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Community Participant

How to automatically determine if course requirements are met?

Hello Canvas Gurus,
I'm working with a completely self-paced, online 100 level writing class at our university that has two basic requirements:

  • Students receive 80% on EACH of the (many) quizzes they must take
  • Students have turned in two of the X>2 Assignments in the course

Now that the course is up and running the professor responsible for the class has asked how they can automatically determine at the end of the semester whether or not these requirements have been met.

This course isn't set as a Mastery Path (none of our courses have been yet) and having no experience with it, I don't know whether it would do what this professor is asking for. If this is a viable option, could someone please explain how.
Thanks in advance,


6 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @dolce ‌

I have a couple of ideas, and I hope you find them helpful.

  • For the Quizzes: create a Quizzes Assignment Group to house all course quizzes. In the Canvas Gradebook, each assignment Group has its own totals column, and student grades are displayed in the Assignment Group total column as a percentage. So, as you work through the gradebook, you will be able to note for each student whether or not they achieved 80%.
  • Do the same for the assignments. The gradebook will naturally group together the individual assignment columns of an assignment group, so that when reviewing the gradebook at the end of term, a teach can simply manually count whether or not students completed at least two of the assignments. Unfortunately, if by ">2" you might mean their are 478 assignment in the course, then this could become a tad bit tedious.
  • Alternate for Assignments: When you look at individual grade reports, or view the gradebook by individual students, you can scroll down that single student-view gradesheets, and look for two assignment submissions.

I hope this helps.


Community Champion

To do this fully automatically, you would probably need to use the API.  If you have a programmer available, it would be fairly straightforward.

Community Participant

Hi Kelley,

These are very sensical suggestions and I would normally recommend the faculty apply these, however, in this case we're talking about hundredS of students.
Unfortunately, the professor refused the notion of applying requirements to the modules early in our discussions about the class- which would have dealt with half the issues (score must be at least 80%) because they wanted the students to be able to access the modules in any order.
'We are condemned to be free, because once thrown into the world we are responsible for all that we do.' 😕

Community Participant

I'm afraid I don't. 😞
This is one of those moments where I'd turn to my faculty and have to remind them that, "I'm not THAT kind of an IT guy..."

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @dolce ...

As I was reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, I came across your question and wanted to check in with you.  It looks like you've received a couple suggestions from both  @kmeeusen  and pklove, but those suggestions might not be workable solutions for you, correct?  Have you been able to find any other solutions since the beginning of October?  Anything that you'd be willing to share back here in the Community with us?  Or, if you are still looking for some assistance with this question, please let us know that, too.  For now, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" simply because there hasn't been any new activity in this thread since October 3, 2017.  However, that won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Joe.  Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Community Participant

Hi Chris,

We have a Python expert on campus who was willing to write a code that allowed him to gather and sort the final data the way the professor wanted it. Unfortunately, this is unsustainable as it requires more intervention on the behalf of our tech staff than we could feasibly provide from semester to semester. What we've suggested to the professor is a small handful of design solutions (create quizzes of a similar value for each module, use the built in logic within modules to move the students through the course in a linear path that makes use of pre-requisites, -simple stuff- etc...) which have each been dismissed out of hand as not being in line with what they want to do. And we're now in the situation of having bailed them out once we've demonstrated that we CAN help them... thus having hurt our cause. 

Minor tangent/rant: the number of decisions I've made in the last twenty years that rub against the grain of my philosophy of helpfulness due to, "setting bad precedence" are pretty much summed up in this one example. 😕

Equally fun is trying to increase grade transparency through the use of Canvas to try to increase retention. Shall we talk about "dismissed out of hand..."
Be well,