No MISSING label for zero-point assignments

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

I like the new assignment labels and am glad to see the information presented prominently to both instructors and students. However, there is a problem with assignments that are set up with a zero-point value where the student receives zero or negative points. For example, this summer I had a class with extra-credit assignments. Students who chose not to do those assignments see a MISSING label on their grades page. Students who do not do extra-credit assignments ought not to receive feedback that is so punitively styled.

A second example is more important. Many of the assignments in my class this summer were group assignments, and I have students submit peer feedback using a Google Form. (It was a lot easier than using a Canvas survey.) I use the form results to calculate an adjustment for individual students on their group assignments, and I use a distinct Canvas assignment to give students the results of their team's survey and to adjust their individual scores for group assignments. The benefit to students is they see their peer-feedback survey results *and* the adjustment to individual scores in a distinct place on the Grades page. The problem now is that students who receive a zero (some groups function well) or a negative score also see the MISSING label, and there is no submission for this assignment.

Grade labels should be changed so that the MISSING label does not apply to assignments with a point value of zero. 

Comments from Instructure

The work on late and missing policies in September and December made it possible to manually remove a missing label from an assignment.  You can read more about these updates in the following releases

Community Champion

Hi  @ProfessorBeyrer ‌

Okay, so I like the new labels for the Gradebook, but I had not considered what you just shared. I use zero-point assignments all the time for EC in my courses, and also would not like my students to see a punitive-voiced label just because they chose to not pursue an EC opportunity.

I have supported this idea!


Community Member

I totally agree, Gregory!

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hey  @ProfessorBeyrer  , do you think there might be some users who actually like the missing label on their extra credit (or otherwise zero point value) assignments? Thinking as a student, that would definitely help me find the extra credit opportunities I could still participate in faster. I'm also seeing this in short order after responding to a question about the missing label on assignments that the instructor is allowing on paper submissions or online submissions (Missing Assignments Indicator ). For the second example you used, is the submission type also set to online?

I wonder if after several different use cases for/against the missing/late indicators emerge a more versatile yet still simple and intuitive solution might be apparent. Maybe something like a "Clear all labels" assignment option in the gradebook and SpeedGrader. Maybe an assignment details toggle to "Hide missing/late labels for this assignment."

I'm just not sure about tying it to the point value rather than some other choice-based solution. What do you think?

Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks awilliams‌ for your note. Yes, letting students know that they have not taken advantage of an opportunity for extra credit is good, but it's the format of the message that bugs me. In my experience the students who want extra credit will either find it or ask about it, and I incldue "EXTRA CREDIT" as part of the assignment name. For my second example, it is an offline / no submission assignment.

I am all for facutly control over what we have in our classes, so your suggestion for a toggle is a good one. My main interest is in keeping assessment results on the Grades page and easily visible to students, and (particularly for my second example) I do not want them to feel penalized for something that they cannot control.

Community Team
Community Team

 @ProfessorBeyrer ‌

I was thinking that we'd have a work-around for you, pending an adjustment to this feature.  However it looks like it will only be for assignments that do not have an online submission.  You can find more information in Erin's comment 

The missing designation means that the student didn't make a submission for the assignment. Manually assigning a grade does not affect the label. If you are using the No Submission type, our gradebook team is currently updating the grades pages to not display missing labels. However, if you're using an online submission type, you may need to reconsider the assignment and whether or not students are required to make a submission.

Community Champion

I agree with this feature request. I am pretty sure this will cause mass confusion for both faculty and students. At least give faculty the option to control when the missing tag displays for an assignment. 

Community Participant


I also had instructors express confusion about the status field. It makes no senses to have a grade entered but to show as missing. Perhaps the status could only apply to assignments that do not have a grade. That way the instructor could essentially override the status by simply entering a grade 0 or otherwise.

Community Contributor

This is happening to our teachers.  If we manually enter a grade or enter "EX" for excused, the assignment shows as missing. I have submitted the idea that if something has been entered in the gradebook there should not be a "missing" label. --Vote up if you agree:)

Community Champion

Aha, this was back in August, and I had missed it... I wish I had noticed this back then so I could have warned my students in advance about the misleading and extremely unhelpful missing labels in the Gradebook. As it was, I had to find out from my students who were understandably upset to find the Canvas Gradebook contradicting the information I had given them.

I'm very dismayed by this feature, as are others (there are now at least five feature request with different kinds of instructor complaints). I wrong a long blog post about it, and I am guessing my only real hope is that the new Gradebook (which I think my school is deploying later this semester?) will allow me to get rid of the status column. It is a disaster for me and my course design, and it has also been a disaster for others for their own reasons. I'll go update my blog post now to add a link to the two feature requests I found here, one from Gregory and then the one mentioned by Heather in a comment.

Gradebook Dismay: The Thoughtless Tyranny of Red Ink 

Community Champion

I have prepared a general feature idea to put the Missing label feature back into Beta for now; this Idea page also has all the 5 feature requests related to the Missing label that you can read and vote on. 

If you know of feature requests besides those five, let me know! Thank you! 🙂