Laura Gibbs

DIY Assignment Tracker (Cloning my Gradebook)

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Aug 12, 2018

So, I wrote yesterday about how I was going to take my own class together with my students (totalcolearner), and it looks like Wasi Khan might also want to try out being a guest in the class; this is something that I've always thought would be fun, finding a way to let someone join in the class, even to do the whole semester, without being officially enrolled through my Canvas course. It's an obvious possibility given my open course design, but it's not something I have ever tried before!


I keep my Canvas classes open (,, but non-enrolled participants cannot record points in the Gradebook by taking quizzes and see a running total as my students do. Of course, someone who's not a student doesn't need a grade anyway, which means they can just skip all the points, but I can also imagine someone who might want to use the points as a kind of progress tracker in the same way that my students do.


And that means they would need a simulated Gradebook. A Google Sheet would work, of course; a Gradebook is just a spreadsheet after all.  So, thanks to the amazing power of James Jones's Adjust-All-Dates API, I was able to snag all the assignments and dates from my class in spreadsheet form (same assignments and dates for all my classes; just the class content varies).


I copied the info I needed into a plain spreadsheet (one without the API script), and then I added a few more columns:

  • a week-by-week column for filtering
  • a conditional column to pop up "due today" and "due date expired"
  • a column in which the learner can record points completed
  • a reference column with points for each assignment


Here's the spreadsheet: DIY Assignment Tracker. Take a look and see what you think!


I've already completed my first week of work, so I quickly recorded the points there. Now I have 30 points total.


I like how the filter lets me display Week 1 by itself, or I can display Week 1 and Week 2, and so on.


screenshot of DIY assignments spreadsheet


Once again, James has saved me a BIG chunk of time with his API superpowers: thank you, James! Your API spreadsheet magic was exactly what I needed to get this up and running in just a few minutes. :-)