Grading Assignments in Canvas

How you grade assignments in Canvas is going to depend on how students submit the assignment.

Enter score on grades page

If students aren't submitting anything, like for an in-class activity or participation points, you will need to create a "no submission" assignment on the Assignments page. Then, you can go right to the Grades page and enter a grade for each student, just as you would in spreadsheet software.

Enter "EX" (excused) for students who do not need to complete the assignment so that the score won't count as a "0" when it comes time to calculate a final grade.


View online submission and submit a score in SpeedGrader

When students submit artifacts online (text, document, picture, etc.) you will use the SpeedGrader to grade the assignment. The SpeedGrader will show a preview of the student submission and give you a box to enter the score and a comments field.

You can access the SpeedGrader in a couple of ways:

  1. On the Canvas Dashboard, click on the assignment title in the To Do list
    To-do list on the right side of the Canvas dashboard
  2. In the course, click on the assignment title in the To Do list on the home page
    To-do list on left side of screen on course home page
  3. In the course, click on the Assignment page, then the title of the assignment, and click SpeedGrader
    Speedgrader button on the right side of the assignment edit page
  4. In the course, click on Grades, then the three dots, and SpeedGrader
    Speedgrader button from options menu in the gradebook

Sort and name display options

Once you are in the SpeedGrader, you can sort the submissions alphabetically, by the date of submission, or by submission status and hide the student names.

Annotation tools

If students submitted documents for the assignment, you have the option to use a pointer, highlighter, text entry, text strikethrough, or box outline to provide feedback. When using these tools, be sure to add a comment for students to view the feedback. Here is sample verbiage you might use:

Please be sure to view the comments on the body of your paper by clicking on the "View Feedback" link from the assignment page.

If you prefer to use annotation tools using an application on your computer, you can download the file and upload the edited version. For example, you could download the submitted file and open it into a word processing software like Microsoft Word and use the Track Changes feature. There, you can save your document with the annotations and upload them to SpeedGrader by using the File Attachment button underneath the comment box on the right-hand panel of the Speedgrader.

arrow pointing at paper clip icon

Grade entry

Enter the score in the grade field on the right panel.

Text entry field for grade on right panel

Use a rubric

You can use a rubric to grade the assignment. See Rubrics for more details.

Additional feedback

You can provide additional feedback to students in the form of comments, an uploaded file, video, or audio recording.

File upload, video, and audio recording icons in speedgrader right panel

Moving to next student

You can move to the next student by clicking on the left arrow at the top of the page, or use the dropdown menu to select a specific student.