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tmckamey
Community Participant

How does Canvas determine which color to apply to a rubric rating?

I can't find any instructions/information about how to know what color Canvas will use in the rubric for each rating points that I choose. I typically turn points off for grading, but I know Canvas still uses points in the background, and I know I can change the point values for each rating so that the colors won't be all red or orange, but it's total guess work and it's maddening! 😞 

Of course, I agree with all the other users who think the preset color choices are poor, but I further hate that I don't understand how Canvas determines which color to apply. Why isn't this information available and easy to find?

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JamesSekcienski
Community Participant

The only place I have seen colors based on rubric ratings is in the Learning Mastery gradebook.  Is there where you see it?

Based on what you are experiencing it sounds like there may be account level settings enabled for the learning mastery ratings.  Based on the note at the top here, it says those settings affect both rubric criteria and outcomes criteria:  https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Admin-Guide/How-do-I-customize-learning-mastery-ratings-for-an-ac... 

Thanks James, That's slightly related, but still not quite clear for me. I'm assuming Canvas uses a math formula to determine when something should be green, orange or red. I'm specifically interested in the rubrics, but if it applies to the learning mastery gradebook too, that's fine. 

Even if I set the rubric not to show/use points, I'm pretty sure Canvas still does use them in the background to distinguish each rating from another. But when I arbitrarily use numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4 for my rubric, I don't get the colors I would want. So I want to know what number value to give my "approaching expectations" rating if the highest score is a 4, so that it doesn't show red, or if I want a 3 to be a "passing" color (which I associate with green). We need to know how to set the values for each color rating in a rubric to get the color we might want. I've played with it a lot, but I think a published explanation of the math would be necessary. 

(P.S. Although I'd like to change the actual colors themselves, my school doesn't give permission for this currently. I'm stuck with the default colors. My question is not how to change the color scheme. It's about how Canvas uses math to determine which color to apply when I choose from between 2, 3 or 4 ratings (I've used many different scales for my rubrics). 

How to guides are woefully insufficient in understanding this. 

Hello @tmckamey ,

After looking at my class rubrics again, I see what you mean now.  That is annoying to see orange no matter how close your score is to full points.

I inspected the code and after reviewing this article, I think I understand how the scoring and colors are working:  https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Instructor-Guide/How-do-I-use-the-Learning-Mastery-Gradebook-to-v... 

When inspecting the code, I discovered that when you grade a criterion that isn't a learning outcome, only the full points will be identified as "Meets Mastery" and given the green indicator.  Since the regular criterion doesn't have a mastery score to use for reference, the code is using full points as meeting mastery for calculations.  Thus, according to the article above, the threshold between the orange "Near Mastery" and the red "Well Below Mastery" is 50% of the maximum points.  So if it is less than 50% of the maximum points for the criterion, it will receive a red indicator, but if it is 50% or up to 100% (not including) it will receive an orange indicator.

Score levels are calculated based on half of the outcome mastery threshold. For example, if the mastery threshold is 3 points, half of 3 is 1.5. Scores between 1.6 and 2.9 are counted near mastery, while scores less than 1.5 are considered remedial. Therefore, a student score of 2/3 would be above 1.5 and count as near mastery.

Note: Outcome colors and levels can be customized for your institution by your admin.

You may want to speak with your Canvas to administrator to test out applying a different default standard to use.  It looks like even though you only set one range of scores, the range will scale based on the maximum points.  Thus your school could potentially determine your own colors and scale to use How do I customize learning mastery ratings for an... - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)

Hi James,


Thank you so much! I think this:


When inspecting the code, I discovered that when you grade a criterion that isn't a learning outcome, only the full points will be identified as "Meets Mastery" and given the green indicator.  Since the regular criterion doesn't have a mastery score to use for reference, the code is using full points as meeting mastery for calculations.  Thus, according to the article above, the threshold between the orange "Near Mastery" and the red "Well Below Mastery" is 50% of the maximum points.  So if it is less than 50% of the maximum points for the criterion, it will receive a red indicator, but if it is 50% or up to 100% (not including) it will receive an orange indicator.


answers my question! I'll test it out and see if it holds.

What code did you inspect? Do you work for Canvas/have access to something that someone like me can't see? Thank you!!!

 

Treela

Hello @tmckamey 

You're welcome!  I don't work at Canvas.  I primarily used the built-in browser developer tools, when you inspect element to review the associated code for the rubric.  I initially tried looking at the code on GitHub, but that was a bit too much to try to search through at the moment.

Thanks,
James Sekcienski

tmckamey
Community Participant

Wow! I didn't even know you could do that! Thanks for doing that leg work and offering your advanced knowledge!