Functionality Comparison: Current vs. New Canvas Gradebook

Community Coach
Community Coach
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To help with the transition from the current Canvas gradebook to the New Gradebook I created the following functionality comparison. This is a working document, so feel free to comment on if you think wording needs tweaked or if you think something needs to be added to this chart. Feel free to copy and edit this information as needed.


Current Gradebook

New Gradebook

Guide for new Gradebook

New Features in Gradebook

Grade Detail Tray


Allows you to easily click through all assignments for a student and view or change grade, status, and comments. OR, for a single assignment you can click through and look at every student one by one and view or change their information.

Grade Detail Tray

Late Policies (missing work)


Automatically apply grade (zero) for missing submissions.

How do I apply a Missing Submission policy in the New Gradebook?

Late Policies: Instructor FAQ 

Late Policy (late work)


Deduct specified percentage for each X day late.

How do I apply a Late Submission policy in the New Gradebook?

Late Policies: Instructor FAQ 

Change the Status of a Grade


Change the status (None, Late, Missing, Excused) of an individual assignment grade for a student.

How do I change the status of a submission in the New Gradebook?

Change default status colors in Gradebook


Change the color associated with a gradebook status: late, missing, resubmitted, dropped, or excused.

How do I change the color for a grading status in the New Gradebook?

Enter Grades as


Enter grades in the gradebook for an assignment as points or percentage.

How do I enter grades for an individual assignment as a specific grading type in the New Gradebook?

Extra functionality added to current Gradebook Features

Sorting and Displaying Student name

Sort alphabetically by last name.

Sort alphabetically, display by first name or last name first, and choose which secondary information to also show.

How do I sort and display student names in the Student Name column in the New Gradebook?

Grade Post Policy


Functionality allows graders to have more control for posting grades on a granular level, such as by section, by a feature called post policies. Additionally, instead of having to hide all assignments individually, the Gradebook Settings menu allows all assignment grades to be hidden by default.

New Gradebook and SpeedGrader Muting Behavior Changes 

How do I select a grade posting policy for a course in the New Gradebook?

How do I select a grade posting policy for an assignment in the New Gradebook?  

How do I post grades for an assignment in the New Gradebook? 

How do I hide grades for an assignment in the New Gradebook?  

Arrange columns by…

Arrange by assignment group (Assignment page order), due date (newest to oldest), or points (lowest to highest).

Arrange by Default (Assignment Group), Assignment name (alphabetic), Due date (oldest to newest, or newest to oldest), Points (lowest to highest or highest to lowest), Module (first to last or last to first).

How do I arrange columns in the New Gradebook?

Filters columns by…

Filters columns by Section.

Filters columns by Assignment Group, Modules, and/or Section.

How do I filter columns by type in the New Gradebook?

Sort assignment grades by…

Sort by grade (high to low, low to high).

Sort by grade (high to low, low to high), Missing, Late.

How do I sort an individual assignment column in the New Gradebook?

Icons and Colors

Icons and colors used to provide information about assignments and submissions.

Various new or updated icons and verbiage added to help Instructors better understand their gradebook.

How do I use the icons and colors in the New Gradebook?

Functionality is the same, just moved location or changed icon

Enter Grades

Enter grades for students directly in the Gradebook.

Overall this is the same, but the interface and access to certain features is slightly different.

How do I enter and edit grades in the New Gradebook?

Provide or view Comments

Provide or view comments on an assignment for a student from the Gradebook.

Click to enter a grade for an assignment and then select the Grade Detail Tray icon (on the right). This will pop up the Grade detail window where you can select Speedgrader.

How do I leave comments for students in the New Gradebook?

Access Speedgrader from Gradebook

Access Speedgrader from the Gradebook.

Click to enter a grade for an assignment and then select the Grade Detail Tray icon (on the right). This will pop up the Grade detail window where you can select Speedgrader.

How do I get to SpeedGrader from the New Gradebook?

Notes Column

Add private notes for individual students. There is no way for students to view these notes.

Location has moved to under the “View” link.

How do I use the Notes column in the New Gradebook?

Message Students Who

For an assignment message all students who: Haven’t submitted yet, haven’t been graded, scored less than, scored more than.

