[Assignments] Assignments within weighted groups treated with equal value regardless of points

Please excuse the verbose title.


Our faculty want the option to have assignments within an assignment group to be given the same weight even if they are graded on different point values.


For example:


Assignment Group = Homework  25% of final grade


Homework 1 10 pts

Homework 2 15 pts

Homework 3 10 pts




Currently, the homework #2 which is worth 15 points will have a larger influence over the grade than homeworks 1 or 3. We can encourage faculty to grade all assignments within a group on the same point-value scale, but there are 3,000 of them and four of us. Additionally, our previous LMS, Blackboard, allowed the user to opt to weigh all of the assignments WITHIN a group equally. Faculty are very upset by this lack in functionality ESPECIALLY when they become aware of the miscalculation right before final grades are due.





Added to Theme

Provide more flexible grading options Theme Status: Identified

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni


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Community Champion

Awesome, thanks Jordan.

Community Participant

This one is open for voting now and I think it relates to your post.  Please consider voting for it.

Community Champion

While I do see the value in the other request, I do want to make clear that these are not addressing the same issue so people reviewing this thread do not vote for only one and not the other. This thread is specifically concerned with grade weighting. The other is about grading in quizzes. Again, I am not encouraging people NOT to vote for the quiz one but clarifying that while both are about having more latitude in grading as a general topic, they do not address the same feature and should be considered separately and equally.

Community Participant

I agree that voting for one feature should not lead somebody to vote against another related feature.

I do feel that the feature that I linked to would allow you to equally weigh different assignments in the same category very easily.  Each independent item would have its "out of" value and a separate "worth" value.  Using the example you provided earlier...

Assignment Group = Homework  25% of final grade

Homework 1  out of 10 pts worth 10 points

Homework 2 out of 15 pts worth 10 points

Homework 3 out of 10 pts worth 10 points

You could choose any value for how much each assignment is worth.  As long as you choose the same "worth" value, each item will be treated equally, which is what you're asking for in the post, isn't it?  Beyond that, you have some added functionality in the event that Homework 4 was a really tough one and you wanted to award more or less credit regardless of how many questions were on that assignment or out of how many points the percentage was calculated from... you could easily change it's worth to 5 points or 20 points to indicate that assignment's relative value within that category.  The example I mentioned in the other thread mentioned Canvas quizzes but by no means is this functionality limited to quizzes.  I would use it for the assignments in my Homework Category, my Testing Category, and my Miscellaneous (In Class) Category.

It would be great if there was a toggle button for each category whether or not you wanted each item to be treated equally.  That would be super simple and would not require you to enter a separate "worth" value.  It would also remove the option to double-weight (or half-weight) any specific assignment depending on what you need so it might be a bit limiting overall.  In the meantime, the thread I linked to earlier is open for voting NOW (for just one more day) and would be a good option until your idea makes its way into development.


Community Participant

As I see it, there are several similar requests that are asking for a very similar functionality although they all come at it a little differently or have used different tags.

1.  Provide faculty with a choice in how weighting is applied to assignments within assignment groups: submitted by Amanda Albright.  This was from a previous voting cycle and reached 70 votes, falling just a little short of the 100 vote threshold.

2.  Gradebook: Weigh assignments within an assignment group: submitted by Cheryl Lenz.  This one had 34 votes in the most recent voting cycle.

3.  Assignment grading: possible points value different than points worth: submitted by Gissele Drpich  This one had 14 votes in the most recent voting cycle.

4.  Assignment within weighted groups treated with equal value regardless of points: submitted by Lea Engle.  This one can be voted on January 6 - April 6, 2016.

Granted, there is some overlap between the users who are upvoting these items, but I think there is a chance that there are 100 users altogether who are asking for the functionality to have an assignment be worth some easily defined value that may be different from the number of points the assignment was originally out of.  This relates to instructors who have tests with varying numbers of points but want them weighed equally in a "testing" group within their gradebook.  This relates to instructors who want all of their homework assignments to be weighed equally.  It would also work for instructors who want a simple way to count an assignment as twice as valuable because it was especially challenging, even it if only had a few questions on it compared to an easier assignment with more questions on it.

Currently, the burden is on the individual instructors to calculate the percentage a student earned and then use that percentage to determine how much a student should earn out of 10... or 15... or whatever value they want that assignment to be worth in the gradebook.  I'm sure many of us are doing this manually or have created spreadsheets to handle the calculations for us so we can work around the limited functionality of the gradebook in Canvas.  However, we're asking that the burden of calculation be handled within Canvas and this can be done by being able to define values for "out of" and "worth" separately.

I support Lea Engle's request in this voting cycle and will ask that the "out of" and "worth" options be considered as part of that since it would address the needs of many other instructors and their requests that have fallen short.  I guess that will mean that we have to wait another 4 months to see if we have enough votes for our request to be considered for implementation when that feature already exists in so many other LMS gradebooks.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. January 6, 2016 - Wed. April 6, 2016.

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Community Novice

Very good point and great research. I really hope that Canvas will look at

this needed feature to support instructors work.

Gissele Drpich

Teacher, French and Spanish

Burlington High School

P4C Steering Committee

VIAvenues Council

Ignited Educator

On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 1:19 PM, Sean Flaherty <instructure@jiveon.com>

Community Novice

Lea I believe it was the same feature request.

It is about being able to have any assignment weight equally. To prevent doing it manually.  It is a feature that exists in many other tools as shown in the picture of my thread (now closed).  Let's push this one forward. Here is a thought that I realized within my faculty people didn't vote because they didn't understand it or they told me that it was probably a feature but we didn't  know how to find it or use it.

Community Novice

maybe a clear distinction is individual question points and then overall points for an assignment. i would like to see a feature where you could set the assignment point total and have the individual question point values be automatically populated based on the number of questions in the assignment. for example:

Test 1 - 28 questions - Test point total 100 points (100/28 = 3.571 point automatically assigned to each question in the test)

then i would like to see a sub-weight option in the assignment weights area. it could look just like it does not, but some '+' sign by each weight class that allows for a sub-weight to that catagory, like others have mentioned. for example

Test Category - 40% or total grade

     open book test - 30% of of Test category total

     closed book test - 70% of Test category total

something like that. those two options would make setting up assignments and getting the desired weights very very easy and helpful.