End-of-Semester Resource Digest

With finals week on the horizon, CATL has put together a quick digest of resources related to grading and the gradebook in Canvas.

The Gradebook

If you haven’t done so already, a good first step at this stage of the semester is to set up your grading scheme so that letter grades match up with the grading system from A, AB, B, … to F provided by the Registrar’s office (Note: Canvas only supports “scored” grades and so your grade scheme should not include grades like WF, I, DR, or W).

If you prefer to enter grades manually (spreadsheet-style), you can do so in the grades area. To appear in the “grades” area, an item just needs to exist as an “Assignment” (something students “turn in”) or have points assigned to it (like graded discussions or quizzes). You can also create a “no submission” assignment if you want to manually add points (e.g. for participation, an overall project grade, or work submitted outside of Canvas).

You can also grade individual assignments, quizzes, or discussions using the SpeedGrader tool which allows you mark up documents, grade individual questions on quizzes (such as essays), and view a student’s discussion posts to provide feedback.

You may wish to change which grade items are visible to students while you are grading. You can hide grades either from the gradebook or within SpeedGrader. Just remember to reveal the grades again once all students have been graded.

If you would like to go “full manual” and work with the gradebook in Excel instead of Canvas, you can also export and then re-import grade information. Please review both the export and import documentation carefully before using this ‘advanced’ process.

Moderating Quizzes

As you are offering quizzes and exams in Canvas, you may need to give a student extra time to take the quiz or an additional attempt for various reasons. In addition to these options, Canvas allows you to give an extension (by date) to a particular student or students.

Finalizing Grades

One quirk of Canvas is that it does not count missing assignments against the final score automatically. Anything with a dash in the grade’s cell in the gradebook is not counted against the student. You will need to make sure a zero is entered anywhere it should be. More details on total grade calculations can be found in this guide.

You may also wish to exclude a certain item or items from the final grade (such as practice assignments or a number of separate assignments for which you’d like to use a no-submission item to assign a manual grade). If you use assignment groups (recommended), you can also set rule(s) to drop the lowest grades in a category. Assignment groups also allow you to weight your gradebook based on those groupings.

There are a few different ways of adding extra credit to the final grade.

Sending Grades from Canvas to SIS

Once you have set up your letter grading scheme so SIS can understand it, you can send final grades to SIS. Remember, first, to check that grades are accurate: that items have dropped that should, that zeroes are entered where needed, and that weights are calculated properly. 

Where to Get Help

As always, the CATL team is here and willing to help you design your course, set up your assignments, and work through the process of grading. Just fill out our handy consultation request.

You can also get 24/7/365 support from Canvas by clicking the Help button in the Canvas navigation (black bar on the left-hand side) and selecting from the options there including live chat or phone.

You may also wish to explore the Canvas guides on your own—this is the “manual” for Canvas to which many of the links above take you.