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## Calculating scores differently for different students

I have a course that students can take as either 1, 2, or 3 hours.  All students do the first module, and all students do the final module.  From there, the number of modules done is a function of the number of hours they take.

To do this in Blackboard, I would have the following columns:

• Overall 1 hour (module 1 = 25%, module 2 = 25%, all others = 50% with zeros for incomplete, dropping 6 lowest)
• Overall 2 hour (module 1 = 25%, module 2 = 25%, all others = 50% with zeros for incomplete, dropping 3 lowest)
• Overall 3 hour (module 1 = 25%, module 2 = 25%, all others = 50% with zeros for incomplete, none)

However, I see no way to have multiple total grades.  How can I do this in Canvas?

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Community Coach

@matthew-stuckwi , greetings! Technically yes, you could do this in Canvas it would just all be on the same assignment page and take a little hacking.

It would look something like this on your Assignment page - each Module would be a different assignment group.

• Module 1 = 25% (same for everyone)
• Module 2 = 25% (same for everyone)
• Module 3.1 = 50% with zeros for incomplete, dropping 6 lowest (For the one credit hour people)
• Module 3.2 = 50% with zeros for incomplete, dropping 3 lowest (For the two credit hour people)
• Module 3.3 = 50% with zeros for incomplete, none (For the three credit hour people)

I'm assuming the assignments in the Module 3's (3.1, 3.2, & 3.3) are all the same. If so, then you'd need to duplicate them so that there was a copy in each Module 3. You'd then use the "Assign to" feature on assignments to only assign the Module 3 assignments in each Module to the correct students. Ex: Only the one credit hour students would be assigned to all the Module 3.1 assignments. Then only the two credit hour students would be assigned to the Module 3.2 assignments. By doing this the students wouldn't see the duplicated assignments the Module 3's. They would only see the Module 3 assignments for their particular group. This is also what would keep the student's grade out of 100%, regardless of the number of credit hours they were taking.

Hope this helps! Kona

4 Replies
Community Coach

@matthew-stuckwi , greetings! Technically yes, you could do this in Canvas it would just all be on the same assignment page and take a little hacking.

It would look something like this on your Assignment page - each Module would be a different assignment group.

• Module 1 = 25% (same for everyone)
• Module 2 = 25% (same for everyone)
• Module 3.1 = 50% with zeros for incomplete, dropping 6 lowest (For the one credit hour people)
• Module 3.2 = 50% with zeros for incomplete, dropping 3 lowest (For the two credit hour people)
• Module 3.3 = 50% with zeros for incomplete, none (For the three credit hour people)

I'm assuming the assignments in the Module 3's (3.1, 3.2, & 3.3) are all the same. If so, then you'd need to duplicate them so that there was a copy in each Module 3. You'd then use the "Assign to" feature on assignments to only assign the Module 3 assignments in each Module to the correct students. Ex: Only the one credit hour students would be assigned to all the Module 3.1 assignments. Then only the two credit hour students would be assigned to the Module 3.2 assignments. By doing this the students wouldn't see the duplicated assignments the Module 3's. They would only see the Module 3 assignments for their particular group. This is also what would keep the student's grade out of 100%, regardless of the number of credit hours they were taking.

Hope this helps! Kona

Community Participant

I suppose that this could work, but the duplication of assignments is frustrating and will make grading a bit more tedious, because that means that any changes I make will need to be repeated twice more over (unless there are hard symlinks available, which I don't think that there are).

I'm not sure if discussion boards can be used between the different modules either.

It was such a simple thing to do in Blackboard.

Community Champion

I am unsure whether you have multiple assignments per module and you mean to drop 6 assignments or there is a single assignment per module and you mean to drop 6 modules. I will pretend that there are six assignments per module when I write the following, but you may need to make adjustments.

Modules don't factor into grades, assignment groups do. Canvas does not have a separate column for each module, but it automatically generates one for each assignment group. One thing to watch out for is that all of your assignments in the semi-optional group would need to be in a single assignment group in your weighted gradebook to get the 50%. If you had 7 modules that we worth 25%, 25%, and the other 5 were worth 50% collectively but you made them 10% each, then Canvas would redistribute the percentages if some were not completed. For instance, if a student completed 2 of the 10% modules, then there would be 25%+25%+10%+10%=70% of the grade, so Canvas would divide by 0.7 and the percentages would be 35.71%, 35.71%, 14.29%, and 14.29% of the grade respectively. To get the 25%, 25%, and 50%, make a single assignment group for the others and then, as long as there was a single grade present, it would count for the 50%.

If there are multiple assignments within each module, then the problem with dropping grades is that you cannot automatically know whether a student who completed 12 assignments did them from the 2 modules they were supposed to complete or just 2 assignments from 6 modules.

Here are some other approaches that might be easier for you in the long run, since Canvas is not going to let you do it the way you did with your previous LMS.

• Have three different courses. That has its own downsides as well, since you have to manage three courses. Some schools interpret FERPA to disallow combining sections of the course together.
• Don't put in zeros for the incomplete modules or assignments. Leave them blank if they don't do them or go in and overwrite the grade with EX for excused if they do. When excused or missing, those assignments do not get calculated into the overall grade.
• Use the override final grade feature that came out in April 2019. This requires your institution to opt-in, so it may not be available to you.
• Create an assignment group for each of the quasi-optional modules. Make each of them worth 0% of the grade. This will get you columns in the gradebook that show the percentage obtained for each of the modules. Now, have an assignment group worth 50% of the grade that contains a no-submission assignment for each module. Manually transfer the required number of grades from the module columns into those assignments. You will want to periodically update the manual grades, until there is something in the other categories, the first module will end up counting as 100% of the grade and it won't reflect any of their other work. If you have large classes, you can export the grades to Excel, manipulate the values, and bring them back into Canvas. For small classes, it may be quicker to manually type them.
Community Participant

I can't have three separate courses — it's the same course, just a variable hour course and the level of work varies different, but students of all credit level need to be able to interact with each other on discussion boards. (and three courses would run into the same problem — if I need to make a change, I'd have to make do it thrice).  We don't submit our grades through Canvas but rather directly via Banner, so doing a hand calculation at the end is always possible, I just would like students to be able to see a grade that automatically updates (so they can also take advantage of the what if grade feature).

It seems like unfortunately calculating things manually is going to be my best bet — each of the pick-X-of-Y modules is its own assignment group.  Students will get delayed updates, but that's probably going to be easier to manage than some of the other ones.

It's a bit mindboggling honestly why Canvas developers have seemed to be so against adding fairly simple features that other LMSs have (based on the number of people who have requested better calculated/formula capability).