Benefits to Students

  • Assists students with planning where to spend time and effort. Example: student effort should be reflected accordingly if If projects are 50% of grades and discussions are 10%.
  • Simplifies and shortens the Syllabus for ideal readability to 1-2 pages in length through describing Assignment categories by percentage % of total grade at an overview level. 
    • Full assignment details, individual point values, and just-in-time instructions are best provided within actual Canvas assignments instead. 
    • Example: The Syllabus can declare in an overview that grades are based on: Quizzes 20%, Projects 40%, Final Exam 20%, Homework 10%, attendance 10%.
  • Weighted groups display individual trends to students in their grade summary by % when they are excelling in one group category and falling behind in another.
    • Example 1: A student can quickly see that they pass all Quizzes, yet fall behind because of non-attendance or not turning in homework.
    • Example 2: A student may turn in homework and excel in group work, but see that they fail quizzes--possibly signaling test anxiety or poor study skills.

Benefits to Instructors

  • Weighting assists the Instructor with communicating expectations and values while helping students to know where to prioritize time and energy for success.
    • Examples: In required Math, the Final Exam is the sole focus for passing the course and the entire coursework is aimed toward helping students pass one Exam, so the Final Exam is weighted at 80% of the value of the course. In other topics, there may be a mixture of Quizzes, homework, exams and projects. If a course labels Chapter Quizzes as 10% of a grade and a Research Project as 50%, students then know not to devote all of their attention to Chapter Quizzes at the expense of the other assignments.
  • Weighting allows instructor flexibility to add or delete assignments within categories, as needed.
    • Example: If the instructor exercises judgement that more time is needed elsewhere and an extra assignment should be deleted, Canvas instantly recalculates subtotals and total columns.
  • Weighting helps instructors to see patterns within the Gradebook subcategories.
    • Example: If a student does well on homework and projects, but typically fails Quizzes, they may have test anxiety.