Mouse over the name of an assignment and click on the three vertical dots that come up and select “Message Students Who.”

How do I send a message to students from the New Gradebook?

View individual student’s Grades page

View all grades for one student. This is a similar view to how students view their grades.

Click on the name of a student from the Gradebook. Or, on the “Grade Detail Tray” click on the Student’s name.

How do I view a student's Grades page in a course from the New Gradebook?

Move & Sort Total Column

Move Total course grade column to the front of Gradebook. Sort from lowest to highest or highest to lowest.

Mouse over “Total” and click on the three vertical dots that come up and make desired change.

How do I use assignment groups and the Total column in the New Gradebook?

Gradebook History

Gear icon and select “View Gradebook History.”

Location of option has moved to under the “Gradebook” link.

How do I view the history of all grading changes in the New Gradebook?

View concluded (dropped) and inactive student information

View the grades of students who are concluded (dropped) or inactive in your course.

Location of option has moved. Hover over “Student Name,” click on the three vertical dots that come up and then select “Concluded enrollments.”

How do I view grades for inactive or concluded student enrollments in the New Gradebook?

Set Default Grade

Set scores for students who do not have scores or to overwrite already entered scores.

Mouse over the name of an assignment and click on the three vertical dots that come up and select “Set Default Grade.”

How do I set a default grade for an assignment in the New Gradebook?

Curve Grades

To curve grades, Canvas asks for an average curve score and then adjusts the scores as a bell curve 66% around the average score.

Mouse over the name of an assignment and click on the three vertical dots that come up and select “Curve Grades.”

How do I curve grades in the New Gradebook?

Download Submissions

Download all submissions to an Assignment.

Mouse over the name of an assignment and click on the three vertical dots that come up and select “Download Assignment.”

How do I download all student submissions for an assignment in the New Gradebook?

Import/Export Course Grades

Import grades into the Canvas Gradebook or Export the Gradebook in CSV format (Excel).

Location of option has moved to under the “Actions” link.

How do I import grades in the New Gradebook?


How do I export grades in the New Gradebook?

Individual View

Apply global settings, view student grades one at a time & review assignment information one assignment at a time.

Location of option has moved to under the “Gradebook” heading.

How do I use the New Gradebook?

Missing Features/Functionality

As far as I'm aware these are the only features in the current gradebook that are completely missing in the new gradebook:

  • Ability to sort the Notes column 
  • Assignment Details - this feature will be replaced by New Analytics functionality, which provides improved analytics capabilities (seeCanvas Studio Priority: Analytics 2).
  • Hide Student Names - this feature has been resolved in the New Gradebook by the Anonymous Grading and Moderated Grading features already implemented in Canvas. (Hiding student names is still available in SpeedGrader, which is a separate feature and not affected by this project.)
  • Treat Ungraded as 0 - this feature changes the view of how grades are displayed to instructors in the Gradebook and does not directly affect student grades. This feature is currently still available in the Individual View Gradebook but not in the Grid View Gradebook, which will be resolved in a future release. If you still want to view grades as zeroes in the New Gradebook, apply grades as zeros using the global Missing Policy option or use the Default Grade option for individual assignments. (Please note these options are not retroactive and will only apply to new submissions.)
  • Grade Post Policy - There is no way to release assignment comments entered in SpeedGrader all at the same time without first entering a grade for the assignment.

How to Enable the New Gradebook

If you need to turn on the "New Gradebook" for your course see the following guide - How do I manage new features for a course? If you don't see this feature option for your course then please contact Canvas Support at your school for additional assistance. Also note, that per this guide - New Gradebook: FAQ - " cannot switch back to the current Gradebook if you enable late policies or even manually adjust the labels in the Grade Detail Tray. Once you have done one of these two things, the feature option in the course will not allow you to return to the old Gradebook."

