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dmg34
Community Member

What does imported grades highlighted red mean?

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I'm new to use the import grades feature, but the last time I did so I don't remember seeing any of these red rows.... I can't figure out what they mean!? There isn't any rhyme or reason to which rows are in red, that I can make out. And it is only on one of the two uploaded assignments. (These are both running totals that I upload periodically.) All the data uploaded correctly, but I don't understand why these are shown in red in the confirmation step...?

292259_Sketch.png

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kblack
New Member

Hi  @dmg34 ‌ - I admit that I don't have too many of our own faculty at my institution using this feature, so I'm hardly an expert on this topic myself, but if I had to give you a wild guess, I would say that it means the new grade that is getting uploaded is lower than the grade that is currently given in the gradebook.  You'll note from your screen capture that the only columns in red are for those changes representing a lower grade in the TO column when compared to the FROM column.

Adding to this little mystery is the fact that a screen capture somewhat similar to yours (albeit with fewer red rows!) also appears on the online lesson from the instructor's guide here:  How do I upload changes to the Gradebook?  Interestingly, the guide does not say why there is red coloring, either!  You might want to pose your question on that page, in fact.  As you can see from the various comments underneath, the  @jivedocs_unfede ‌ does look at comments on those pages and will take those into account when updating their online guides.  You may very well want to suggest that an explanation for the red coloring be added to that page near the appropriate screen capture. (Though their screen capture, as well, seems to confirm my guess regarding the lower scores.)

Hope this helps a bit, Deborah!

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5 Replies
kblack
New Member

Hi  @dmg34 ‌ - I admit that I don't have too many of our own faculty at my institution using this feature, so I'm hardly an expert on this topic myself, but if I had to give you a wild guess, I would say that it means the new grade that is getting uploaded is lower than the grade that is currently given in the gradebook.  You'll note from your screen capture that the only columns in red are for those changes representing a lower grade in the TO column when compared to the FROM column.

Adding to this little mystery is the fact that a screen capture somewhat similar to yours (albeit with fewer red rows!) also appears on the online lesson from the instructor's guide here:  How do I upload changes to the Gradebook?  Interestingly, the guide does not say why there is red coloring, either!  You might want to pose your question on that page, in fact.  As you can see from the various comments underneath, the  @jivedocs_unfede ‌ does look at comments on those pages and will take those into account when updating their online guides.  You may very well want to suggest that an explanation for the red coloring be added to that page near the appropriate screen capture. (Though their screen capture, as well, seems to confirm my guess regarding the lower scores.)

Hope this helps a bit, Deborah!

dmg34
Community Member

Oh my... of course that’s it!! I feel silly for not noticing that; it seems so obvious now.    Thanks  @kblack ‌!

Oh, believe me....sometimes a second pair of eyes is needed for these things  @dmg34 ‌!  I'm happy to help!

It would be nice if that were the reason for the red highlighting. Unfortunately, it isn't. Take a look at this screen capture. As you can see, it highlights many scores that remain unchanged yet doesn't highlight other scores that remain unchanged. It appears to be random.

332631_pastedImage_1.png

James
Community Member

The source code that determines the highlighting is found in the gradebook_uploads.js file from about lines 177-190.

The complete logic is

  1. Convert the original score to a floating point decimal using the parseFloat() function.
  2. Convert the new score to a floating point decimal using the parseFloat() function.
  3. Determine if the update will remove the grade. This happens if the original score was number but the new score is not.
  4. If the grade is not excused and either the original score is greater than the updated score or the grade will remove the update, then apply the highlighting.

What I imagine is that there are slight differences between the way the original numbers were sent/stored and the way the new numbers were sent and stored.  It is difficult to represent decimals exactly in computers. Given the number of such occurrences, I doubt that's what's happening.

A more likely explanation (but still probably not the correct one) would be that the grades are calculated rather than entered directly. You may have Excel set to narrowed the width of the column to make them appear with fewer decimals without changing the underlying display by setting the number of decimals or actually changing the number with a round() function. Then, when you save it to CSV, it keeps the full decimal version instead of the rounded version that Canvas is showing.

For example, consider this Excel file.

332602_pastedImage_1.png

Columns C, D, and E are all the same number. Column D has been shrunk so no decimals appear, and column E has had the number of decimals adjusted.

When I save it to a CSV file and open it, I get this:

Scored,Possible,Percent,%,show
85,127,66.92913386,66.92913386,67

Notice that only the one where I changed the decimals is exactly 67.

If, when the grades were original entered, you had changed the number of decimals so it sent a 67 and the second time you shrunk the columns and it sent 66.92913386, then the second number would be smaller than the first.

You could check the CSV file to see if it had more decimals.

Still, that's unlikely to explain so many changes when they look the same to 2 decimal places.

I will note that the issue is probably related to how the grades were entered. If you enter the grades into the gradebook directly, it shows 2 decimals, but it keeps all of them. I entered 7.53598 into the gradebook and it shows up as 7.54. When I pull the submission entry for that grade, it shows the 7.53598.

When you export the grades, it only exports the 7.54. The the original scored had been 7.54123 and you exported it from Canvas and then tried to bring it back into Canvas through a CSV import, it would be 7.54, which is lower than the 7.54123 that was originally entered and it would be considered lower and end up highlighted. 

I took that same grade that was 7.53598 and changed it to 7.5359 in Excel and saved it. Now when I try to import it back into Canvas, I get what you're getting. It appears that the grade is the same, but Canvas is saying it is lower.

332648_pastedImage_3.png

Technically, it is lower. 7.5359 is smaller than 7.53598. The parseFloat() in steps 1 and 2 above are applied to what you sent in the import, not to the rounded number displayed on the screen.

I checked after uploading the file and the number stored internally is now 7.5959. This means that Canvas is storing what you sent, not the rounded version.

I imagine that there was some combination of how the grades were entered and how they were sent that is triggering the imagined discrepancy.

 @kblack 's conjecture is what the code is actually doing. It was a little more involved, but since your grades don't involve removing grades and they're not excused, what he described is exactly what's happening.

The short answer is that Canvas uses the full number to determine if the original grade is larger than the updated, not the displayed values, which are rounded to 2 decimals.