A global option to enable/disable Missing and Late Status labels in the New Gradebook

Idea created by Kimberly Smith on Jan 20, 2018
    Open for Voting

    I would like to see a more global option to enable/disable the display of red MISSING/LATE assignment labels to our students in their Gradebook. While I appreciate the effort to address our initial concerns about this feature in the New Gradebook, as it is now this option must be managed student-by-student for EACH assignment. The display of these labels as the default is problematic for those of us who allow students to choose among a number of assignments to complete within an assignment group (e.g. making those ‘not done’ assignments neither ‘late’ nor ‘missing’). I really like some of the New Gradebook features, but in order to prevent the inaccurate display of these labels to students, I have switched back to using the 'old' Gradebook in my courses for now. In addition, it was not quite clear to me from the release notes whether ‘on paper’ submissions will be assigned automatic missing/late labels at the deadline in the New Gradebook. If so, that can also be problematic.

    Some Details…

    The New Gradebook has reintroduced the display of red MISSING/LATE label to our students in their Gradebook as the default. To address our initial concerns (please see the links at the end of this feature request for more details), instructors now have the option to manually control these labels by changing the assignment “Status” in what is referred to as the ‘Grade Detail Tray’ (please refer to https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13333-canvas-release-new-gradebook#jive_content_id_Grades_Management ). While I agree that it can be important for instructors/advisors/administrators to see these labels, I feel that displaying these labels to students - especially when these messages are inaccurate - comes with many negative unintended consequences (please see comments from others in the links below). In addition to the possible discouraging effect on students' performance, managing this option on a "per assignment + student-by-student" basis means that the only way to currently prevent students from seeing these red labels in the New Gradebook (short of having no due dates) is changing the default status from the ‘Missing/Late Status' to ‘No Status’ within the new ‘Grade Detail Tray’ for every assignment, student-by-student, before the deadline for each assignment. As such, managing the display of these messages will, potentially, be very time consuming and cumbersome. By way of example, I would ask that Canvas programmers and engineers please consider the following scenario: However, 

    An Example...

    An instructor with 4 classes in a 16 week semester, with 50 students in each class, allows students to choose 5/10 assignments to complete in a given assignment group. The instructor cannot know which of these assignments students will choose until all of the assignment deadlines in that assignment group have passed. As such, to prevent students from seeing inaccurate late/missing labels in the New Gradebook for assignments that were not actually required, the instructor must:

    1) go to the Gradebook column for each assignment in that assignment group (10 assignments)

    2) click on the cell where each student’s grade would appear for that assignment (200 students)

    3) change the Grade Detail Tray to ‘No Status’ (= 2000 grade detail tray changes)

    If you then consider instructors with larger classes, and/or those who allow assignment choices in more than one assignment group, I think the need for a more global option associated with this feature becomes clear. For me personally, I have four assignments groups for which I give students the option of choosing from a number of assignments to complete across the semester (12/15 reading quizzes, 3/4 video quizzes, 3/5 critical thinking assignments, and 4/5 exams). Each of these assignments have different due dates (associated with when we will be covering the materials in class). Thus, if I would like to prevent the display of inaccurate late/missing status labels to my students’ in the New Gradebook, this means changing the Grade Detail Tray of each cell for (# of students) x (15+4+5+5) each semester. 

    Some History…

    When this MISSING/LATE label Gradebook feature was originally introduced for the 'old' Gradebook (in late summer 2017), many of us expressed concerns for a variety of pedagogical and/or logistical reasons, and requested an option to disable that feature. In some cases the concern was about those labels appearing for assignments that we, as the instructor, did not actually consider to be late or missing. In other cases, there were objections associated with the punitive nature of these messages in general (even if accurate). As a result, Canvas temporarily removed the feature from the current (old) version of the Gradebook. Below are some links from within the Canvas Community associated with comments and requests during the original roll out of the red MISSING/LATE assignment label feature.

    Allow "Missing" label to be enabled/disabled 

    Missing Label Placed Incorrectly/Submission on paper and online option 

    No MISSING label for zero-point assignments  

    Instructor override of missing submission badge 

    Manually graded or "EX" assignments still show as missing 

    Gradebook Dismay: The Thoughtless Tyranny of Red Ink 


    I would really like to use the New Gradebook and, of course, at some point soon this will become the only option. In my view, and based on the comments associated with the original rollout of this feature (links above), I believe that a more global option for the Missing/Late Status label feature might help encourage switching over to the New Gradebook, allowing us to embrace the many helpful features it offers - and perhaps reduce some of the anxiety and resistance that is sometimes inherent to change. Otherwise, it seems that the choices will be (at least for some of us) to either significantly change our pedagogical methods, restructure our course assignments and grading, spend even more time managing the Gradebook, or some combination of these. Thank you for considering this feature request.