Adventurer, thanks for putting this together. I would include in the missing feature slot that the Notes column is no longer sort-able. I know this is a minor thing, but it is one that many of my faculty have come to rely on pretty heavily. There is a feature request for this here - 

I listed my reasons for this in the comments but will place it here as well:

The Reason:

This is an issue for my faculty because there are many times where students are placed in groups based off of clinical sites or by ACI (Adjunct Clinical Instructor). Since there is no way to filter by groups and these grouping are not conformed to the traditional section that a student is registered for, we have the instructors place their name in the notes column beside their students so that the could then sort the grade book and pull all of their students together. This has been a great way to minimize instructor error by helping them identify only their students for grading. However, in the new grade book this option is no longer available.

Every one of my faculty, in training on the new grade book, have asked about this and when it will work like the current one. Unfortunately I can't give them an answer. 

Surveyor, this is fantastic! Thank you so much!

Community Coach
Community Coach, thanks!! I'll make sure to get that added!


Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks! Got that added!

Community Member

Thanks for the "cheat sheet".  I will print it up and use it.  Love the new grade book, the colour coding function (Late, Missing, Excused) is great for a quick look at a student's progress and so easy to use.  Will have to try the other features that you outline as well. 

Learner II

Kona, thanks for all your work putting this together!

I recently posted a feature idea for a small but significant piece of functionality currently missing from the New Gradebook: Because Canvas treats the numeric scores as the "real" grades, and only includes the numeric equivalents for letter grades in API/CSV exports, it is important to continue representing these to instructors in the Gradebook UI to help them better understand how Canvas calculates overall student grades.

Community Member

I dont spot either of these features.  Would hope to get more folks to support these.


Community Coach
Community Coach, I agree that these functions aren't in the new gradebook, but they also aren't in the current gradebook, which is what this comparison is focusing on.


Community Member

I know but thought might be able to reach more  users who might be unaware that the noted features are up for vote.

Adventurer II

New Gradebook is great!  My only wish is the ability to get to Speedgrader in a more efficient way!


I just want to share an update I got from‌ on how to sort the Notes column,

Click on "Notes" at the top of the column and hit the "s" key on your keyboard.

While it works (and I am thankful for the tip), I would still like to see the option to sort via a "kabob" option like all of the other columns. However,I will take the happy when it comes.

Community Coach
Community Coach

Holy cow it worked!! I just tested this in my gradebook and it worked!! 🙂

But yes, having a built in sort like the other columns would be even better!


Thank you for this! 

Is it possible to download all of a student's submissions in one place? This is something our faculty often ask for as they want to be able to view several submissions from the same student at once. We recommend they open SpeedGrader in separate tabs (which new gradebook will make much easier) as a workaround. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

dianelee, as far as I’m aware what you recommend is still the best thing to do if they want to view several submissions for the same student at once. This is actually what I do myself. 


Community Member

Has anyone found a way to change the STATUS of an assignment while in Speedgrader?  For example, When a student submits something a second time after I have graded it, it is marking it LATE, when really it wasn't late, they just fixed their mistakes and resubmitted.  I wish it displayed the status buttons in the Speedgrader and allowed us to make changes without leaving Speedgrader.

Community Coach
Community Coach, I don’t believe there is a way to do this in Speedgrader, but I think it would make for a great feature idea in the Canvas Studio‌. I know I’d vote for it!


Explorer II

Hello ,

Thank you for this comparison chart Smiley Happy 

I am currently using the 'old' Gradebook, but our institution is switching over to the New Gradebook this summer.

I notice that there is no mention of extra credit assignments here. Is there a way to allow for extra credit assignments/quizzes in the New Gradebook? When I Googled "extra credit in New Gradebook Canvas" today, I came across a Canvas discussion which seemed to indicate the New Gradebook does not allow for zero point assignments. Is that correct? Can you offer any clarification?

I use both extra credit quizzes and other (on paper/no submission type) assignments a lot in my course.

In the current (old) Gradebook...

For extra credit quizzes: 1) create quiz with points, 2) change quiz to = zero points after due date, 3) update each student's score in SpeedGrader to get rid of the icon that pops up for each score in the Gradebook when it was changed to zero points

For other extra credit assignments:

I use these for things like paper submissions or presentations/activities that our college asked we encourage students to attend: 1) create an assignment worth zero points, 2) manually enter points directly into the Gradebook (or import with CSV).

