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julianbr
New Member

When hiding names in SpeedGrader, are the numbers no longer random?

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I always grade essays anonymously, so in SpeedGrader I select "Hide student names" and sort by the date they submitted the assignment. In the past, this generated a list of students by number, with number 1 being the first to submit, 2 the second, ans so on. I just went to grade my first assignment of the semester and SpeedGrader is now working differently. The students are sorted by when they submitted as they should be, but the numbers are based on the alphabetical list of students and are the same in every assignment. For example, "Aaron Aaronson" would always be number 1, and number 1 might be listed 3rd or 15th or 24th, depending on when he submitted the assignment. Am I missing something? How do I make this work the way it used to? Because now I effectively cannot grade anonymously, because I can guess the student names by simply looking at the numbers.

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kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @julianbr  Welcome to the Canvas Community! Actually, I'm pretty sure that this was always an issue with that setting in SpeedGrader, because I remember faculty at my own institution complaining about that very same thing.  However, I am not going to make any bets on my 50+-year-old memory being accurate on that. 

But I can say that a recent production release has solved that issue.  Check this online guide:  How do I add an assignment that includes anonymous grading?   (Also, despite the instructions, I'm pretty sure that you can now use the DocViewer annotation tools, based on a test I just did in a sample class, because that issue was alleviated with a subsequent, more recent release.)  You SHOULD still be able to edit your original assignment to enable that checkbox setting.  This, however, leads to the next issue that perhaps your campus did not enable that specific feature option.  It is "opt-in" on my own campus, so any faculty wishing to enable it can do so on a course-by-course basis using the SETTINGS menu item and enabling it as a feature option.

As I said, I just now tested this in a sample class and it DOES work as you expect it to; the student names are completely randomized.  It also MUTES the assignment automatically (as the documentation indicates) and essentially grays out the grade column so that even if you wanted to you cannot see the student names until you unmute the assignment altogether.

I hope this helps a bit, Brian! 

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4 Replies
kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @julianbr  Welcome to the Canvas Community! Actually, I'm pretty sure that this was always an issue with that setting in SpeedGrader, because I remember faculty at my own institution complaining about that very same thing.  However, I am not going to make any bets on my 50+-year-old memory being accurate on that. 

But I can say that a recent production release has solved that issue.  Check this online guide:  How do I add an assignment that includes anonymous grading?   (Also, despite the instructions, I'm pretty sure that you can now use the DocViewer annotation tools, based on a test I just did in a sample class, because that issue was alleviated with a subsequent, more recent release.)  You SHOULD still be able to edit your original assignment to enable that checkbox setting.  This, however, leads to the next issue that perhaps your campus did not enable that specific feature option.  It is "opt-in" on my own campus, so any faculty wishing to enable it can do so on a course-by-course basis using the SETTINGS menu item and enabling it as a feature option.

As I said, I just now tested this in a sample class and it DOES work as you expect it to; the student names are completely randomized.  It also MUTES the assignment automatically (as the documentation indicates) and essentially grays out the grade column so that even if you wanted to you cannot see the student names until you unmute the assignment altogether.

I hope this helps a bit, Brian! 

Ken, thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I do not have the setting for anonymous grading in my assignments, as the link you posted explains, nor do I have it as a "Feature Option" I can enable under Settings. There is just no reference to anonymous grading that I can find anywhere on my course site. I guess I'm stuck for now. But thanks for the helpful reply in any case!

kblack
Community Champion

Oh, drat!  Well, it's something you may want to approach your Canvas admins about.  I'm sure others may be interested at your institution!  Thanks for letting me know....

rasmussen_63
New Member

I've tested and confirmed what Ken Black wrote above. Hiding student names in SpeedGrader is no good, because the ID numbers that are displayed instead of names are the same from one assignment to the next, and are correlated with alphabetical order, either of which means it is still possible to acquire prejudices about the student you're grading.

However, turning on anonymous grading in assignment details does work. As near as I can tell, those really are random and are different for each assignment. 

It would be better for SpeedGrader not to have a broken feature that looks like the real thing but does not solve the problem that the feature is supposed to solve.