ToddDaily
New Member

Default semester beginning grade

I recently heard a professor who starts each student at the beginning of the semester with a C, assuming that all students are average. As assignments are submitted, the grade goes up or down. This professor claimed that it motivated students as they could see their grades improve and they could strive for the A, rather than start there and hope to not drop down.

Is there a way to do this in Canvas? I don't seem to find anything - and I'm not sure that I really want to apply this method - but it might be interesting to try for a semester.

The only way I can think would be to set a default grade for each assignment at a certain percentage. As the student completes each assignment, then the grade for that assignment would change, moving the semester grade up or down. Would Canvas turn the assignments that were not submitted to a 0 or keep them at the default grade?

That seems like a complicated method...also a motivation to NOT start everyone with a C.

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SusanNiemeyer
Community Contributor

I think this is an absolutely ridiculous idea. And, it's certainly not worth the effort to figure out how to make this happen in Canvas. Just grade your students on the work they have completed. Make life easier for yourself and your students.

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ToddDaily
New Member

Kinda what I was thinking, too. I couldn't even figure how to do it if I were using the good ol' paper grade book!

chriscas
Community Coach
Community Coach

I've seen cumulative grading (start at 0 and build from there) done in Canvas just by setting everything as a default of 0.  Pretty straightforward to just do normal grading from that point.

Starting everyone off with a C (75% or whatever equivalent) seems more intricate...  I think you'll run into issues using late/missing policies and default grades together, and it's going to look very confusing for students if you default everything to a grade, as they'll have a harder time knowing what is a default and what is real.  In my head, I *think* you could end up making one no-submission assignment worth the total amount of points in the course to begin with, and set that to 75%.  After grading each assignment, you'd go edit the no-submission assignment, reducing the amount of points it's worth by the assignment you just graded (so in the end, that ends up being 0 points and the students see their grade).

With that potential method in mind, I have to agree with @SusanNiemeyer that this grading method seems a little crazy to me, though I am a Canvas admin and not a teacher.  I think the original teacher is trying to achieve a hybrid of regular and cumulative grading to get the best of both worlds, but I think it's likely to cause more confusion and work for everyone.

-Chris

Exactly. Online learning is hard enough without creating some convoluted grading policy. Make everything simple, transparent, and clear. The student submits an assignment. The student gets feedback and a grade. Done.