Allow grades to have zeros with the "Missing" status


Before the latest update, when students didn't submit before the due date it automatically changed the status to "Missing." Then, I could enter a zero and it would not change the status. Recently, when I enter the zero it takes away the missing, changing the status to "None" and I have to add it again manually.

My students have a grace period of 1 week to turn in assignments, however, after the due date I put in a zero so they see some urgency to get it done, because if they don't it affects their grade. However, I would still like it to say "Missing" as a red flag to the student. Please change it back so I can do this, without having to take the time to change the status back to "Missing."

Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open
Community Coach
Community Coach

@Whitmi Have you tried using the gradebook setting to automatically apply a grade of 0 for missing assignments?

This is what I use to automatically assign a 0 for late assignments that are missing.  It doesn't automatically apply the score until after the due date.  Unfortunately, it doesn't automatically apply it to assignments that use an external tool submission type.

I haven't tested it with the latest update, but it may be worth trying to see if this works for you.

Community Member

I just had one of our institutions ask me about this as well. What update cause the missing to go away when a zero is entered? I thought the missing label was established on an actual submission not occurring. 

Community Explorer

@kstepp1 Here is a link to the release notes in which they changed how the missing status works.


This change has also has had negative feedback from our stakeholders as well. When faculty enter a grade the missing status is removed. This can cause issues when students are disputing their grades at the end of the semester. This particularly complicates assignments in which in-person submissions are accepted. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

I tried out my suggestion in a test course to confirm it still works with the latest update. 

When the Gradebook settings are configured to provide a default grade for missing, it will use that grade when an assignment is marked as missing.  Thus, an assignment only needs to be marked as missing for it to receive the default grade for missing assignments. 

Also, assignments that require an online submission in Canvas (not an external tool) will automatically be set to missing once the due date has past and it will apply the default grade that has been set for the gradebook.

By using this approach, you only need to mark an assignment as missing to also load in a grade for it automatically.  You will no longer need to enter a grade for missing and it won't remove the missing label when it automatically applies the default grade.

Community Member


Community Explorer

I have considered using the "Automatically apply grade for missing submissions" and set the grade for missing submissions as 0%. The reason that I haven't used that tool this year is that students are enrolled in our classes at any time. Each time a new student is enrolled all of the assignments with a due date that has passed are scored as zero in the grade book, which makes a lot of work for me again. With that policy enabled, the newly enrolled students will have a ton of zeroes defaulted to their assignment grades and I'm back to the same issue as before, having to go in and individually change the scores on assignments. I do excuse some of those assignments and add in scores to other assignments to reflect their transfer grade. It seems like my level of customization and differentiation is somewhat compromised by the policy as it is written. Not to mention, but I do have some external tool assignments and those aren't included in the policy. Overall, the best and most consistent patch for the issues that I see with enrollment and grading has been the "Missing" status the way it was before the Jan 15, 2022 update.

Community Explorer

Recently a feature was changed that removed the missing status if a teacher manually entered a grade. I would like for part of this feature to be changed- if a teacher enters a 0 either manually or as a default grade, because the assignment is truly missing, I would like the missing status to stay. 

It is a catch-22, if I type in a 0 I need to manually change the status to missing. If I leave the missing status without inputting a 0, then the grade doesn't reflect the missing work.

Community Novice

When I enter a missing grade for an assignment (such as a zero), the "Missing" button disappears. I have to re-set the "Missing" designation manually, and it seems like that often does not "stick." This is very frustrating.

Likewise with the "Late" button. I would like for these buttons to remain automatically after entering a score, with the option to remove the button manually. (That's the way it was before.)

Thank you!

Community Explorer

I like the idea of Canvas removing the Missing indicator when a grade is entered.  Would it be possible for that indicator to stay when a zero is entered?  It is a pain in the behind to add zeroes and the Missing indicator if there are several that have that assignment missing.

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

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