Calculate final grades in Canvas

The Gradebook in Canvas records points for each assignment and instructors decide how those points are calculated to become the overall course grade. Some instructors choose to calculate final grades outside of Canvas for various reasons, such as to curve final course grades, as Canvas can only curve assignment grades.

However, it’s possible to do many basic grade calculations inside the Canvas Gradebook, freeing instructors from manual work. Below are some tasks that can be accomplished in Canvas.

Create and weight Assignment Groups 

Some instructors assign specific points for assignments to determine the equivalent to their contribution toward the overall course grade. However, an alternative to manually assigning points based on their worth is to use Assignment Groups and weighting. 

Address special cases

Many instructors have grading policies that can be accounted for in Canvas.

Enable and set up course grading scheme

In order to generate letter grades based on your student’s assignments, the percentage earned must correspond to a letter grade or other grading scheme. This needs to be set on a course by course basis (Note that this is different from grading schemes for particular assignments). 

Decide if students should see their current grade

By adding a grading scheme, students have the potential to see their current course grades based on posted graded assignments on an ongoing basis. By default, the “Hide totals in student grades summary” option is checked under Settings > Course Details > More Options, but if you uncheck it, they will see their current course total score and grade based on graded assignments. If you decide to do this, it is important that you deal with missing or late assignments as described below or students may have an inflated sense of their grade trajectory. 

Address any missing assignments

If you are ready to export final grades for import into Canvas, you must not have any dashes in your Gradebook.

Unhide/Post all grades

The final grade is based on posted grades only. If you have a post policy that releases grades immediately, this is no problem. However, by default, assignment grades have been hidden until you release them so post any unposted grades and unhide any hidden grades before proceeding to the last step. Verify that there are no Gradebook columns displaying an eye with slash icon for grades that are meant to be included in the final course grade.