I have an instructor who uses an assignment to ask students their prior experience with the subject. The assignment doesn't count towards their final grade and is worth 0 points.
Currently, the settings for the assignment are as follows:
My question is, should we also check Do not count this assignment towards the final grade? What, if anything, would change from having an assignment worth 0 points to also checking this box? It looks like when the box is checked the assignment is still on the Calendar and still uses Speedgrader. Would anything be different, functionally, for the instructor and students?
There are potential differences depending on the values you enter for that assignment.
If you were using this assignment as extra credit, then you would want to leave it as 0 points and not check the do not count towards final grade checkbox.
If you are wanting to indicate presence of some activity -- they did it, then you would want to assign it a point value so you could easily tell those who did it from those who didn't, but tell it not to count towards the final.
If the only possible entry is 0 and you're leaving it blank for those who didn't have the prior experience, then making it 0 and checking the box to not count towards final accomplish the same thing and you do not need to do both.
Checking the box to not count towards the final should not affect its visibility to the students. I don't think that making it 0 points does, but I'm willing to be corrected on that one.
Another option is to make it an ungraded assignment, but that won't work if you actually want the students to turn something in and have an entry in the gradebook. The ungraded assignment keeps it out of the gradebook so it does affect visibility from the grades page.
If you want an indicator variable, what I would do is to make it complete / incomplete worth 1 point and make it not count towards the final. Then you can tell the difference between no (0) and didn't turn it in (missing). The 0 and 1 are also nice for working with spreadsheets, you can do sums and counts to find the number who had it or who answered.
This was very helpful, thanks James. My preference would be to have it not be on the gradebook (so as not to confuse students), BUT still display it on the calendar and student to-dos. Ideally, the instructor would also still be able to leave comments back to the students, but that's not as important as appearing on the Calendar.
Is this possible, or would taking it out of the gradebook also remove it from the calendar?
An ungraded assignment (display grade as) will keep it out of the gradebook but keep it on the calendar and todo list, but the students won't be able to turn anything in for it. An instructor can still pull it up in speedGrader and leave a comment. It shows up on their dashboard activity list view and if they try to submit that assignment (I think the student I had test this accessed that from the dashboard view list). It does not show up in the gradebook, so they cannot see comments by going to the Grades page.
Shoot. Ungraded sounded great until I got to the point where they couldn't turn anything in for it. Thanks for the help, James!
I never would have guessed that ungraded acted as you described. It would be great if instead of these features that aren't necessarily crystal clear, if assignments, discussions, quizzes, etc, had checkboxes and you could just check check check the options you want applied to that assignment (eg, display on Calendar, display in Gradebook, use Speedgrader, extra credit, allow submissions, etc). That would be a little more transparent. You would probably have a few fewer customers in the Community, though.
Just to clarify, did you mean that the student accessed instructor comments through the Dashboard with an ungraded assignment?
Thankfully, Canvas disagrees with you. They want a clean, simple interface without lots of checkboxes.
I left my student a comment on an ungraded assignment from within in SpeedGrader. I then walked over to the student's desk where she pulled up her dashboard that was set to the view list (not the dashboard course card list), and easily found the message I had left.