Restoring the Needs Graded count

Community Champion
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With the February 20, 2016, Release, Canvas replaced the number of assignments needing graded with a 9+ indicator when there were more than 9 that needed grading. No one thought much of it before it happened, probably because their examples all used single digit counts.

Here's what my To Do list looked like on the morning of Saturday, February 20, 2016.


Once the February 20 update was released, people started complaining, explaining how they used the count in their workflow, and asking for the real count back. After several days, Canvas came back with it as an attempt to simplify the interface and that we should file a support ticket so that they could track the number of affected users, not just those in the Community (even though my original plea to restore the actual count had 20 helps and 22 likes as I write this). So, please read the discussion in the Release Notes and then go file a support ticket if this change bothers you.

Since Canvas really botched this and it's important for me in my teaching load, I wrote a user script that will restore the functionality that previously existed. It's a shame that I have to make extra API calls, one for each assignment that needs grading, but it is a work-around until they restore this much needed functionality. I truly hope this is one script that I wrote which quickly becomes obsolete.

Here's what my To Do list looks like after installing my script.


It's pretty quick, unless you happen to have hundreds of assignments. As a user script, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not to use it. The browser add-on and the user script need loaded on each machine/browser that you want to use it with, but it won't mess up the general experience for everyone.

It has been tested on Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. It has been tested with the old UI and the new UI. It changes the Needs Grading counts on the Canvas Activity Stream (initial page when you log in) or any Course homepage (all of the four styles). It even works when you get that little message to load more assignments.

Be sure to follow this issue and the Canvas Release Notes. If/when Canvas restores this functionality, please disable this script or uninstall the browser add-on.


  1. Make sure Greasemonkey for Firefox or Tampermonkey for Chrome or Safari is installed and enabled
  2. Install the needs-grading.user.js file

This script will automatically run on any Canvas instance hosted at * If you have a custom domain, then you will need to modify the \\ @include line to refer to your site.

This script is a Canvancement and designed to improve the user's experience with Canvas. It is up to the user to decide whether or not to use it. The source code is available on the Canvancement website​.