[Gradebook] Can't a letter grade just be a letter grade?

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

I gave a tough exam where a score of 73/100 was an A-. In Canvas's grading section, I report to students what score they got (like a 73) and what grade that translates into. Then this appears to the students as a score of "73", and as "93 (A-)", with both of these numbers seemingly going into the aggregate score average reported at the bottom. Needless to say, this causes a great deal of confusion.

Is there a way that I can get Canvas to simply report a grade of A- as a grade of A-, rather than as some fictitious number that I won't be using in computing their cumulative course grade? Thanks for any insights on this.

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Community Novice

Thanks for posting these images @Beth Young! I am having the same problem. The (required) meaningless numeric score complicates the gradebook for students/ TAs and instructors who are using screen readers, and can cause panic for students who are aware the instructor is using a points-based grading scheme. 

Alternatively, for me, this problem could also be solved if I were not required to enter a numeric value in the points field when creating the assignment. 

Community Novice

I see that this has not been addressed. To clarify What I want, and what quite a few people seem to want is a button or switch or something so that all the student sees is the letter grade, no point/numbers/marking schemes etc.  I know how to set up grading schemes. I just want the students to only see a letter. 

Community Novice

I teach 2 Pass/Fail courses that include individual assignments where students must Revise any assignments that they do not pass initially.  These courses were developed when we used Blackboard and I could simply assign a grade of P, F or R for every assignment as well as L for late and use any combination of these if needed, e.g., LP indicated that the student was late in submitting this assignment, however, they passed the assignment once submitted.  This allowed students to know exactly what their grade was on each assignment. 

And important to me, I could download the gradebook and I would see the "letter grades" I entered, revise and resubmit the gradebook with the updated letter grades.  There were no need for numbers in these courses!  And I am not reluctant to manipulate numbers since I have a Statistics degree and a great deal of practical experience with interpreting calculations.


To ignore this option is difficult for me to understand as a teacher of 2 Pass/Fail courses; which are not uncommon at the 4 colleges/universities I have taught during 30 years of teaching.  So why is this not an option?

Community Novice

Showing the final total grade as a letter grade to students would be important as well.

It is possible to grade all assignments by letter grade but students can see in the total only a percentage. It would be good if instructors had the option to display to students a letter grade only for the final total.

 This would align with institution Grading Schemes.

Gradebook total

Gradebook total for instructors with Letter grades

total students

Gradebook total as seen by students

Community Novice

This is crazy. I want to put my students grades 249 of them into their grade book. It’s for a lab course but I don’t want any numbers at all displayed to the student. That’s our school of chemistry at our university policy. The student may have gotten 87%. That’s a 1H (70-100%). His mate may have gotten 83%.  That’s still a 1H. These may have been marked subjectively by different humans. And so are not negotiable. This is all I want them to see. Not a daft random average. I know the mark. The system is given the mark. And can work out the letter grade. Canvas letter grades are modifiable. Wonderful. But I DO NOT WANT A NUMBER SHOWN to STUDENTS. No number. No average. Nothing but what I ask the system to do. Blackboard could do this 10 years ago. We’ve moved to canvas which is much more user friendly. Apart from this (and not understanding chemical drawing and def not understanding significant figures ........ but that’s for another day!). I hope this is fixable. Please and thanks.  

Community Explorer

The situation is slightly more complicated than this thread suggests. The problems I have:

1) Setting a grading scheme in a letter-grade course generates a bogus percentage score column that confuses the students.

2) Even in a course with numerical scores on exams and assignments, I do not follow a precise curve, because I do make adjustments for students at or just below a given cutoff. If someone did really well on the final exam, otherwise showed steady improvement during the quarter, participated in our Piazza online discussion or in-class discussions actively (good questions count as much as good answers), etc., I want to give that person the higher grade. When I try to enter the letter grades and upload as a .csv, these "benefit of the doubt" grades revert to the lower grade, and I have to remember to go back and hand-edit each of these margin cases. 

This suggestion has been in play for several years now. Why is the Canvas crew so resistant? This is not a difficult programming exercise -- certainly not rocket surgery or brain science. 

Community Participant

We would like to have this feature added as well to use a proficiency scale instead of % or letter grade for our younger students.  

Community Champion

 @michelle_souvan , your school might want to investigate using Non-Scoring Rubrics to create a proficiency scale.

Community Participant

Just had a faculty member with the same issue: they only want to display letters to students, not numbers, for individual assignments. Since this is possible for total grades, I feel like it should also be possible for individual assignments.

Community Explorer

Yes, this is a major limitation, and frankly I've found campus to be either arrogant or non-responsive  on all questions like this -- they definitely assume you should change your grading practices to match their software and feature requests might as well be lost letters.