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A better way to give individual grades in Group Assignments

A better way to give individual grades in Group Assignments

(9)

USE CASE: I do a lot of small “group” exercises in the classroom.  I need the ability to grade the submissions as a group (which is there), but I also need the ability to provide individual grades (to students who were absent, etc.)  That functionality is also kind of there.  But as it stands now, I have to grade, then edit the Assignment to allow for individual grades. 

If I try to override a single student's grade in the Gradebook, it assigns that grade to everyone on the team.  There's no way that I have found to give an individual score to a student without editing the Assignment.

But then the Assignment has to stay that way for the rest of the semester.  The problem is that when I copy one course into another, I have to go into each individual assignment and make sure the Individual Grade option is turned off.

Also: when I separate it out into individual scores I THINK it removes the non-submitting team members’ ability to view the submission.  (I haven't found a way to really test this other than having a student show me their interface.  I cannot add "Test Student" into a Group.)

IDEA: It would be great if the SpeedGrader or Gradebook interface could allow me to enter a default grade for the team, but then show a list of team members who I can assign an individual grade to while in SpeedGrader.  That way the assignment stays the same (no editing) but I can assign different grades to individuals (overriding their team grade) in real time.  Or something like that.

19 Comments
hesspe
Community Champion

I'd like to second in particular the second part of the suggestions that allows the instructor to see who are the members of the group even if they are  giving only one grade to the group as a whole.

dhuff
Community Member

To me this is basic, required functionality of an LMS. I was very hopeful with the new grade book that just came out that this feature would be included. Unfortunately it is not.

In classes of 100+ students, group scoring is a life-saver for an instructor's time. But in those same classes of 100+ students, there is almost always at least one group with a non-participating student that needs to receive a lower score than the rest of the group.

It seems similar code already exists in the grade book, where a default grade can be entered automatically for every student, with the option of overwriting existing scores. Please re-purpose and edit this code to allow us to override group scores.

Thanks!

P.S. The best work-around I can think of, for those that must have this feature, is to add a new individual "assignment" such as "Group Work Penalty" where you assign negative points. Make it worth 0 points. In most cases, a student would receive 0, but when needed, you can give a student negative points.

gln103
Community Participant

I have successfully tested a solution to this issue.  To change the assignment grade of a single member of a group:

  1. Make sure the "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually" is NOT selected.
  2. Assign the overall "group" grade"
  3. Go back and select the "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually"
  4. Change the grade of the individual student which you want to have a grade different than the rest of their group
  5. Go back and unselect the "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually" so that, in the future, if you want to assign grades to the entire group, the assignment will do that by default (ex: you copy this assignment into a future semester).

I know it's not elegant, but it works.

Thanks, Gary

RobDitto
Community Champion

Great solution,  @gln103 ! And in New Gradebook, your technique is even easier to do.

rod_swartz
Community Member

Thanks for the workaround but really this is a basic functionality that shouldn't have to be debated! All teams have sluggards that don't pull their weight and the instructor is now has a disincentive for giving students the grade they deserved.  BTW, this has long been available in BlackBoard!

catherinebrower
Community Participant

My sentiments exactly, Rod.  I've only been using Canvas for a few months, and this function drives me a little batty.  Gary's solution may work, but is far from optimal.  I never had this aggravation in Bb, and my tec people don't have a better way around it.

spraguem
Community Participant

I recently switched from Blackboard to Canvas, and I really miss this feature. This is one of several issues with Canvas groups that really need attention.  The other issue is how students join groups. There should be the capability to post a group sign-up page that shows students only groups in the group-set attached to an assignment. If you use a lot of different group sets throughout the semester (like I do), students have difficulty finding the correct group to join in the group interface in People.

spraguem
Community Participant

BTW, there is a proposal for the group sign-up idea I mentioned above.

