Denise Dejonghe

Real-time Feedback: SpeedGrader & Mobile Devices

Blog Post created by Denise Dejonghe on Jun 4, 2017

Our Nursing Faculty are starting to use Canvas Rubrics to grade students in real-time on their mobile devices. They use the SpeedGrader app on their smartphones during clinicals, which even allows them to use speech to text when adding comments for students! I think it’s cutting edge, especially since the original process requires remembering what happens during the day and typing comments into an Excel document evaluation form whenever they are on a computer.


Based on faculty feedback, using mobile devices during clinicals saves time and may improve accuracy. Students also receive real-time information about their progress, which has resulted in immediate student improvement.


Everything is working smoothly except for the need to download and print completed rubrics at the end of each semester. At that point, faculty discuss the evaluations with students who then sign them. So, it’s  great to read that Download Assignment Comments and Completed Rubrics is currently in Product Radar!



The rubric a faculty member uses depends on the nursing course/semester. So, first assignments with rubrics are created and exported separately (as separate .imscc files) from any development course area (such as a sandbox).

Then, the files are uploaded to a Canvas course that includes directions for faculty to download the appropriate file and import it into their own course. (We have a homepage with buttons and directions). Faculty are added to the course as students.



We tested various methods of printing completed rubrics that were mentioned in the Canvas Community, including: copying rubric information into Word, using a Chrome extension named Awesome Screenshot and using free software named Greenshot (see Print rubric, Download Assignment Comments and Completed Rubrics Print or Download Completed Rubrics). What we found is the most user-friendly for faculty and prints best is simply printing from the individual student view in the grade book:

  1. Select Grades on the Navigation menu
  2. Select a student name in the grade book
  3. Click the rubric icon on the assignment to “See Rubric Results” and view the completed Rubric
  4. Print once the rubric and comments are visible in the individual student view

Unfortunately, our rubrics are really long, and this print method results in printing a blank first page when using long rubrics. We look forward to the Download Assignment Comments and Completed Rubrics feature moving into Development. I notice others in the Canvas Community would like the feature to help with assessment or accreditation requirements.



A Similar Initiative 

When I attended InstructureCon 2015, a similar initiative was presented by Mary Myers and Karen Molumby from Florida Southwestern State College.
Using Canvas to Go Paperless 

Some of my notes from their presentation:

  • Nationally-accredited Dental Hygiene Program
  • Moved a previously paper-based spreadsheet (daily) process online - resulted in 2800 scanned/stored forms a year


  • Outcomes created then used to create rubrics

Also created a cohort colloquium class

  • Created assignments, then attached rubrics
  • Created assignment group to allow repetition of competencies
  • Set rules on the assignment groups to drop the lowest scores
  • Data collection - huge benefit (qualitative/objective measurements rather than subjective)


  • PDF form that students complete then upload to assignment (where competencies are listed)
  • Can quickly see competency weaknesses & strengths