assignment group.

5. For letter grades, set up a grading scheme.

Go to Settings > Course Details Tab.  Click Edit Course Details and check “Enable Course Grading Scheme” followed by “Set Course Grading Scheme.”

See the Student View of Grades to ensure Assignments are displaying what is intended.

CHECKLIST for creating assignments.pdf

Common Mistakes when Setting Up Assignments and Grading.pdf