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bkompe
Community Participant

Zero percent assignment group and the Gradebook

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Does anyone have any experience using a zero percent assignment group (i.e. one that counts zero percent towards the Total) when using weighted Assignment Groups? Because I have not been able to find much about the use of zero percent assignment groups (although the blog post Hacking Mastery Paths by Kona Jones does mention it), I am wondering if there any reason why you should not use this procedure to administer non-contributing assessment in the Gradebook?

I believe that the ability to include assessment which does not count toward the Total is important for these two common scenarios:

1) The use of Quizzes that are used for formative assessment but which don't contribute to the overall mark (You have control over Assignments but not Quizzes).

2) To enable the selective release of content to a section or group using MasteryPaths. (Unfortunately this workaround is necessary as there is no other way of releasing particular data types to particular student groupings).

The Canvas documentation does not cover this functionality in the document about weighted Assignment Groups. I have commented on this and have been told that the team will took into it. They suggested asking the Community about it in case someone has some insight into this use of weighted Assignment Groups.

Thanks in advance.

Regards, Barbara Kompe.

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
jeremy_stevens
Community Contributor

Hi Barbara,

I am not particularly familiar with Mastery Paths. But to answer your question outside of those, I can't think of any reason you would run into issues using an assignment group weighted at 0%.

We frequently have instructors at our institution use assignment groups weighted at 0%, which they use for formative assessments and quizzes. They also use them for compulsory pass/fail assessments, which may not count towards the student's total grade for the course, but which the instructor nonetheless need to see in the Gradebook to then tell at the end of semester whether or not a student has failed that assessment. Often those pass/fail assessments are threshold assessments (related to the professional accreditation of a course or degree), and the student must pass them to pass the course itself – if they fail the assessment or do not attempt it, they cannot pass the course regardless of how well they do across their other assessments. So while they are unweighted, they are still significant pieces of assessment.

In those cases, weighting the assignment group at 0% has worked very well for us. Canvas just ignores anything in it (as far as the total grade calculation goes), and calculates the total grade based on the other assignment groups with weightings.

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5 Replies
jeremy_stevens
Community Contributor

Hi Barbara,

I am not particularly familiar with Mastery Paths. But to answer your question outside of those, I can't think of any reason you would run into issues using an assignment group weighted at 0%.

We frequently have instructors at our institution use assignment groups weighted at 0%, which they use for formative assessments and quizzes. They also use them for compulsory pass/fail assessments, which may not count towards the student's total grade for the course, but which the instructor nonetheless need to see in the Gradebook to then tell at the end of semester whether or not a student has failed that assessment. Often those pass/fail assessments are threshold assessments (related to the professional accreditation of a course or degree), and the student must pass them to pass the course itself – if they fail the assessment or do not attempt it, they cannot pass the course regardless of how well they do across their other assessments. So while they are unweighted, they are still significant pieces of assessment.

In those cases, weighting the assignment group at 0% has worked very well for us. Canvas just ignores anything in it (as far as the total grade calculation goes), and calculates the total grade based on the other assignment groups with weightings.

View solution in original post

bkompe
Community Participant

Hi Jeremy, Thanks for your reply. I create Canvas documentation but I don't work directly with the instructors so I can't monitor if any recommendations work correctly unless I am contacted directly. 

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

I concur that I can’t think of any reason not to use a zero weight assignment group. Our faculty have been doing this for a number of years and never had any problems. 

Kona

dengleman
Community Member

Can you weight one category 0 for formative, but not have the other categories weighted? I want them to be straight points.

cindyk
Community Participant

I, too, would like the answer to this.  We are looking to enable student choice for assignments.  We want to use the mastery paths hack.  However, while some teachers use a weighted gradebook, many do not.  I realize that all assignments included in the grade could be placed in a single 100% assignment group, this is often unwieldy and may cause issues down the road if Canvas updates OneRoster.

I had originally explored how Canvas handles multiple assignment groups of 100% but found out when the percent exceed 100%, they are treated as extra credit.  This works well for extra credit but not for a points-based (non-weighted) gradebook.  I think what I would like is to choose between points and weighted and to be able to exclude whole assignment groups from being included in the grade (the mastery paths hack means that the assignments have to be graded).