Hide Names of Graders (aka Anonymous graders)

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

Canvas currently offers the ability to hide the names of students whose work is being graded, but it does not offer the ability to hide the name(s) of those grading an assignment. Faculty frequently ask how to hide the identity of the teaching team member who grades a particular assignment. This feature is especially important for courses that are co-taught and for large-enrollment courses with multiple TAs, who might be subject to backlash for grades received.


Currently, we advise them to use the Crocodoc annotations Text Tool in SpeedGrader to provide feedback, but this is not ideal. Sometimes student submissions have very little white space in which to place these annotations, and they can be difficult for students to find and read. And this significantly limits the means by which faculty and TAs can grade: bulk uploading graded files displays names, SpeedGrader comments display names, and comment annotations display names. Additionally, the SpeedGrader mobile apps do not currently include the text annotation tool, which means that graders who need to hide their identities cannot grade using mobile devices.


A much easier solution for instructors would be one that hides the grader's name (perhaps replacing the individual's name with a generic term like "grader").


This idea has come up previously (Anonymous Graders  and Ability to hide the identity of graders in the comments in Speedgrader ) but did not reach the 100-vote threshold. However, there was interest in (and confusion about) whether this feature was deployed as part of  Canvas Studio: Anonymous Grading.

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-15420 .

Community Novice

Our institution uses student worker graders and there have been issues with student going to these student workers with questions when they should be addressed to the instructor. One possible amendment to this idea would be to create some sort of permission that allows a user to grade "on behalf of" the teacher in the course.

Community Novice

Daniel has expressed concerns for an entire law school. Linda, Ken, and Ian have made great contributions that speak to an easy fix.  May we please have a comment by the Canvas gurus? If these are not considered reasonable suggestions, we need to know why before we can propose alternate solutions.Thanks!

John McGowan

Rollins SPH, Emory University

Community Novice

To address the transparency issue raised in the Instructure comment: At my institution, we draw a distinction between TAs (Graduate Student Instructors) who are allowed to interact with students and Graders who are explicitly (on penalty of violation of collective bargaining agreements) who CANNOT interact with students. Transparency makes sense for TA/GSIs, but it significantly complicates the issues for Graders, who are told they cannot interact directly (but may be contacted directly if their name is visible). Questions are supposed to be referred to the instructor or TA/GSI (if available). It seems to me that anonymous grader role actually facilitates precisely the communications that need to occur.

Community Member

I'm a sub-account admin at my institution and have spent way too much time since we went with Canvas trying to find a viable solution to this problem - Most recently, by trying to create gmail accounts for graders and adding them as non-instituition users so we can get around this flaw.  I support faculty who are increasingly concerned by this and the lack of response from Instructure.  Anyone know if Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace offer this feature?

Community Team
Community Team
  Idea is currently in Product Radar Learn more about this stage...
Community Contributor

It is hard to argue against when the discussion is framed as one of student transparency, but there many cases where it is essential for identity of a grader to remain anonymous. This is particularly salient when a novice teaching assistant is in a position where they can be pressured or otherwise influenced by students. Canvas already supports anonymous peer reviews, so the philosophical ground on this issue may have already been conceded Smiley Happy

Community Contributor

The with new DocViewer and annotation tools becoming available later this month (see https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/releases/blog/2017/05/31/insights-canvas-docviewer...‌), one of the workarounds that we had used to accomplish hiding of graders names will be lost. Up until now, for teaching teams with a requirement to hide graders' names, we advised them to use Crocodoc's free text annotation tool, which does not indicate who made the mark.

The DocViewer free text annotation tool is now working in our beta instance, and these annotations are now tagged with the name of the person who entered the text. While in most circumstances this would be welcome, for teaching teams with this requirement, it is a significant loss of functionality.

I sincerely hope that this feature request will be reconsidered in light of the impending loss of workaround functionality that many of us have relied on.

Community Contributor

This issue has just come up in my organisation as well. We too were using Crocodoc's free text annotation tool when anonymous grading was required. It would be good to get both an update on this feature and also to find out if any of you have found a new workaround that we may use now?

Community Participant

We at Kansas State also have this need.  Having GTAs and TA remain anonymous in the grading process has real value and this is a needed feature

Community Novice

Sometimes the markers (graders) are hired in to mark only, and it is not appropriate that they receive lots of grumpy email, then they either do lots on unpaid work replying, or annoy the students further by not replying. Just as one can add "teacher" or "module leader", there should be "grader", and this role is always anonymous.