Community Coach
Community Coach, I'm not sure where you ended up in your search, but I can 100% confirm that you can use zero point assignments in the new gradebook for extra credit. In fact, I just did this last week for my class. As for the quizzes, that's been kind of wonky for a while - even with the old gradebook - but as far as I've been able to tell, the method you're currently using should still work in the new Gradebook. 

Hope this helps! Kona

Explorer II

Hello ,

Thank you so much for the clarification Smiley Happy

Of course, I wish there were a better way to manage extra credit quizzes in Canvas. But knowing that I can at least continue offering extra credit assignments/quizzes (when going to the new Gradebook this summer) is a big relief!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Absolutely! Glad I could help!

Community Member

In the New Gradebook release page, it says these features aren't yet in the New Gradebook, is that up-to-date or are those now developed?

All functionality with the current Gradebook is included in the New Gradebook with the following exceptions:

Community Coach
Community Coach, thank you for adding these, I'll make sure to update the list!



Hi Kona,

Thanks for this helpful chart.  I have a question about the new grade book and I'm not sure if this is the place to post it or not, but let me give it a go:  I no longer see an option to arrange columns by assignment group.  In your chart above, it says that this is the default arrangement, but that doesn't seem to be the case for one of my classes right now.  It appears to be arranging them by due date.  And when I click on the settings button I don't see the option to arrange by assignment group.  Thanks for any help you can offer.

Community Coach
Community Coach, if you are in the new gradebook and click on "View" and then "Arrange by," you would want to select "Default Order." This will put it in order by assignment group. I normally sort by due date, so I tried selecting this and it did reorder my gradebook by assignment group. If this isn't what you are seeing, then I would put in a ticket with Canvas Support (click the Help link and Report a Problem).

Hope this helps! Kona

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Apologies if I missed this and it has been called out somewhere else but is there any indication of when the New Gradebook functionality will be supported in the Gradebook Individual View?

#newgradebook#turning on new gradebook#organization of assignments and gradebook#individual gradebookNew Gradebook Users Group

Community Team
Community Team

Hi, Maeve,

Our engineering team is working to incorporate all missing functionality as they are able throughout the coming year, and additions will be announced in the release notes.



Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Thanks erinhallmark‌ I guess it will be a case of as and when its done throughout the next year or so then.

Learner II

Thanks‌ for creating such a helpful comparison!

It looks like there is updated information in the New Gradebook: FAQ regarding the missing features:

314353_Missing Features.png

If you have the chance would you be able to update the comparison? We'd like to share your chart with our users, and having the updated feature information would be helpful. 

Thanks again!

Community Coach
Community Coach, yep, I'll try to get that updated shortly. 🙂


Community Coach
Community Coach

Ok, it's been updated!

Learner II

Thank you! Much appreciated.


In the old gradebook, you could click on the speech bubble in the upper right corner of the student grading cell and open a window that is similar to the new grade detail tray. One thing missing is the ability to download the uploaded file from there. I know it is possible from SpeedGrader but it's so many extra clicks to get to SpeedGrader, it would be great if this functionality still existed from the gradebook. 


I would add to the missing features/functionality color differentiation for the assignment groups and total columns.  These used to be in gray, making it much easier to distinguish between the assignment columns and calculating columns.  I have added a feature idea to add this functionality back:  

Community Member

This is our first year using the gradebook portion of Canvas.  In previous years, the gradebook we have used was able to print a missing work report that was generated for all of the courses in which the student was currently enrolled.  This was a huge time saver.  It was easy to print one sheet of paper that listed every assignment currently not submitted.  Canvas does not have this capability and we have to give each other TA rights to see if students in our advisory have their work up to date, and click through each class for each student.  This is not user friendly.  Will such a report be available at some point?  

Community Member

I agree with dianelee‌. The amount of trouble you have to go through to get to the SpeedGrader is insane. It's one of, if not the most important, feature of the Gradebook and you can't even get to it easily. 

Explorer III

I know it's not exactly what you're looking for from an administrator perspective, but I thought I'd just mention that the information is available to the students themselves if they use the List View Dashboard under the Alerts icon. 

