Add Assignment Columns Directly in Gradebook

  Idea open for vote Wed. May 4, 2016 - Wed. August 3, 2016  Learn more about voting...


A useful tool for instructors in Canvas is to have the ability to quickly add assignment columns in the Gradebook section instead of having to go to Assignments or Calendar.

For example, the Gradebook could have a +Column button. The +Column button in the Gradebook could ask you two basic questions:

  • Assignment Name
  • Point Value

Instructors could quickly create assignments this way and input grades immediately. This would save some time and effort for those who need to create Placeholder Assignments but do not want to go back and forth between Assignments or Calendar and the Gradebook.




  Comments from Instructure


From Christi Wruck

We have thrown this idea around several times. Currently, we do not have plans do this at this time. The goal of Canvas is to be a full teaching and learning system, and if we add the ability to add assignments, and then discussions, and then quizzes, and then modules, and then assignment groups and then... to the gradebook, we are at risk of becoming a gradebook system instead of a Learning Management System.

Community Champion

Awesome Jeffrey!

I actually recommended that trick to a faculty member in the Community last week! It really does work well. Sharp faculty member you have on board.


Community Participant

Please add this feature!!! It would be very beneficial for our instructors.

Community Champion

I vote for Linda.

Community Champion

Yeppers... I have a group for Discussion/ Participation and have access to add elements as necessary.  When I first happened upon the assignment type of 'no submission' I was a little puzzled as to the purpose but quickly realized the utility.

I wonder how many of us use a rubric for the in class participation.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

 @Jeff_F , I don't use a rubric for in-class participation, but I do use a rubric to measure discussion participation in my online classes, which I've positioned as a course-long extra credit activity (see Extra credit using weighted assignment groups.​)...and this conversation has me thinking that I might now enable the "Do not count this assignment towards the final grade" setting until the end of the semester, at which point I can disable that checkbox and change the weighting of the extra credit group, as explained in the document.

This would allow me to calculate the grade monthly, using the rubric. I wouldn't have to mute it, students could see how they're doing, and would know that they will see the grade impact at the end of the semester.

And the good news is that I can do this without the need for a new feature. Smiley Happy

Community Contributor


I totally agree that if adding at the grade book area, the assignment must be created automatically even if it i a link back the assignment creation area.  All pertinent areas must be completed for the assignment and not just a cursory covering.  This can cause many problems and most users might not see the issues it can cause, but just like the idea. 

Community Novice

I honestly think this is a good idea. I know it would help me and others. Yes, I know one can create an assignment that isn't really an assignment, but that's confusing to some. While this could create problems, the benefit outweighs the risks.

Community Coach
Community Coach

I concur.  Having worked with three prior LMS's at two institutions, I like the simplicity and automation of the current gradebook setup.  This would be a good feature for IDs and well versed faculty, but I can also see myself spending long hours helping professors clean up their courses (or worse, just walking away from Canvas altogether since they can't figure out "this computer thing"). 

Community Champion

 @kmeeusen  -  can you share more details on why you suggest avoiding Attendance/ Roll call?

Community Novice

Fine...I understand the desire to create gradebook columns through the Assignment tool, but at least give us the ability to add a text entry column for final grades.  Having to assign a score to a letter grade entry is, for lack of a better word, STUPID.  My letter grades now display like   B+/0 which is very confusing.

Community Contributor


This has been an interesting discussion and being an off and on software developer I can relate to the problem of trying to pile code on top of code in midstream.

I use the "Socratic Method" in my introductory physics class and quite often a particular section will veer off onto a tangential, but relevant topic / activity and because of that my sections quite often have different total points than the original syllabus delicti and I have always just "added in another column".

Speaking to that end I found the following post to be efficacious and did a thumbs up for the OP.

Michela, there's no reason you can't just add these two things with a grade to the gradebook. You just need to add it via the "Assignment Index Page."


1. Go to Assignments page (on the left navigational link).

2. Go to the assignment group you'd like to add your final participation grade or e-workbook grade and click the "+" button.

3. On the box that pops up leave the type as "Assignment," give it a name (ex: Participation grade), due date (optional), and the number of points the assignment is worth. Click "Save & Publish."

4. Go to your gradebook (Grades on the left navigational link) and you'll see your new Assignment listed and you'll be able to enter in the total points earned.


Hope this helps!

Thanks to Michela. Smiley Happy

James Sheldon