Laura Gibbs

The Amazing Power of Community: James Jones to the Rescue!

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Jan 10, 2019

Instead of my Let's Talk about Grading post for today, I have to write something about Canvas Community in general, and James Jones in particular....... because really: what James has done is so amazing!


One week ago I was about as frustrated as I have ever been with technology. I never give up and I always find a good solution for my students, but this time I was really stumped: I could not figure out any kind of viable solution for the labels being displayed in the new Gradebook.



That was January 3.


And here we are on January 10... one week later, and thanks to James, I have a solution. Details here:
Removing Missing and Late Labels


It's a great solution, in fact, because it is allowing me to do a really cool experiment in my class that I never planned on (I'm going to have the students vote on whether to keep the "late" labels or not), while also allowing me to proactively get rid of all the "missing" labels so that students will never see a single one (the missing labels are just wrong; they serve no purpose at all except to confuse the students).


Now I am so curious to find out what the students will say about the "late" labels; I'll take a vote, and the majority will rule: keep them, or erase them? James's script gives us the option to go either way! Based on the sense I get from people's blog posts, I might run that vote early in the semester, or I might wait and make it part of the midsemester review when students are reflecting on their progress in the class, time management, etc. And of course I will share the students' comments and results of the vote here!


Anyway, if you were not happy with the labels in the new Gradebook and want an automated solution, check out James's script! You can run it for missing labels and/or late labels, and you can do that on the level of a single assignment, or you can do that for all the assignments in your class. I'm pinging Kimberly Smith for one, because I know she will be glad to see this!


One important caveat: this is adjusting the Gradebook item by item, student by student. So, if your class is like mine, with students still adding during the first week of classes, you'll need to make sure to run the script one final time after all the students are enrolled and no new students are being added.


I also have to add that it is SO COOL to watch this script run in your browser. James's instructions explain exactly how to open the developer console and run the script, and then you can watch it ping ping ping the API. I've never run a script like that from the console, so I found the whole thing mesmerizing. Here's a screenshot of the view I looked at while it ran:


screenshot of script run


How cool is that? Instead of me having to click thousands and thousands of times, the computer is clicking for me. Which is how it should be! Yay!


So, THANK YOU,  James Jones!!! I was already completely dependent on your adjust-all-dates magic at the start of each semester... and until Canvas gives us a more flexible Gradebook, I am now completely dependent on the new remove-all-labels script too. You are a true magician!!!