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Community Member

Needs Grading Feature

So we are in the middle of a transition from Blackboard and a feature that faculty loved was the Needs Grading tool. What it does is allow the instructor to grade all currently submitted items one after the other. Right now there is no smooth way to go from one submitted assignment to the next. 

Does anyone have a good workflow for jumping from one submitted assignment to the next? We have flexible due date courses and students are submitting assignments across the board so there is no easy way to currently go from one submission to the next cross assignments.

7 Replies
Community Contributor

Hi Jon

I'm somewhat familiar with that Bb feature (though it has been awhile). Though it is outside of the gradebook I wonder if the To Do list might meet this need? 

Community Member

Hey Tiffany,

I appreciate the response. While the To Do list is helpful, and the sort by submission status functionality within Speedgrader is also helpful, there is still a llot of jumping around and clicks to achieve what Blackboard has done with Needs Grading. I'll break down each workflow below.


Click into class and click on Needs Grading.

All submissions for the course are shown in a list. 

Click on Grade all and it loads the first assignment.

Provide a score and click submit

It saves and loads the next submission in the list

It continues to do this until all of the submissions have been graded.


From the Dashboard or from the course, right click and open To Do submissions in new tabs.

Sort the Speedgrader by submission status.

Provide a score and click save and then click next.

When you arrive at a student without a submission close the tab.

Work on the next tab until you reach a student with out a submission.

Once all tabs are closed refresh the dashboard or course page and 5 more items will appear in the To Do list.

While Canvas benefits from being able to see submissions from all courses on the dashboard, it lacks the ability to move through all submissions within a course regardless of which assignment it is.

One thought we had was having a show all on the To Do list on the dashboard or course home page perhaps. Then at least they could open up all of them at once in new tabs and when all the tabs are closed they are done. 

On a side topic, we also noticed the SpeedGrader does not show what the assignment actually is. So when going through the To Do  all you see is the student's submission and not what the instructions actually were. I may have to make another post on this or do some searching.

Community Contributor

Hi Jon

I can see where some teachers would want that feature, the ability to go through all submissions across all assignments in a course, and how this workflow may not match that. 

Agree a way to see the assignment instructions on the speedgrader page would be helpful, though I would have concerns when the assignment text becomes lengthly. It could quickly make the speedgrader screen unwieldy for grading

Good luck in your quest! Smiley Happy I'll be interested to hear what other suggestions might be provided

Hopefully others see the value in it as well! I know our instructors are missing it! 

As for the assignment instructions in SpeedGrader.

Blackboard handles the assignment instructions with a simple show and hide feature at the top of the page. Something like this would be beneficial especially when jumping from assignment to assignment and not knowing what it is they were supposed to do. In the screenshot below you can see it's at the top of the grader and can be shown or hidden.


Community Team
Community Team

 @degroot ‌

The New Gradebook doesn't touch any elements of the SpeedGrader workflow, however there is an existing idea in Canvas Studio‌ that you'll want to add your use case and vote to! 

Hey Renee, appreciate the response. That feature request though is asking to navigate through one student’s assignments. You would then need to exit and jump to the next student and go through their assignments. What I’m hoping to achieve is to navigate from what needs to be graded to what else needs to be graded regardless of student or assignment. The To Do list is the closest to that in Canvas but you can’t just press next. You have to close the tab and click on the next to do item. For now it’s a matter of workflow. Hopefully one day Canvas builds it in or we’re able to develop an LTI or utilize a tampermonkey script.