[Assignments] weighting in assignment groups

It seems this has been a reoccurring request for some time now, but is not generating the votes needed to get attention. Perhaps it is time to try again!


Canvas would benefit greatly from being able to allocate a weighting to individual assignments within an assignment group. At present, rather than an overarching "Geography" assignment group for HASS, I have to put each individual assignment in their own group to distribute task weighting for the course. HASS also covers economics, politics and history - that makes for A LOT of assignment groups to break up the weighting for tasks.


In my view, it would be much simpler to have the Assignment Group that aligns with the unit or module being taught and has a weighting for the overall course, and an individual assignment weighting function within the group without having to fiddle around with the points. I think most teachers would agree that there is enough of a workload without adjusting and readjusting points to weight assignments according to their worth. I for one wold love to be able to do this with a quick click of a button instead of laboriously pouring over numbers.


Please vote up on this - it is clear that many people are asking for this function in many different ways.

Gradebook: weigh assignment within assignment group

"Lock Grade" option in Gradebook

Weighting Assignments

Added to Theme

Improve Gradebook settings options Theme Status: Identified

Community Champion

 @scottdennis ,

I currently have code that gets the grades out of the gradebook and can put them into the gradebook or even into another Canvas course's gradebook [for example, when the student has re-registered into a new Canvas course]. I also have code that can take the grades out of the previous grade records system and inject the students, assignments (with JSON of the information about the assignment from the other system), and the grades  (complete with the meta information about them - such as grader, date graded, etc.) into a Canvas course. The open question remains, what to do about the calculated grades - when there should be a re-calculation (because a student has actually submitted some of the previously incomplete work).

I have done a translation of the description of the kinds of grades and formulas that can be used in the results that I am trying to migrate, you can find the parallel (English-Swedish) description at E. Types of grade and formulas in Rapp/E. Betygstyper och formler i Rapp: Chip sandbox . This gives some examples of what the formulas can be. Over course, they can also be much more complex than these examples. 

Community Member

Re weighting individual Assignments, is there any way a student can look at an Assignment and know what percent of the total grade the Assignment is worth?  Forget teachers, isn't this what students want to know?  Couldn't you keep the general approach Canvas is using now and have it calculate how much each Assignment is worth?  That way an instructor could create an Assignment worth, for example, 20 points, with several other Assignments with different numbers of points, within an Assignment group worth say 20% of the grade...and have Canvas calculate the Assignment is worth x% of the total grade?  If the % is too high or low, the instructor could then go back and change the point total for the Assignment to give it the proper weight.  This shouldn't be difficult; with a little effort it can be done in an external spreadsheet.  It should be an easy addition to Canvas.

Community Team
Community Team

The Radar‌ idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

Community Participant

This is an idea that just needs to happen. Since the two institutions where I teach both moved to Canvas, I have really enjoyed the platform. As with any LMS, there are little things that don't behave the way *I* think they should. However, not being able to finely weight assignments without some clunky workaround is frustrating as heck.

Perhaps I am an outlier here, but I prefer to think of pretty much all assignments/quizzes/discussions in terms of percentages. That is, I don't care how many points a quiz is worth, just the overall percentage correct. So, I will set up an Assignment Group with, say, 10 quizzes that I want all weighted equally. They may have different numbers and types of questions, but in the end I want them to all count the same. That is nigh impossible in Canvas, so far as I have found (unless I want to create an Assignment Group for each individual quiz -- Pfft!).

As I said above, I really like Canvas. As far as authoring pages and overall ease of use and navigation, it's my favorite of the half dozen LMSs I've worked with. My biggest peeves with Canvas are not being able to finely weight assignments (this topic) and breadcrumbs that don't take you back to where you were (I have figured out at least one workaround for that one).

Community Novice

I absolutely agree with Matt. I am new to Canvas, but this is a basic function on Blackboard, Canvas's major competitor, and a basic function of any gradebook. I find it ridiculous that I have to do these calculations myself and then input the result into Canvas. If a computer program can't make a simple calculation, what's the point? I also am shocked that this problem was first brought to Canvas's attention TWO YEARS ago, and yet no one has bothered to do anything about it. Every time I get one of your chipper updates about all the new functions, I just cringe. GET THIS FIXED!

