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bmclain
Community Member

Different weighted groups for different semesters?

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I'd like to weigh my grading categories differently second semester. Is there a way to do this without changing the first semester weights as well?

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Hi Barbara -

Since the assignment groups are connected from semester to semester, the weights for each group are also the same from semester to semester as well. What you see is consistent with what others experience!

Last year, I needed to make changes to distribution to the weights, and because the weights retroactively affected the "Final Grade" in Semester 1, I knew I had to communicate with students and their families. I sent a Canvas Announcement and a personal email (with my institution email, not Canvas...) to each observer. While it wasn't ideal, students responded well.

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kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

To clarify, are you using grading periods? If so, then on this guide - How do I use grading periods in a course? - it states that, "Currently weighted assignment groups are not supported in grading periods."

bmclain
Community Member

We do use grading periods at my school (1 for first semester, and 1 for second) and we are able to use weighted groups, so the information in that guide is inaccurate. However, I haven't found a way to change the weighted groups in only one grading period. When I change them for one period (second semester), they change automatically in the other (first semester).

Hi Barbara -

Since the assignment groups are connected from semester to semester, the weights for each group are also the same from semester to semester as well. What you see is consistent with what others experience!

Last year, I needed to make changes to distribution to the weights, and because the weights retroactively affected the "Final Grade" in Semester 1, I knew I had to communicate with students and their families. I sent a Canvas Announcement and a personal email (with my institution email, not Canvas...) to each observer. While it wasn't ideal, students responded well.

View solution in original post

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

bmclain, I just came across a solution for this, and you'll find it here. I'll also reproduce it below.

 @James ​ writes:

Let me start with "I don't use multiple grading periods", so things may not match what you're seeing, but here is my experience without using grading periods.

The Canvas Gradebook only uses items that have values in them. That is, until an assignment category has graded assignments in it, it's ignored in the calculations. The overall grade is scaled to be 100% by dividing by the possible percentages.

For example, if you had assignment weightings of 10% homework, 50% exams, 30% projects, but there are no graded projects, then you get

( 10% * Homework + 50% * Exams ) / ( 10% + 50% )

( 10% * Homework + 50% * Exams ) /  60%

If you want to simplify, that becomes ( Homework + 5 * Exams ) / 6

To tie it into your requirements, if you have 20% Essays, 20% Tests, 20% Quizzes, and 40% Projects, but there are no projects, then the calculation becomes

( 20% * Essays + 20% * Tests + 20% * Quizzes ) / ( 20% + 20% + 20% )

( 20% * Essays + 20% * Tests + 20% * Quizzes ) / ( 60% )

If you want to simplify, that becomes ( Essays + Tests + Quizzes ) / 3

What you could do to get what you want for both quarters is to go through and set it up the way you want it for quarter 2: 20% Essays, 20% Tests, 20% Quizzes, and 40% Projects


In quarter 1, since there are no Projects, the gradebook will only use Essays, Tests, and Quizzes in the grade calculation. Since they are each weighted equally (20% of the grade), they will each be counted as 1/3 of the overall grade. I know that's not 33%, 34%, and 33%, but it's really, really close at 33.33% each.

Then, once the Projects get introduced, that assignment group will be included, and you'll be back to the 20%, 20%, 20%, 40% that you want for Quarter 2. The teacher just needs to make sure that no Projects are due during the first quarter.

Note that this only works because the scales are essentially the same. If you actually changed things, say from Tests going from 20% to 10%, then it wouldn't work.