Instructor Help: Using Skyward in Canvas

Document created by Erin Hallmark Administrator on Feb 2, 2016Last modified by on Oct 3, 2019
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This document helps instructors with frequently asked questions and troubleshooting tips when Canvas is integrated with Skyward.


Preparing Assignments in Canvas

How does Skyward work with Canvas assignment groups?

Canvas Assignment Groups must match the grading categories created in Skyward. If an assignment group in Canvas has the same grading category description in Skyward, Canvas will pass the assignment into the associated Skyward grading category. If an assignment group does not match, Canvas displays a validation error stating that the assignment has an invalid assignment group.


To easily correct assignment group errors, add the grading category code in parenthesis following the assignment group name. For instance, if you created a Canvas Assignment Group called Assignments, and Skyward included two categories, AST and AGT, both with the same description (assignments), you can add (AST) to the end of the Canvas assignment group. Adding the grading category to the assignment group helps Skyward identify the correct grading group.


How does Canvas choose which assignments are passed back to Skyward?

Canvas passes back any assignment, graded discussion, or quiz that includes a check mark in the Post to SIS option. This option determines what assignments are sent to Skyward. The Post to SIS option may already be selected for you; Canvas admins can enable an account-level setting that automatically enables all assignments, but you can still manually remove a check mark from any assignment that you do not want to pass back to Skyward.


Additionally, Canvas assignments are also subject to the following details:

  • Due dates are required to send an assignment to Skyward.
  • Canvas assignments assigned to individual students in a course or MasteryPaths via differentiated assignments do not post to Skyward. Skyward does not support this functionality. Assignments must be assigned for a specific section or for Everyone.
  • Assignment names do not have a character limit in Skyward.


For help see the following Canvas Guides lessons:


Assigning Grades in the Canvas Gradebook

Canvas will NOT receive any grade level information from Skyward. The Canvas Gradebook should be the source of all additions, changes, etc., that need to be altered in the Skyward Gradebook. Following this best practice will allow a consistent data flow between systems and accurate data in both systems.


Please be aware of the following behaviors in the Gradebook:

  • Canvas does not pass back any weighted assignment information. To weight assignments, you must log into Skyward and weight the assignments there.
  • Canvas only passes back assignments in courses and/or sections that contain an SIS ID. If your course or section does not include an SIS ID in Course Settings, please contact your Canvas admin.
  • Excused assignments in the Gradebook are marked as No Count in Skyward.
  • Attendance in the Gradebook is not passed back to Skyward.
  • Grade comments are not passed back to Skyward.
  • When posting grades from Canvas into Skyward the "Missing" flag is never set in Skyward for a student grade. This is true even after the due date in Canvas has passed and the student has not submitted the assignment.
  • Muted assignments are treated the same way as non-muted assignments. If you do not want to pass back a muted assignment, edit the assignment so the Post Grades to SIS checkbox is not selected.


Posting Grades

To send grades to Skyward, you must select the Post Grades button in the Gradebook. The button will not appear unless the Post Grades to SIS checkbox has been selected for at least one assignment.


  • The Skyward/GPB feature works with the Secondary and Combined Gradebooks in Skyward. Grade posting functionality for the Combined Gradebook does require additional setup from your school. Please reach out to your main Canvas Admin for information on this. Other Skyward gradebook formats (including the Standards Gradebook) are not currently supported.
  • The gradebook in Skyward must be opened at least once before grade postings will process correctly from Canvas.  
  • If an assignment with an identical name already exists in Skyward, then Canvas will not push any grades; the assignment information will not be duplicated.
  • Quiz grades are set as point values when sent to Skyward.
  • If the Assignment Group is changed in Canvas after the assignment is created in Skyward, the grading category does not change.
  • You can post grades for all sections or an individual section.


For help see the following Canvas Guides lesson:


If you don't see the Post Grades button in the Gradebook, please confirm the following:

  • Make sure the course AND section has an SIS ID
  • Make sure at least one published assignment has the Post Grades to SIS checkbox selected


If all of the above is true, contact your Canvas admin.


Viewing Grades in Skyward

To view grades posted from Canvas, you must refresh Skyward and open the Gradebook.


Grade distribution is a one-way sync from Canvas to Skyward:

  • In Skyward, if you change the name of an assignment that was previously pushed from Canvas, the connection between Skyward and the original Canvas assignment will be preserved.
  • In Skyward, if you change a category name, the category will not be overwritten from Canvas.
  • In Skyward, if you change a grade for an assignment that was previously pushed from Canvas, the grade will not be reflected in the Canvas Gradebook.
  • If you push a Canvas assignment to Skyward and later delete the assignment from Canvas, you have to manually delete the assignment from Skyward.


How do I sync grades from previous courses?

In order to pass grades to Skyward for previous courses, you will need to retroactively edit the assignments, quizzes, and/or graded discussions and select the Post Grades to SIS checkbox, then open the Gradebook and click the Post Grades button.


Note: You may need to contact your main Canvas Admin to be able to make changes in courses where the term has already concluded.

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