Laura Franz

Community Novice

Any news on this? I find it so odd that it wasn't implemented from the beginning. I'm currently working on 6 courses for Sep 2019 and if this feature emerges in time it will save me from creating hundreds of assignment groups as a workaround.

Community Member

The simple workaround I've settled upon after years of being frustrated

with this lack of basic functionality...is to have only one Assignment

Group and have all the points for all the Assignments add up to 1000

points. Thus if a quiz is worth 100 points, students know it's 10% of

the semester. I frequently change weights and/or add or delete

Assignments and let students know at the beginning of the semester that

the ultimate total will be +/- 1000 points, but they can still see an

approximate weight for an assignment if the total is 980 points or 1020

points. Good luck; hope this helps.

Andrew E. Huemmler

Senior Lecturer, Energy & Sustainability

School of Engineering & Applied Science

University of Pennsylvania

_"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and

a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."_ -

E.B. White

Community Participant

I want to concur with the opinion expressed by many of the importance of being able to weight assignments within an Assignment Group. In my department, nearly all of us (and many others at our university as a whole) have several equally weighted midterm exams, one of which we drop at the end of the semester. Currently, the only way to get Canvas to weight the exams equally is to make each exam have the same point value. While this may sound like a simple solution, I have found it to be a major headache in practice. Some topics lend themselves naturally to higher point values than others, and having to artificially inflate or deflate point totals on every single exam makes grading more difficult and wastes so much time that it would be faster to just retain my current grading system and figure grades with a different program.

Another solution that some have offered is to make every midterm exam its own Assignment Group. While this approach does allow different exam point totals to be equally weighted, one loses the ability to drop the lowest exam. This means that the exam dropping process has to be done either manually or in another program, which defeats the purpose of using the Canvas gradebook at all.

Up to now, the only reasonable solution I have found is to figure a percentage for each exam by hand and enter a rounded percentage score for each exam in Canvas. This way, every exam is essentially worth 100 "percent points" and is thus equally weighted. This wastes time and introduces some error into the grades, but it seems to be the best alternative for me given the current lack of functionality of the Canvas gradebook when compared to many other Learning Management Systems.

Incidentally, our university recently switched from Moodle to Canvas. While Canvas has a number of advantages over Moodle, its inability to weight assignments within Assignment Groups is a major disadvantage. I have several colleagues who are not using the Canvas gradebook at all because of this lack of flexibility.

-- Jerry Morris

Professor, Sonoma State University

Community Member

This is similar to others posts and admittedly, I have not read them all, so apologies if this ends up being a repeat of other's thoughts.

What some of our faculty need is the nesting of Assignment Groups within other Assignment Groups. This might not fully provide the flexibility desired here, but I was encouraged to post it here and it does seem closely related.

I'm sure there are many examples of how Assignment Group nesting could be useful--here is one example:


A course's grades are divided into two main groups with associated weighting: Theory (60%) and Practice (40%).

Theory is divided into subgroups: Assignments (40%), Discussions (30%), and Quizzes (30%).

Practice is divided into subgroups: Research (50%) and Presentations (50%).


This is currently only possible by ensuring that your points for all assignments in a subgroup are properly "weighted", but that only works if course assignments are fixed, which means the teacher has no option of giving a pop-quiz or other flex assignment during the semester....at least not for points, unless you lower, or otherwise adjust, other assignment points.


Additionally, this gets a bit messy if you have 17 Quizzes and 11 questions per quiz. If you allocate 300 pts for Quizzes (30% of 1000 so that all Theory grades are "weighted"), that would be ~17.64 pts per quiz and ~1.6 pts per question.


Someone might recommend that you simply change the number of quizzes and questions you give to make grade calculation more simplistic, but that would be the tail wagging the dog--gradebook functionality should never dictate pedagogy....and you still have the problem of such a change being for nothing if you decide to offer another quiz mid-semester.


This would go a long way in improving Canvas Gradebook flexibility.

Community Explorer

"gradebook functionality should never dictate pedagogy" --- Perfectly stated! Could even be broadened to "LMS functionality..."