This article covers the fine details of grading in Canvas. For a basic overview of Canvas grading, see All About Grading.
Before You Start
You'll need a Canvas course site that contains graded assignments.
Assignments are categorized into assignment groups, which are collections of similar tasks like homework, case write-ups, and exams.
Like assignments, each group gets a column in the Gradebook, identifiable by black column headers. These columns will contain a total grade for all assignments in that assignment group. These totals are hidden from students.
TIP: If you see a warning icon in this column, you haven't assigned points to all the assignments that comprise the assignment group.
When computing the score in the assignment group summary column, Canvas does not give equal weight to each component assignment. Instead, it adds up all the points possible in that assignment group, as well as how many points earned, and them calculates the assignment group score based on those two figures.
Example: If there is an assignment group with three assignments worth 5 points, and one assignment worth 100 points, the 100-point assignment will have the largest impact on the total score of that group.
Assignment groups also allow you to use weighted grades, such as homework = 20%, papers = 30%, exams = 50%. Canvas will apply these weights to the total score of each assignment group, and will compute a final course grade, shown in the "Total" column on the far right of the Gradebook. This column is not displayed to students.
Understanding points and grade types (letter, percentage, etc.)
Canvas relies upon the number of points which are possible per assignment. You can choose how the grade is displayed in the Gradebook, but Canvas always considers the points the assignment is worth.
Example: You create an assignment worth 20 points, and have therefore entered "20" in the Points box while editing the assignment. Here's what will happen if you use the various "Grading Types":
- Points: Canvas will display the points you enter, so if you enter "18", Canvas displays "18."
- Percentage: Canvas will convert the points you enter to a percentage. If you enter "18", which is 90% of of the total available points, Canvas will display "90%." You can enter the percentage yourself, but if you do not add "%", Canvas will assume you are entering points. In this case, entering "90" will result in a display of "450", because 90 points out of 20 is 450%.
- Complete/incomplete: Canvas will allow you to enter checkmarks for students that have completed the assignment. "Complete" means all possible points were earned and "incomplete" means no points were earned. There is greater flexibility in changing completion status in Speedgrader than in Gradebook.
- Letter Grade: You can create a grading scheme that will allow you to use letter grades. For example, in your course, an A might be 100-92, an A- 91-89, and so forth. Letter grades don't work with an assignment that has no possible points specified.
Grading Individuals within a Group
Normally, grades for a group assignment apply to all members of the group. However, you can provide individual grades to students even within a group assignment by using Assign Grades to Each Student Individually. If only a few students will receive individual grades, you can set the group grades first, then turn on this setting to leave those individual grades.
Note that if you want to view comments you leave on individual grades, you must navigate to the student's "Grades" page, where you can view/use Submission Details. (Students can view these comments normally.)
TIP: Mute the assignment while you are changing grades so that you can reveal grades all at once.