New Member

Competency Based Exams/Grades

Looking for ideas from some of the experienced Canvas Admins.  We have medical courses where students have competency exams.  They are required to pass each competency exam. If they fail one competency exam they fail the course.  In ANGEL we were able to manage this with agents. If a competency exam was below 74% the student automatically received a 0 for that competency exam. There are only three competency exams in a course and each is weighted at 30% so if a student receives a 0 for only one competency exam the 0 grade will give them a 70% in the course which is a failing grade.

Any other admins out there have competency based classes where you have come up with a "programmatic" solution for this other than the instructor have to manually change these grades to 0?

Thank for your time and thoughts in advance.

Gina Smith

Harrison College

4 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi Gina...

I'm going to take a stab at this question, but I'm not sure if the answer will be completely what you are looking for.  It sounds like you might want to try and use Outcomes for your competency exam.  This way, you can align an outcome with a quiz.  I've found the following two Guides for you:

What are Outcomes?

How do I align an Outcome with a Question Bank?

Faculty in our Gen Ed department have recently wanted to try this for their courses.  However, in my own testing, if I set an outcome at 1 point (Met the outcome), the outcome was giving a score of 1/1 and not 0/1 after my sample quiz had been taken (I set my quiz so that 60% or more met the outcome ... but I purposely answered quiz questions as a Test Student to get less than 60%.)  So, I checked with the Canvas Help Desk staff, and it sounds like it's a bug.

Take a look at the Guides (and also the Calculation Methods in the first link) to see if this might meet your needs.

I welcome other ideas in case I'm way off track!

 @Chris_Hofer ​

I think you are on the right track for sure!

 @Gina_Smith ​ It may take some more testing to see how it works for you, and you may want to plug into the Instructional Designers​ group to see if others have shared their learning on competency based assessment.

You do define a tricky situation.  What Angel was doing was automatically replacing any score less than 70% with a 0.  Anything 71% or higher still retained the points they earned.  There is nothing really equivalent to that in Canvas.  As you explore the Learning Mastery Gradebook?​ there will be a paradigm shift i grading.  Points will not be the focus.  The focus will turn to met competency or not.

 @Gina_Smith ​

Have you been able to test and find a solution that works for you?

0 Kudos
Community Member

Tufts University developed a great checklist for their medical (Vet) program-it would be great if Canvas would implement something similar for those of us having the MANY skills checks which need to be documented for accreditors; I am attaching the URL to see it-maybe if enough of us ask we will get it added 🙂


Students - How do I navigate the Competency Checklist? | Canvas | Canvas @ Tufts (


0 Kudos