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js17k
New Member

How to give assignments equal weight

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Suppose I have several quizzes, each possibly out of a different number of points. I'd like for each quiz to be given equal weight in the Canvas gradebook. Is this the default, or do I somehow have to specify this? (I can go back and rescale all the assignments manually but am hoping to avoid having to do this)

1 Solution
js17k
New Member

Many thanks to both of you-I'll take this approach for the gradebook/quizzes.

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16 Replies
ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @js17k and welcome to the Community!  Are you using assignment groups and weighting the final score based on these assignment groups (see How do I weight the final course grade based on assignment groups)?  Normally when faculty are looking at a situation like you describe, I suggest that they make each quiz its own assignment group and indicate that these groups are worth the desired portion of the final course grade.  If assignment weighting is not being utilized, the relative weight of each quiz will be determined by the points possible. 

I hope this helps! 

Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi,  @js17k ‌, ericwerth‌ has given you great advice. This is something I had to plan for when I first started building my courses, so I thought I'd chime in to share my experience. Total points possible for a Canvas quiz stems from the total value of the points for the quiz questions; in other words, it's not currently possible to apply an overall, or top-down, point value to a quiz. So, when I built my quizzes in Canvas, I manipulated the point values of the individual questions to make them add up to 100. This had a two-fold benefit: it allowed me to make all the quizzes of equal value, and I could mimic a percentage in the Gradebook (since quizzes don't display as percentages, only as points). And it even had a third advantage, in that it made me evaluate each question individually and decide which ones should contribute more to the total, and which ones less, depending on where the questions fell in the Bloom's Taxonomy hierarchy.

To save some time, you could edit the quizzes by dragging all of the questions into a single question group and applying a point value per question that would add up to 100, keeping in mind that this will also have the effect of randomizing the question order (How do I create a quiz with a question group to randomize quiz questions? )

The good news is that in the new quiz tool, Quizzes.Next, it will be possible to apply a point value to the quiz without having to adjust the points for the individual questions, and you will also be able to display the grade as a percentage. You can read more about what's coming at How do I create an assessment using Quizzes.Next? 

js17k
New Member

Many thanks to both of you-I'll take this approach for the gradebook/quizzes.

I think that Quizzes is not an option, and neither is giving each assignment a separate assignment group - then you lose features such as dropping the lowest 2 scores, and it's a major time sink to set that up. I think this issue is not yet solved. Anyone else agree?

ortegao1
Community Member

I have the same question. I give about 30 HW assignments (one assignment group) each semester and it is exhausting to have to try to make them all worth the same amount of points. Why can't Canvas calculate an average of the percentages earned on each assignment? Blackboard has this functionality. It is too much extra work to try to finagle each assignment to have the same total points available. 

For now, I export my gradebook to Excel and correct the weighted grades there. This is my first semester using Canvas and I'm not sure I will continue to use it for my gradebook since it has this basic and debilitating limitation.

There has to be a better solution to this problem.

Hello  @ortegao1  and welcome to the Community!  Have you considered using Quizzes.Next as mentioned above?  You can set an assignment value separate from the total value of all of the questions.  I did a little testing earlier about how the points calculate and posted this as a response in this thread, https://community.canvaslms.com/thread/24582-points-vs-points Might Quizzes.Next work for your assignments?

I give written assignments for HW. The total "points" available vary with each assignment. When I enter the grade, I would like to maintain whatever "point system" already exists in the assignment. I don't think there is a work around for this. I just expected Canvas to have this functionality already since both Moodle and BlackBoard do (expectations are THE WORST). I am new to Moodle and Canvas, but have been using BlackBoard for 15 years. It just seems incredible that I can tell Excel how to calculate this type of weighted average, but I can't do this in Canvas.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I am hoping this thread will encourage the good people at Canvas to do some important updates!

I wholeheartedly agree. Averaging the percentages should be an option. Messing with making each assignment of a given type have the same number of points is a pain. Moodle, Blackboard, and WebCT (remember that one?) all do/did this.

I'd like to add my vote to implement this feature as well. I already weight my questions by duration, gradability, and taxonomy.  It's really silly to add "cause my spreadsheet isn't smart enough" to that list.

Thank you for the workaround to have multiple quiz categories, but that's exactly what it is, a hokey workaround. It will work for me, but it clearly doesn't work well for 30 homework assignments.

And no, these are not Canvas Quizzes. They are engineering problems that require written solutions with students showing their work.

jtroup
Community Participant

This feature is incredibly necessary, including for Canvas quizzes-especially since your quiz help article states that the Gradebook is not updated if the quiz point values are changed. The Gradebook should really be updated in this case, but if it isn't, then I at least should be able to equally weight all quizzes regardless of point value. I essentially just need to tell Canvas to calculate each group with the percentage numbers instead of with the point values. And I mean calculate with the actual percentage numbers (e.g. interpret 19/20 as .95, not 19 points)-I don't just mean display as percent value. As others have pointed out, Blackboard and Excel both have this functionality, so it is certainly possible to implement.

DmytroSavchuk
New Member

Here we are in 2021 and it is embarrassing to see that I still cannot find this feature in Canvas. The suggested solution of having a separate group for each assignment does not work when you want to drop the lowest assignment in the group. I did not find a better way than exporting the gradebook to excel, scaling the grades there, and then importing these grades in the new columns. It's really a very small feature that is trivially implementable!

KATGILLEN
New Member

This question is definitely NOT solved. I wish there was a button to unmark something as a solution. Canvas/Instructure: This one is a no-brainer!! Please fix it. Thanks!!

KATGILLEN
New Member

This question is definitely NOT solved! I wish there was a button to unselect something as a solution when it is not useful. Canvas/Instructure, this one is a no-brainer. Please fix it! Thank you!!

KATGILLEN
New Member

Sorry, wrong reply button, I think (new to this forum). Thanks for bringing up this important issue!!!

0 Kudos
KATGILLEN
New Member

And, Kat out :o(

(Thanks for your patience with this newbie!)

0 Kudos
oeding
New Member

Is this seriously not solved yet? We should just be able to average percentages within an assignment group.