Five Keys to Grading in Canvas

Assignments = Gradebook Columns

You add columns by adding assignments. An assignment can be any submission type including no submission. The assignment must be published before you can enter a grade.

All assignments must eventually have a grade

Students with missed assignments should be assigned "0" or you can enter "EX" if the student is excused from that assignment and it should not be used to calculate his or her final score. Use the Set Default Grade option to do for all missing submissions of a single assignment. (See General Gradebook Helps below.)

Or, you can have Canvas automatically assign 0 for missing work (that has a due date).

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 score column to make sure grades are what you think they should be.

Clicking on a single student's final grade percentage will show the total points earned and total points possible for that student.

Unique calculation scenarios are managed on the Assignments page

Create assignment groups with grading rules to drop the lowest or highest n scores. Check the "Weight the final score" box to set up weighting by assignment group.

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. Select or edit the grade scheme then be sure to click the Update Course Details button.


How Canvas Calculates Total Grades

Standard Grading Approach:

(Points Earned / Total Points Possible) = Total Score (as percentage)

Weighted Grading Approach: 

Where En = Points earned in assignment group n,
Pn  = Total points possible in assignment group n,
Wn ­= Weighting for assignment group n, as decimal (e.g. wn = 25% = .25)
(( E1 / P1 ) * 100)W1 + ((E2 / P2 ) * 100)W2 + … + ((En / Pn) * 100)Wn = Total Percentage 

Current Score vs. Final Score

Current score omits all empty cells from the calculation:

Points Earned / Points Possible of Assignments Graded = Current Score (as Percentage)

Final score includes empty cells in calculation:

Points Earned / Total Points Possible for All Assignments = Final Score (as Percentage)


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