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Allow admins to control when grades lock in concluded grading periods

Allow admins to control when grades lock in concluded grading periods

  This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas


  Idea will be open for vote Wed. August 5, 2015 - Wed. November 4, 2015  Learn more about voting...

We would like to use the Term Gradebook feature recently added to Canvas. It would allow us to stay in a single course for the entire school year, allowing us to keep learning mastery data in tact, while still giving us the ability to report grades at the end of each term. In its current form, faculty are locked out of editing grades when the grading period ends. This is problematic for our institution. We live on a trimester schedule where a term might end on a Friday, and the next trimester would start on a Monday or Tuesday. Our faculty are grading exams and papers for at least a week into the next Trimester, sometimes longer. Faculty need access to grades from a prior period, even if that period is concluded.


My feature request/idea is this: separate locking down of grades from the end of the grading period and put it in control of the admins. Admins can either set a separate "lock down date," flip a switch manually, or not lock down grades at all. This would greatly improve this feature for institutions like ours, who want flexibility, as well as those who need secure grades passed to their SIS.




  Comments from Instructure


For more information, please read through the Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-10-08)
Community Member and I will absolutely be voting/commenting on this feature idea as soon as it is open!

We were so excited to implement the multiple grading periods feature for the 2015-16 school year.  Unfortunately, without the ability to set a "lock down date" in addition to the end date for the grading period (to give teachers time to complete grading), we will not be able to turn this on as a feature option.  We have been trying to come up with a work-around so that we don't have to crush the dreams of so many teachers who were completely ecstatic about this much-anticipated feature.

In the Production Release notes for 7/18/15 there is a note: "Grades in prior grading periods can be edited by users with admin-level permissions."

I am not sure what permissions exactly control this access, but perhaps we could create a special account/sub-account role that we would apply to all teachers in order to grant them editing access after the grading period is concluded?  We are currently not integrated with our SIS, but I understand that this could be a problematic work-around for anyone who is using an integration since there wouldn't be an easy way to turn these permissions on/off throughout the year. 

If anyone has other suggestions please let us know!

I would agree that without a work-around, or (even better) a fix, this feature will not be functional for most K12 schools unless each of the grading periods is followed by a break during which time teachers can complete grading and no new assignments are due.

Thanks for starting this conversation!

Community Member, looks like we're in exactly the same boat. Faculty at our school were excited about the possibility of working within a single course for the entire year. Now I have to sheepishly tell them at an all faculty meeting that we can't use this feature after all.

I am very curious if this affects other K-12 institutions the way it does ours. I hope for their faculty's sake that their admins have read the release notes. I can see a nightmare situation where they get locked out of editing their grades at the end of the first term. That would certainly make for a stressful week for all parties involved.

Community Member

Deactivated user​ and Deactivated user​

Thoughts on this feature request based on what we discussed over the phone?

Community Team
Community Team

This idea is now open for voting.


Wow - that is a total show stopper for us. 

But there is a second problem as well (I think).

It appears that the grade weighting groups are universal across grading periods.  This is also a big problem for us.  Many teachers change the weight of assignment categories by term.  For example:


Homework 40%

Tests 30%

Papers 30%


Homework 30%

Tests  25%

Papers 25%

Midterm 20%


Homework 30%

Tests 20%

Papers 20%

Research Project 30%


Homework 20%

Tests 20%

Papers 30%

Final Exam 20%

These are the work arounds I can think of:

1)  Use the same categories all year (not viable)

2)  Create different categories and zero out unused:

     Q1 Homework = 40% of grade until end of Q1 but then is worth zero percent after that.

The big problem with the second solution is that I think the grade book wouldn't calculate the old grades correctly once the category was zeroed out.

This issue combined with the above makes the feature unusable for us.  What a major disappointment.  What is really discouraging is that having real teachers use the new feature should have revealed these limitations right away.  We sat down to look at it today and came up with both complaints in a manner of 10 minutes.

Could someone from Canvas please respond with some news on the likelihood of a fix.  Otherwise this feature is DOA.


Oh - just saw that this is supposed to be in beta in July.  Waiting for top level admin of our instance to check and see if it's there. 

That's a relief!  Sorry for the rant - but you still need to fix the problem posted at the top of this thread for this to be viable!


Community Member

Hi Samuel,

The feature is actually in production now, but your account admin will have to turn it on.

We ran across a similar problem last year with respect to the weighted categories.  I agree that this would be an added bonus if it was somehow tied in to the Multiple Grading Periods feature!

Some of our teachers break down the average for each quarter/marking period into groups (Homework, Tests, Papers, etc.), and some of our teachers use a point-based grading scheme without the categories.  Regardless of the method that teachers use, the final average for each quarter/marking period is worth 22% of the year-end average, and the final exam is worth 12%.

Here are the work arounds that we used last year for both methods:

Hopefully this helps a little!  Let me know if you have questions about these instructions.

Community Member


The only workaround we have come up with so far is to have teachers create the grading periods at the course-level, which will give them access to edit grades after the end date of the grading period.  We were also thinking that we might be able to distribute the grading periods via a "template course" with the desired grading periods and then have the teachers import the course (or just the course settings) to avoid having the teachers manually create the grading periods for each individual course. 

However, I have tried the import a variety of ways (i.e. copy a Canvas course, import Canvas export package, and import from Commons) and each time I get this error: "Couldn't find account grading standard for the course." 

I recently posed this question to the Community​ How to import course-level grading schemes and grading periods?​, and am waiting to see if anyone has suggestions.  I will let you know what I hear back!

Community Member


We were able to load the grading periods at the account level and it automatically populated their courses with the same periods. This doesn't solve our issue with this feature though. We need the grades accessible and editable for at least a week after the next grading period begins. It is impossible for our faculty to have their grading complete prior to the beginning of the next term. The "lock down" date has to be treated as separate from the end of the grading period. The automatic lock out from faculty makes multiple grading periods a broken feature for our institution, and I'm willing to guess a large number of others.

Community Member

In reading your post again, can you clarify - Your teacher's were not, in fact, locked out of their grades when they created their own grading periods at the course level?