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Non-Graded Assignments: How They are Seen by Students and Faculty

Community Member
23 12 5,311

The newly-introduced feature of Final Grade Exclusion in the August 6, 2016 Release Notes prompted me to create a table that illustrates what faculty and students will see not only with the new feature, but with the existing features of creating various non-graded assignments.  With a bit of prompting from the great stefaniesanders to create this document in a group after my comments in the Release Notes, the table below shows the differences between making an assignment worth 0 points, making an assignment not graded, and (last but not least!) the new ability of not counting towards the final grade.

I have also added a Word document as an attachment at the end, which you are welcome to use within your own documentation for faculty. It (barely) fits onto one page.  Corrections/suggested changes are always welcome!  In fact, it was thanks to the (also great!) erinhallmark for guiding me to the correct information in the last column (the To Do list), as originally suggested by

Update - November 1, 2016

Courtesy of the Production Release on October 29, 2016, ALL assignments with a due date will now appear on the student's To Do list.  The table below has been updated accordingly.  (Not the attached document--yet!)

Update - November 26, 2018

Minor updates made to comments, and I finally created a new version of the document, below.

Type of Assignment and other Details

Does it appear as a Gradebook column (for instructor)?

Does it appear on the Syllabus page (for students)?

Is it listed on the Assignments page (for students)?

Will it appear on student's To Do list for the class?

Worth 0 points with Display Grade as set to points

Yes, but any score other than 0 would essentially count as extra credit towards the student's final grade. Comments can be added.


Yes, with points listed as -/0 pts

Yes; all assignments with a due date will appear on the To Do list.

Worth 0 points with Display Grade as set to Not Graded

No; therefore, any comments will not be easily seen since it will not be listed in the student's view of Grades, either.  (Interestingly, assignment is still accessible via the SpeedGrader on the Assignments page, so a Comment could conceivably be left that is sent to student's Inbox IF the student looks under the "Submission Comments" drop-down menu rather than the default Inbox drop-down.  This is not recommended, however!)


Yes, with nothing listed in the points area on the Assignments landing page. If student clicks on the assignment itself from the Assignments page, they will see Points: None.

Yes; all assignments with a due date will appear on the To Do list.

Worth xx points with Display Grade as set to points, but with checkbox for Do not count this assignment towards the final grade enabled

Yes, but any score entered would not count. Student will see any point value, but with a "warning" icon next to it.  Clicking on the warning icon in Grades will show the message "This assignment does not count toward the final grade," but they must click on that icon to see that message. Any comments left by instructor CAN be viewed by the student, including rubric comments, if any.


Yes, and if points were given it will be listed at full value:  -/15 pts, for example. Student must click on assignment to see the message that it is not counted towards the final grade.

Yes; all assignments with a due date will appear on the To Do list. (File upload or not.)

Last edit: 11/26/2018-3:30 p.m. CST

Community Coach
Community Coach

Great resource! Thank you for sharing this with the Community!!

Community Team
Community Team

Thank you,, for taking the time to work all of this out and for presenting it in such a straightforward fashion.

Community Member

I love this. But when I have time, I want to compare these scenarios with two others:

1. Excusing assignments in the gradebook

2. Placing a graded assignment in a 0% weighted assignment group (which seems to be our faculty's preferred way of making things not count up until this point...)

Community Member

Thanks, Tracey!  Regarding number 1, everything should behave as normal since (in theory) an assignment would only be excused for one or two students.  When I played around with that feature when it was first introduced, the EX behaves essentially the same way as a dash in the gradebook does--i.e., it counts neither for nor against the total.

I believe the same would be true for number 2.  If it is worth points, the student would see everything, but it just would not count towards the grade.  That's interesting that's what your faculty do; I think ours tend to opt for either "ungraded" or 0 points from the get-go.

I'm starting to think that one of the best things with this new checkbox is that faculty can create assignments for drafts, and then students would be able to continue to see all of the comments in crocodoc.  One of the complaints about crocodoc, as you know, is that once students resubmit an assignment they can no longer view the faculty member's comments on it.  There are other work-arounds to that, to be sure, but it's certainly one that I think the higher ed folks, especially, may like.  So they can create a Draft One, Draft Two assignment and even "grade" it against a rubric, but it would not count.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Thank you for this write up.  I was just yesterday providing a webinar to one of our institutions and I was able to show them the "exclude from final grade" feature.  It was a perfect solution for what they were looking for - which was a way to provide a summative construct assessment for purely feedback purposes.  This works because they needed to do this in quiz format and not survey format.  This way the professors can provide feedback for each m/c response (i.e. quiz) but still not displaying the quiz in the gradebook. 

Community Member

Thank you for the nice comment, snufer​, though I fear this feature may not be helpful in this case, because online quizzes are not among the items this applies to.   The release notes in question had this note under this feature:

Note: This feature is only available in assignments; it does not apply to graded discussions or quizzes.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Good grief, you are absolutely right. The option that they were actually looking for was to have a graded exam where they simply receive credit based on their participating with the assignment.  So we went with graded survey. 


But then they also wanted to provide individual feedback for response items.  So I think I recommended they set up a blank assignment for the survey where the professor could manually put in the points, and then the quiz itself would be a practice quiz.  A little bit of a workaround, but it seemed like the best solution for them. 


Hi All, stefaniesanders This seems to be a very useful document even though it was written in 2016 and I have drawn it to the attention of staff using Canvas. Can anyone tell me if the information in the table is still correct in 2018 and if there is any updated information that should be included in this table?


Community Member

This is on me,‌! I admit I have not been good about keeping some of my own contributions updated.  I'll have to go through this again. The trickiest one for me to test is the "To Do" list, though I have a few phony student accounts I can use for that.  I think this is still mostly accurate; I can say that with 99.9% confidence for the first three columns. But something tells me an update in the past led me to think to myself that I'd have to check it against this document....and of course, I promptly forgot to do so!  Hopefully I'll find some time over the next month to check this, though admittedly the next few weeks are pretty busy.

Community Member

Thank you again for the "reminder,"‌! Indeed, there have not been any major changes, but I updated a few words in the document and finally updated the accompanying Word document, as well, that you are welcome to download and adapt as you see fit.

Learner Thanks very much for updating this table. It is very useful having all the information in one place.

Learner II

I would like to add an optional assignment that does not count to the final grade.  But I don't want a "late" marker if students skip it.  Will one of the options above allow me to skip the "late" marker?