There are some common issues that faculty experience when grading in Canvas. There are a few techniques that will help you avoid these pitfalls!
“Muting and assignment” is Canvas’s way of suppressing the students ability to view the grades or comments on an assignment. This is a necessary technique when using an electronic gradebook where students are instantly notified when they receive a grade. This is especially useful when grading bigger assignments.
Mute the assignment before you begin grading. Then when you finish grading the class, release the grades by unmuting the assignment. This will allow you to adjust the grades for students without them being aware. You can even delete comments you have made and replace them without the students being aware.
Note: Don’t forget to unmute assignments. Students view of their final grade will not include muted assignments, so they may be seeing a different final grade for the class than you do.
We often feel bad giving zeros to students who do not turn in work. Not entering a zero will appear as a ‘-‘ dash in the gradebook and result in an inflated grade. The dash in the gradebook will not be calculated toward the current score that students have in the class. This means that the student’s view of their final grade will not be negatively affected and therefore the student will be under the wrong impression for how well they are doing in the class.
Students, when asked, prefer to be given a zero on missed work, as it keeps them from forming a false sense of security. If the instructor does not enter zeros for missed work, it can lead to a real discrepancy between how the instructor thinks the student is doing in the course and how the student views their own performance.
Instead, enter a zero for missed work and then use the “Message Students Who” feature in the Canvas gradebook to notify those students about the course’s late work policy and what they can do to improve their grade. We recommend actively helping students develop a strategy for digging themselves out of any holes in their learning or in their grade.
One of the greatest features in Canvas is the ability to quickly message all students in Canvas who haven’t; turned in an assignment, got a low score, haven’t been graded yet, etc…
These direct messages also notify students via their school email accounts so they are often quickly noticed. Use these messages to nag students early in the semester and follow up with students of concern.
It is easy for students to not see comments from their instructor. If you are going to invest the time into writing good feedback, then you want your students to read and incorporate this feedback into their learning.
- Tell students explicitly how you are giving them feedback and how they can find it. You can even submit an assignment as a “Test Student” and then grade it yourself. You can then project the test student’s view of their grades and comments in class on the projector.
- Send students instructions for viewing the comments:
- Have students explicitly reflect on the feedback you provided or incorporate the feedback in a later assignment
If you choose to set an assignment worth a certain number of points other than 100, then be extra careful when entering a score.
Depending on your settings and the screen, you will need to enter the grade as a percentage (0-100) or as the number of points.
If the assignments is worth 10 points and you accidentally award 90 points (thinking they got 90%), then you just gave the student 900% on that assignment!