Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Champion

How effectively to set up zero-point orientation assignments

I'm working on a fully online course and need some advice. During the first week I want my students to post an introduction and take a pre-course quiz. These are both within the first module, due at the end of the first week, and are requirements for students to maintain enrollment in the course. (We are required to drop students who do not attend the first week of the semester and I am using these in lieu of taking roll.)

All of my fully online teaching experience so far has been with a class called Online Student Success, so making these items count toward the course grade makes sense. Next semester is my first fully online history class, and I would like all of the points toward the grade to come from assessments that are more closely tied to the outcomes of a history class.

I see two options if I don't want these items to count toward the course grade:

  • Make the items worth zero points - this makes them appear on the Syllabus, Calendar, etc. but might confuse students who see "0 points possible" and think they are practice assignments
  • Make the discussion ungraded and the quiz an ungraded survey (or practice quiz) - this removes the risk of confusion re: "0 points possible" but requires manually created calendar events to populate the Syllabus page

Both items are module requirements and there are lots of words about these requirements. I'm not sure which of these is the best way to go.

I'm tagging Instructional Designers‌ so this discussion shows up there too. I'm looking forward to suggestions and comments from the awesome Canvas Community. What have you done or advise to be done in similar situations?

3 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @GregoryBeyrer 

As a teacher, I have been doing this in Canvas for more than six years, and as a Canvas Admin, we have made a very similar module available to our faculty to use.  I make my assignments worth zero points, but to encourage my students to engage in activities that will help them succeed in my course, I offer a couple extra credit points for everything they complete.  So far, I have never had a student confused by the zero point value.

Here is a screenshot from my orientation module for one of my own courses...........


I hope this helps,


 @kmeeusen  Thank You for sharing that screenshot. Your reply helped me decide to use the zero-poijnt assignments after all. Another reason to go with that option is the difference it makes on the Course Summary. Assignments have the text "due by" prepended to the time but calendar events just have the time. Here's what I have with calendar events:

Course Summary with calendar events and assignments

The language is more consistent when I convert those to assignments:

Course Summary with all and assignments

And of course these also save students a click since they can access these items direct from the Syllabus page but via calendar events they'd have to select the event then select the link to the activity from the event description.

If any students wonder why they don't get points for these assignments I'll remind them that all that is gold does not glitter. 

Community Participant

I have a similar issue and created some assignments that are due and in the gradebook as Zero points. So, like blackboard they should not effect the weighted  averages correct? hard to see. Its chapter 4 two assignments, two  different due dates, grade is combined with the first assignment. I know there are other ways to do this, but i do everything in Canvas, and like to have records for all my assignments and works.



Tags (1)