Laura Joseph

A Vetmas Carol

Blog Post created by Laura Joseph on Nov 24, 2015

Haunted by the Ghosts of Audits Past, Present or Future?

Hearing groans and howls about proving compliance for assessments in your fully online course?

Here are three tips that might help keep those pesky revenants away from your canvas courses (“the power of compliant evidence compels you!”).


Provide a clear and thorough unit level assessment plan for students to download.

This is your chance to explain in detail about what’s involved in each assessment item, and precisely what’s required to successfully complete the task.

It’s a good idea to also include the information from your rubrics here (more detail on rubrics below) so your students can get an idea of the weighting of different aspects of the task and focus more attention on the key ones.

You may also like to include a mapping document showing how each task aligns to the performance criteria of the unit.

Include this guide at the beginning of each unit and refer to it and/or link to it on your assessment pages.


Use Competency-based Grading Schemes

How do you grade competency based assessments in Canvas?

One way is to create custom grading schemes.

Check out the Grading Scheme section of the Canvas Guides to learn more about using grading schemes in your courses.

Some options include: satisfactory(>99)/ unsatisfactory(<99) and Achieved Competency (>99) / Not Yet Competent (<99), and Graded assessments (various percentages).

A couple of things to look out for with this one:

  • If you modify an account level scheme at course level, you’ll change it everywhere (make a new one if you need to change something for one course only).
  • The marks section of Canvas analytics tends to become confusing when you use competency based grading.


Use Rubrics

Rubrics are easy to use in Canvas (check out the Canvas Guides to Rubrics) and are a great way to break the task down into the elements/ performance criteria it covers.

Rubrics are great supporting documentation for when you need to demonstrate how you gather and assess evidence of competency, and they’re also really useful for students when they provide clear guidelines about what they need to do to pass the assessment. A good rubric breaks down the key aspects of the assessment and clearly explains what it means to successfully complete each aspect of the task.

Assigning points to each item is another way to show the weighting of certain aspects of the assessment.

They go a long way to taking the “ar” out of marking, too.

While audits are visited upon us all eventually, you can avoid dire visions presented by The Ghost of Audits to Come (the scariest one) by doing the right thing by your students when it comes to assessments – make your requirements clear, fair and relevant to the real world task.