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New Gradebook Post Policies: Release comments without grades?

Question asked by Linda J. Lee on Aug 22, 2019
Latest reply on Dec 20, 2019 by Erin Hallmark

Hi folks,


We turned on New Gradebook recently in advance of the start of fall semester, and encountered something unexpected with one of our pre-term courses (a high-profile intensive simulation-based course for our incoming MBA students) related to Post Policies.


Currently, all our fall courses have New Gradebook turned on, and a course grade posting policy set to "Manually Post Grades" to provide our faculty with much-desired "default mute" state.


In the past, the teaching team for this course has muted the assignment, entered feedback as assignment comments in SpeedGrader, and then released the comments by unmuting the assignment. The teaching team did not enter grades for the assignment because the grading scheme they used in feedback didn't readily replicate with Canvas's default grading options.


We learned the painful way yesterday that feedback couldn't be released separately from grades with a manual grade posting policy. The gradebook column options show "no grades to post" until grades are actually entered.


Changing the assignment grade posting policy from manual to automatic did not help -- the on-screen information indicates that previously hidden grades won't be shown.


(This issue didn't come up in our New Gradebook testing, in part because of a bug that was recently fixed that made assignment comments visible on the dashboard, even when grades were hidden.)


In the moment, we were able to persuade the teaching team to adjust the assignment settings and set a default grade so that grades could be posted. However, many of our faculty use this same approach -- entering feedback without necessarily entering a grade.


Does anyone know of a reliable way to release assignment comments entered in SpeedGrader all at the same time without first entering a grade for the assignment?


This issue doesn't seem to be addressed in any of the New Gradebook documentation and New Gradebook Resources:


Thanks in advance for whatever suggestions you can offer.