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Community Member

How to quickly and efficiently exempt all past work for a student?

We are struggling to find a good practice for students who move into the district during the year.  When a new student is entered into our SIS and then auto-enrolled in all of their Canvas courses, the student is assigned all of the work that was previously assigned in the course and this work auto flags as missing since it is all past due.

Our current practice is to ask each teacher to exempt all of the past assignments in order to avoid confusion for the student and prevent the student's grade from being impact by the missing work for classes with a late work policy turned on. As the year progresses, this is becoming a lengthy process for teachers who have to go in an exempt 30+ assignments for the student even when using the shortcut of typing "Ex" in gradebook. Does anyone have a better way to efficiently manage new students moving into a course and exempting them from work that was assigned when they were not a part of the class?

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Community Contributor


There are 2 ways that are more efficient:

  • Using Gradebook import grades

Instead of typing EX manually, the trainer can export the grade book to a spreadsheet, enter EX results for all new students then import it again (

  • Using Canvas API

This is more advance as you will need to write a script (E.g. easiest is VBA through Excel). With a spreadsheet, you can enter a list of all new students, then use the API to iterate through each of them to look for past due assessments ( then post an EX result to those assessments (

Community Member

In my district, each of the terms locks after about a week after the conclusion of that term, so we only have to worry about the current term.

What can be done is to determine the student's transfer grade (or minimum grade if no transfer) and enter that grade in the gradebook for all of the 'missed' assignments in the current term. You may have to calculate the grade if your assignments are not some nice easy multiple of 10 points each. 
Type a grade, hit the right arrow key, and repeat....