Community Member

I would like the option to have templated comments in the "Assignment Comments" area. I currently write my comments there and reuse them often, but have to open an external notepad and copy and paste. I'm aware of the comment templates from saved comments in the graded area, but none in the Assignment Comments area. Will this be included in the new canvas or is it already in the current version and i'm just missing something? 


I like the sound of the new curving options, and am curious if it will accomplish two things currently not available.

- In Speed Grader, it is currently possible to add fudge points to each student individually, but it is not possible to easily give everyone the same amount of fudge points.

- for an offline exam, fudge points are not possible, so if you want to, say give every student 3 points, you have to look at their score and think "hmm, 69 + 3 is 72" and then type a 72 in their cell in the grade book. This is time consuming, and susceptible to error. The ability to give everyone fudge points for offline assignments would greatly simplify this process, speeding it up, and reducing the opportunities for error.

Explorer II ,

I completely agree.

It would be great to have the option of adding X points to an assignment score in the Gradebook for all students at once using the drop down menu you refer to. As I understand it, this is not an option in either version - it's still just the time consuming 'fudge points' option for adding points. Of course, you can export the Gradebook as a CSV file, delete all other assignment columns, add extra points in that file, save it, and then import those changed grades. But, depending on the assignment type, you might also end up with a column full of 'needs regrading' type icons - instead of scores. If so, you end up back in Speedgrader, clicking on 'update scores' for each student - so that the changes scores appear.

Regarding you curving comment...

We are using the New Gradebook at my institution. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I'm not aware of any difference in the functionality for curving assignments between the old vs. new version (other than how you get to it)? 

Community Member


I like most of what I am seeing here.  One thing I don't see is the ability to apply rules to attendance grades.  For students in courses where I have attendance requirements, I have to tell students that the attendance grade in the Canvas grade book is simply the percentage that they were present - it does not represent their attendance grade.  Is the ability to control that element of grades not a part of this upgrade?

Community Member

Again a frustration of inability to create calculated or weighted columns.  Please support this feature by voting to support as noted in my earlier post in this thread.

Community Member

Wow, this is fantastic! I have created one and yours is much better and detailed. Thank you for saving us so much time!

Community Member

Hello! Happy New Year! 

Thank you so much for putting this together!  I am wondering if the default grading calculation in Canvas will still be "Calculate based only on graded assignments".  Students are often confused by their individual grades report because of this default, and I often have to remind them that the grade they see on the individual report is based only on what they did - not on what has been due to date.  For example, if a student only does 4 of the assignments, and misses 3, Canvas will calculate their grade based on what they did rather than what has been due to date. If the student did well on the 4 submitted, they will think they are doing better than they actually are.  "Treat ungraded as 0" has often been suggested as a solution, but then students think they are failing until the end of the semester because they have so many zeroes.

I know this is an issue that has come up many times over the years....  If there is a fix or a setting to have the grades calculated on what's been "due to date" rather than what has been submitted by student, or giving them all zeroes until they submit an assignment, please let me know! 

Thank you!

Explorer III

Hi, If I understand the new feature correctly... in the new gradebook you could enable a Missing assignment policy that would enter a score (e.g. Zero) for assignments once the due date has passed. This will ensure the students are seeing a score that reflects the missing assignments since they will now have actual zeroes entered.

Community Member

Thank you! This is good news!


Hi Kona, Thank you for putting this all together. This is so helpful and a quick guide. It is so easy to assist teaching staff with their queries. 

Learner II

Hi Kona

Excellent work!
Quick remark concerning using colours for grade status: for accessibility reasons it not always useful to use colour to convey meaning - icons would provide a nice addition.

About the Author
Kona Jones is the Director of Online Learning and Faculty Academy Coordinator at Richland Community College in Decatur, IL. She is responsible for the assessment of online courses and initiatives, providing instructional design and pedagogical support to faculty, development of faculty and student technology training materials, and overseeing faculty professional development. She serves as a technology resource for the College as well as an adjunct instructor of statistics. Her particular passion is student retention in online courses and more specifically on assessing how different initiatives can improve student retention. She has a M.S. degree in Quantitative and Cognitive Psychology, Undergraduate degrees in Biology, Psychology, & History, and is ABD in Curriculum & Instruction.