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Community Contributor

Best Practice for Grading Group Assignments

Hi there,

So I've read through How do I grade group assignments in SpeedGrader?, but it doesn't really lay out the steps needed to grade a group assignment and then change individual grades, without having to look up multiple help documents.  I like to gather things into one doc for each task an instructor would do.  I don't have as many images, but I'm wondering if this is the fastest way to actually get group grading done and still adjust individual scores?

Grading Group Assignments

Groups assignments are those that one person turns in for the group.  Grades are typically assigned to the entire group, but then scores are changed for absences or poor participation.

  1. Group assignments must be set up correctly, requiring your course to have a group set with groups and the Group Assignment box Checked and the “Assign Grades to Each Student Individually” should be unchecked.  Think of the box unchecked as Group grading mode.
  2. Make sure every student is in a group.  If you have individuals working alone, just create a group of one for each of those students. 
  3. Grading group work
    1. For offline submissions: Click on grades and enter a score for one member in the group.  It will be copied to the other group members.
    2. For Files submitted on Canvas: Click on the assignment, and click on Speedgrader.
      1. Score the submitted assignments changing between groups with the arrows by the group name (where students names show for individual assignments)
      2. NOTE: Students not in a group will also appear in the group list.
      3. Submit the scores as you complete them.
  4. Click on the assignment and Edit the settings.
  5. Check the box for “Assign Grades to Each Student Individually” and Save.  Think of the box checked as individual grading mode.
  6. Click on Grades in the Course Menu.
  7. Adjust the scores for individuals in the group.

NOTE: You can toggle the box for “Assign Grades to Each Student Individually” and the individually assigned scores will be retained, even if you go back to group grading.  However if you change a group score while grading groups where one person had an individual score, then that individual score will be overwritten. You would need to return to assigning grades to each student individually to re-enter that individual score.

6 Replies
Community Champion

Hi  @kbink ,

I think what you have is pretty spot on. Things I would emphasize as folks setup the assignment:

  • Make sure that each group in the group set has students in it (this causes loads of grief if students aren't assigned to a group)
  • Make sure every student is assigned to a group unless they are working individually, and then I would just add them to a group of their own. This makes grading easier when in Speedgrader.
  • I would suggest using Speedgrader even for offline submissions as you don't have to figure out which students to assign a grade to, the groups just show up in the list.

Other than these suggestions I think you have it. The most important part is making sure that all students are a member of a group.

Thanks to both of you for these great tips! I would like to second Randy's comment that it is important to make sure all students are in a group, even if it is a group of one.  If not, they will not be able to see the comments you make in Speed Grader.  They CAN still see the rubric (along with in-rubric comments), and any in-text markings and comments.  

Community Participant

This is very helpful but when assigning individual participation scores, it seems that Canvas could make things easier by allowing individual scores for some items in a rubric (participation would be the obvious one) but continue group grading for others.  In other words, put the "grade individually" option into the row of the rubric, rather than just in the assignment itself.  Having to toggle the setting back and forth (especially if you have to adjust a group's grade later) is a nice workaround, but still a workaround to something we are going to be doing in the majority of our classes.

Community Participant

Forgot to add: given this issue, is it better to put "participation" as a separate item that is always graded individually?  Although it's nice to have everything in one rubric, I believe it may be simpler to separate the "group" and "individual" grades.

Community Contributor

We typically say something like "everyone in the group earns the same score, but individual scores may be adjusted for participation."  We do have some evaluate group activities, but they aren't generally specific to one assignment but to the work in groups as a whole.  We haven't added individually assessed items to the rubric.  Our rubrics are focused on the assignment, and student include the names of who participated.  scores are adjusted after group scoring to reflect lack of participation.  If you really wanted separate and group grades, I think you are right that having separate items in the gradebook would be easier.

Community Contributor

I finally remembered to edit the original document and add this.  Thanks for helping!