Canvas Quick Guide - Gradebook

Canvas Quick Guide - Gradebook



Dive into Grading! 

The Gradebook in Canvas is accessed via the Grades tool.  Only graded assignments, graded discussions, graded quizzes, and graded surveys that have been published appear in the Gradebook.  The Gradebook helps instructors easily input and distribute grades for students. Grades for each assignment can be calculated as points, percentages, complete or incomplete, pass or fail, GPA scale, and letter grades.  


Adding a grade item to Canvas gradebook for in-class assignments, on-paper exams and other graded activities which are not created within a Canvas tool will need to be created via the Assignments tool.   


Create an Assignment (add a gradebook column)


Creating an Assignment creates a Grades column.  An Assignment can be a Grades column only (No Submission or On Paper) or can allow students to submit work online (Online Submission) or via an External Tool/App (like Turnitin).Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 11.13.46 AM.png


 Create a Gradebook entry

  • Access the Assignments tool.

  • Create a new Assignment, type in the Assignment Name.

  • Provide instructions or use the “Insert Content” pane to add file attachments.

  • Enter the Points.

  • Select the default Assignments Group or create a new Assignment Group (e.g., Exams).

  • Change the Submission type to No Submission or On Paper

  • Publish the Assignment when you are ready for students to see the item in the gradebook.


This will create a column in the Grades tool only.  Enter points manually in the gradebook.

Assignments with No Submission can also be used for extra credit. These grade items also work well for classroom participation, such as moderating a discussion or in-class presentations.


Options:  Supply an “Available From” date - this will not hide the Assignment but will prevent the students from seeing the instructions until that date. 


Create an Assignment Group (Grading Category)


 Create Assignment Groups to create subtotal columns and/or use weighted grades.


 Create an Assignment GroupScreen Shot 2017-01-06 at 11.38.36 AM.png


Note:  If your course was imported from Moodle, many of the assignment may be nested in the group called “Imported Assignments”.  Assignments can be moved to other groups (categories) by dragging the item.  Click and hold on the double row of four dots to move items in Canvas. Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 11.54.43 AM.png

Note: Assignment Groups give you the option of setting rules, e.g., dropping the lowest score.


Set Up Weighted Grades


 To weight grades based on Assignment Groups, enable weighted grades. 

 Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 11.38.36 AM.png

 Weighting Grade Categories in Gradebook

  • Access the Assignments tool.

  • Click the Gear Symbol to edit the settings.

  • Checkmark the box labeled “Weight final grades based on assignment groups”.

  • Enter the percentage for each Assignment Group and Save.

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 11.57.37 AM.png

Note:  If your course was imported from Moodle, you may want to delete the Group labeled “Imported Assignments” after the grade items are moved to other groups (categories).  


Enable the Letter Grade


By default, a Letter Grade will not appear to students but the instructor can enable and modify the letter scheme in a course. 


 View/Edit Grading Scheme

  • Access the course level Settings.

  • Under the Course Details tab, scroll down to “Grading Scheme”.

  • First, checkmark the box labeled “Enable course grading scheme”.

  • Then, click “set grading scheme” to open the current grading scheme.

  • Review and edit the scheme by clicking the the pencil icon.

  • Name and save the scheme after editing the fields

Screen Shot 2017-01-06 at 12.29.06 PM.png



Toggle Display Percentage or Point Total to Students


By default, Canvas displays the Final Grade to students as a Percentage. Instructors have the option to the change this default to Points. This option is not available when weighted grades are used in a course. 


Canvas Instructor’s Guide on Changing Course Grades between Points and Percentage


Toggle View Missing Grades as Zero


Instructors can view student grades as if all ungraded assignments are worth zero points in the Gradebook. This feature called Treat Ungraded as 0 is located in the Gradebook Settings and is only a visual change that does not actually affect any grades—it only helps instructors to see the change in Gradebook calculations if ungraded assignments were given scores of zero. Enabling this option has no effect outside of the Gradebook; students cannot see any difference in their grade pages. Similarly, TAs or other instructors in the course will not see any change in their view of the Gradebook. Only the user who enables this option will see the affected grades.  


Canvas Instructor’s Guide on Treating Ungraded Assignments as Zero


Set Default Grade to Zero (or another value)


Instructors may wish to set all the missing assignment grades to zero toward the end of the semester.  Additionally, instructors may want to give everyone a score on a particular assignment, without individually entering the grades.  The set default grades feature will allow you to make these changes.  This setting will work similar to the Excludes Empty Grades setting in Moodle.


Canvas Instructor’s Guide on Set Default Grade



Hide Course Grade from Students


Instructors can hide totals in students' grade summaries. By default, totals are visible to students. For courses using weighted assignment groups, assignment group totals are also hidden from students. 


Canvas Instructor’s Guide on Hiding Course Grade Summary from Students


Additional Resources


The Canvas Instructor’s Guide has valuable information about Grades settings and the Gradebook in Canvas.  Here are a links to few topics worth mentioning:



Humboldt State University, kvl 2017