 https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/12972-group-assignment-self-sign-up-from-submission-page 

michael9
Community Participant

I think what you just wrote -- "a basic functionality that shouldn't have to be debated!" -- applies to about 50% of Canvas at this point. I do wonder if anybody at Canvas has ever had to actually use their product in the classroom.

jlancaster1
Community Member

Gary, thank you for that solution!  It was very helpful, and I was able to switch it back to group grades without altering the other grades for everyone.  Thank you!

bschmidt3
Community Member

This would be really valuable for our team!

hoggardr
Community Member

I completely agree with this. I should not have to switch back and forth between grade individually vs grade group in order to assign grades for group projects.  

merrellk
Community Member

I agree, I think the second part of this idea is really helpful. I do a major group project in my classes. I want to be able to assign the same grade to the whole group and for all of the them to see my comments. However, sometimes a group member may not be deserving of the same grade (ie. based on group feedback, etc.). It would be helpful if I could choose in speed-grader to assign the same grade to the whole group or give a group member/members a different grade.  However, I would still like all students to see the feedback and comments within an assignment, even if one gets a different grade. 

 

I know many of my colleagues in my department would welcome this type of option.

hoggardr
Community Member

I am going to add more to this issue, since I am in the middle of trying to grade group work right now, and Canvas makes doing this a nightmare!

I want to assign the same grade to each member of a group, so I check this option in the assignment.  I am doing this because I want to fill out ONE rubric and have all group members see this.  That's great.  But then, I have some groups where one or more group members did not participate at all, and I want to assign JUST those members zeros.  At this point, I SHOULD be able to go to the gradebook and change that ONE student's grade for this assignment to zero but no...  if I do that, it changes EVERY member's grade to zero.  So I have to:

1) get out of Speed Grader
2) edit the assignment to change the options to assign individual grades
3) go BACK to the grade book and change that one member's grade to zero
4) go BACK to edit the assignment again and change the options BACK to assign the same grade 
5) go BACK to Speed Grader again to resume grading other group's submissions

Then, when I encounter another group with a non participating member, I have to REPEAT THESE SAME STEPS ALL OVER AGAIN.

This is the most ridiculous set up I have ever seen in a course management system -- and because of it, I absolute HATE that my university switched to Canvas!

sharynh
Community Member

@hoggardr  I agree with you that this is a huge oversight in Canvas and should be fixed asap.

b-linn
Community Member

Canvas does not provide the option to grade an individual who misses or does not participate in a group assignment separately in the "This is a Group Assignment" button is clicked and the "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually" is off.    In a recent exercise 6 of the students in the group got 15 points each for their collective work through Speedgrader, one student did not participate and should have got a '0'.  But in the Gradebook when I tried to change the student's grade to a '0' and marked him as 'missing' Gradebook changed the grades of several other students in the group to '0'.  The only solution, I was told, was to click the "Assign grades to students individually" button--but if I did that then I would have to enter the grade individually for every member of the group.    That is adding an unnecessary amount of time and adds to my workload.  Canvas needs to provide in the Group Assignment section the option for instructors to assign a separate grade for 1 individual without having to make each member of the group an individual grade and enter them.  The workload when I shift groups around is unreasonable--and it would a very easy option to provide

b-linn
Community Member

I got shifted over to this group after I posted my comments under Ideas--so I apologize if I look like I am clueless.  But the fact that there are so many of us indicates Canvas needs to do something--and fast

 

sharynh
Community Member

B-linn, just make sure that you do not set up the assignment as individually graded, because this means that each student in the group needs to submit the assignment instead of 1 student submitting. (So why does Canvas think that this is a group assignment?)

See hoggardr's instructions above.

Thinking of the coding changes required of Canvas -- it should not be much.  Right now the code says 'if you update a grade for 1 student, change it for the entire group'.  They only need to change the code to say "update only for this 1 student".

b-linn
Community Member

Thank you for the advice,  I have set up the assignment as Hoggard suggested.  I do hope this gets resolved by Canvas quickly