Grade with SpeedGrader

Canvas provides an internal application for grading student work.  This tool allows for annotation directly on the text, so instructors can provide detailed and precise feedback online.  It also allows for general comments, including audio and video.  Some instructors have found these spoken messages an effective way to give a more personal tone to their comments.  This application is accessible in the web browser you are using as well as on your tablets.  See “Using Canvas On Your Mobile Device” for more information on grading with your tablet.

This application offers significant advantages:

  • All work remains within the course site.
    • Downloading student work to local computers can present a security concern, and grading in a secure online environment avoids this.
    • Canvas organization makes it is easy to progress through the work of a whole class on a particular assignment, or the work of one student over a semester.
  • A SpeedGrader App is available for iOS, offering greater mobility for instructors grading assignments.
  • If an assignment involves Peer Review, students can make use of the same annotation tools.

SpeedGrader is also subject to certain limitations:

  • Although all assignments, including Quizzes and Discussions, can be viewed in SpeedGrader, full annotation tools can only be used with standard Assignments where students are submitting MS Word docs and PDFs.
  • If students are completing their work in Google Docs, they cannot submit these docs directly but need to export them then upload them (though this may change in the future).
  • If instructors are entering letter grades, the highest percentage point for that letter will automatically appear next to it.  To apply a different number, it is possible to make the adjustment in Grades.

Best practices for using SpeedGrader

  • SpeedGrader can hide assignments so students are temporarily blocked from seeing information about grades.  Make use of this feature to ensure students only see feedback once work for the whole class has been graded (see below for a link to instructions).
  • Accessing SpeedGrader can be challenging for students at first, although most are comfortable using it after the first time.  To provide them a comfortable introduction:
    • Share a link to the student instructions and walk through them together (CTE staff are happy to assist with this).
    • Make the first assignment students submit a low stakes one, e.g. for completion credit.