The Canvas Grade Posting Policy vs. Hide Grades Feature

Canvas provides two controls for hiding grades and submission comments from students: the grade posting policy, where a teacher can set grades and comments to be posted manually, and the option to Hide Grades. These two options behave in two different ways.

  1. The grade posting policy sets the visibility of only grades and comments that will yet be posted. If it’s set to “manual,” then Canvas will not automatically post grades and submission comments to students. It will wait for the teacher to manually post them.
  2. The Hide Grades option hides only grades and comments that have already been posted. It doesn’t hide grades/comments that are yet to be posted, unless they are updates to already hidden grades.

The grade policy affects future grades. The Hide Grades tool affects past grades. The Post Grades option posts all hidden grades.

The following scenarios illustrate how these two controls interact:

Scenario 1

A teacher enters grades and comments for 5 students assignment submissions and then realizes they are not being hidden. The teacher clicks “Hide grades” and keeps grading.

Result: The 5 grades entered are hidden. All the grades entered afterward are not.

Scenario 2

A teacher enters grades and comments for 5 students assignment submissions and then realizes they are not being hidden. The teacher sets the assignment's grade posting policy to “Manual” and keeps grading.

Result: The first 5 grades and comments remain visible to students. All grades entered afterward are hidden.

Scenario 3

A teacher enters grades and comments for 5 students assignment submissions and then realizes they are not being hidden. The teacher clicks “Hide Grades” and sets the grade posting policy to “Manual” and keeps grading.

Result: All grades are hidden until the teacher chooses to post them.


Grades on Resubmissions Stay Posted

Once a teacher uses the option to Post Grades on an assignment, if the teacher updates the score and comments, even in the case of an assignment resubmission, the new score will be automatically visible to the student. This will occur even if the grade posting policy is still set to "manual." Once a grade is posted, subsequent regrades are posted automatically.
 
It is possible for a teacher to use the Hide Grades feature to hide all previously postred grades on all submissions. Grades will then remain hidden until they are posted again. This can only be done for all submissions and not on a submission-by-submission basis. For this reason, if the teacher intends to accept and comment on multiple drafts of a single assignment, it is better to use multiple Canvas assignments, each of which can be posted separately, rather than use a single assignment.