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Add Assignment Columns Directly in Gradebook

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 Team
Community Team

Hello Deactivated user​,

Thank you for coming and submitting this feature idea.  It has been suggested and voted on previously but failed to get enough votes to move forward in the process.  It that vote a few people voiced opposition to the idea on the premise that it would introduce unnecessary complexity while others said that faculty members are used to having this functionality in other systems.

This idea will open for vote with the next cohort on May 4th.

Community Member

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the email. I think you’ve got the wrong person. Similar names but not the same. You might want to get in touch with the original author instead.

Best wishes,


Community Team
Community Team

Oops!  Sorry Deactivated user​

My message above was meant for you.



Community Team
Community Team

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. May 4, 2016 - Wed. August 3, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!

Community Member

Yes, this is an excellent idea.  Since I will use the grade book for my onsite classes as well as the online ones, it will facilitate the process of setting up the grade book since I do not create modules for the assignments for the onsite classes.


No....this caused so many headaches in our previous LMS!  Unless creating a column directly in the grade book will also create the assignment under assignments, then this is a BIG NO!  Otherwise, weighted grades will be all messed up and faculty are likely to have duplicate columns in their grade book for the same assignment.

I get that for a class that isn't having students submit their work electronically on Canvas, that creating assignments takes a few more clicks than just creating a column would, but it really isn't that bad and the current workflow actually promotes better use of the LMS features, I think.

Community Team
Community Team

I was about to type the same response, Linda.  Thank you.  To give another ANGLE on this issue, when I was an admin of a different system where you could have assignment dropboxes not necessarily reflected in the gradebook and grade book assignments with no corresponding dropbox it created more hassle by far than the utility of not having to jump over to assignments to create them there.

Community Member

Totally agree. This is an idea that seems good on the surface, but will lead to confusion and headaches in practice. It is not difficult to create a basic assignment in Canvas.

Community Coach
Community Coach


I strongly agree with you. If a gradebook entry is automatically created when you create graded content in Canvas, why would anybody want to go into the gradebook to create an assignment?

I actually created all my graded content from within Modules as I create my module content. I find this so simple that I can see no need to do otherwise.

As  the Canvas admin on our campus I already experience too many support issues around extra and forgotten assignments creating considerable confusion for both students and faculty. I cannot imaging voting for a feature that I feel would only make it worse.


Community Member

I agree with some of the previous comments. This ability caused issues in a previous LMS for which I ran our training program. When assignments and columns in the gradebook can be created separately, this creates the potential for there to be a mismatch between the assignments and the grades in the gradebook. That means that when you're building your course you have to check and re-check to make sure that the assignments and their corresponding gradebook columns match up. As other said, this can create a lot of headaches and, for us, led to a lot of support issues where there were mismatches. When gradebook columns and assignments are linked together, this issue is avoided completely.

It sounds like the reasoning here is to be able to create placeholder assignments quickly, but I agree with what was said above, that assignments do not take very long to create. If folks are pushing for a button to create items in the gradebook directly, I think that could be a helpful feature, but when that column is created it should create a corresponding assignment, and could even pop up a window that would allow you to put some particulars about that assignment right there in the gradebook so that assignments can be created quickly.