Setting up Your Gradebook (Grades) in Canvas


Creating Assignments Builds the Gradebook

Creating your course Gradebook, referred to as simply "Grades" (tab) in your Canvas course menu, will require you to begin in the Assignments tab. Creating an assignment can include any course activity that an instructor wants to track with a grade. These graded assignments then generate a corresponding column in the grade book. 

To learn more about assignments and how to create them, see the following Canvas Guides:


Attendance Tool
In addition to the graded assignment types listed in the Canvas guides, a widely used option that is easily implemented for grading is the Attendance or Roll Call tool. This tab/tool triggers a default assignment worth 100 points in the Assignment index the first time attendance is taken. For more about this, please see the Canvas Guides: What is the Roll Call Attendance Tool? and How do I take Attendance using the Roll Call tool? 

As you create assignments for each graded activity you want to track during the semester, you can then view those items in the Gradebook. To do that, click Grades from the course navigation menu. For more information, see these Canvas Guide: How do I use the Gradebook?

Important: To see assignments in the grade book, an assignment needs to be marked as a graded  AND needs to be published.


Helpful tips to consider:

  • F2F paper assignments: If you teach a F2F course, each paper assignment  should have a corresponding assignment in Canvas with a title, due date, points, and submission type: "On Paper." Similarly, if you have a paper "quiz," you don't need to use the Quiz tool in Canvas. You can simply make an assignment with your quiz title, add your points, due date (or date of test), and submission type, "On Paper."
  • Duplicating assignments to save time: If you need to create multiple assignments that have much of the same information (i.e. points, similar titles, submission type, etc), you can duplicate one and edit with the changes later. See: How do I duplicate an assignment?
  • Publish vs. Save and Publish: You have the option to save the assignment or save and publish, which then makes the assignment visible to students. One method to help you know which to use is when an assignment still needs information, such as a due date, you can just save it until it's completed. At that point, you can then publish the assignment to help you distinguish between assignments you're still working on. 
  • Re-ordering assignments in your Gradebook: The order of the assignments in the Assignment index will appear the same way in the grade book. You can move assignments around if you would prefer to display them in a certain way in the grade book. See: How do I move or reorder an assignment?
  • Due dates vs. availability dates: All assignments should get a due date so that students can plan accordingly. There are also availability dates in assignment settings, which good for having a window for activities like discussions so that graded tasks can take place within a certain period. See: What is the difference between assignment due dates and availability dates?
  • Assignment Groups: You can create Assignment Groups of similar assignment types within the Assignments tab (example: Chapter Quizzes, Homework, Projects, Exams). Groups allow the Gradebook to calculate and display sub-total columns by the totals column. Groups also allow "weighting" of assignment groups by percentage. Weighting is an ideal way to ensure that your grade calculations match your Syllabus.


Support Information: 

If you have questions about Canvas, please contact the Canvas Hotline below: 
24/7/365 Canvas Support:
If you have course questions or need assistance improving your content, please use one of the options to schedule an in-person consultation: 
F2F Canvas Course Faculty Support


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REV08/01/2019 KLH