Assignments within weighted groups treated with equal value regardless of points

(23)
Please excuse the verbose title.

 

Our faculty want the option to have assignments within an assignment group to be given the same weight even if they are graded on different point values.

 

For example:

 

Assignment Group = Homework  25% of final grade

 

Homework 1 10 pts

Homework 2 15 pts

Homework 3 10 pts

 

etc.

 

Currently, the homework #2 which is worth 15 points will have a larger influence over the grade than homeworks 1 or 3. We can encourage faculty to grade all assignments within a group on the same point-value scale, but there are 3,000 of them and four of us. Additionally, our previous LMS, Blackboard, allowed the user to opt to weigh all of the assignments WITHIN a group equally. Faculty are very upset by this lack in functionality ESPECIALLY when they become aware of the miscalculation right before final grades are due.

 

Thanks,

 

-Lea

77 Comments
lse224
Community Champion

Yes. It's about an option. I used that language in the feature request to make sure that people understood we don't want to take away any features but just add an option. Thanks for the support!

d_mcgillivray
New Member

I think like many others in this thread I am endorsing a slightly different idea than the original proposal - the idea that we can have separately "this assignment is marked out of" and "this assignment is worth", which would allow equal or unequal weighting but most importantly would give us the flexibility to mark assignments however seems convenient without worrying about how that will affect the weighting of that assignment.

Hopefully this will come through in the consideration phase!

sean_flaherty
Community Participant

So happy to see this idea reach 100 votes!  There have been so many other similar requests in the past that always fell a little (or a lot) short.  I'm optimistic that the developers will consider what has been asked in each of those requests and incorporate the most inclusive option to address what the Canvas users are asking for.

As I've written several times and Duncan has recently reiterated, my opinion would be that this would be remedied most simply by having the ability to clearly and separately define two values for any assignment; out of how many points the assignment was graded, and how many points you'd like the assignment to be worth in the grade calculation.

Fingers crossed this functionality will eventually find its way into my Canvas gradebook.

Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

 @sean_flaherty ​, I agree with you. I hope that if this feature idea goes forward into the implementation stage this related idea (currently open for voting!) will be taken into consideration alongside it:

lse224
Community Champion

Yay! I'm so excited. I literally threw my arms up in the air like I was signaling a touchdown.

Thanks, Community!

And, yes. I want Canvas to think about all of the related feature requests. The ones that  @sean_flaherty ​ mentioned and the one that was created a few days ago.

s_eberhard
New Member

A simple idea we had in our in-house built system since 1995 to allow maximum flexibility for our staff.

Each assessment has the "Mark out of" and "Weighting" options, allowing staff to decide how the points would be allocated to suit their marking and rubrics; and what this assessment is worth for the overall course work/assessments.

Here's a screenshot if that helps... (you can ignore other options for this feature request)

NewActivities.PNG

p_bier
New Member

Now that we have moved to Canvas from our old LMS, many staff are going to miss the ability to specify a "Mark out of" and a "Weighting".  It is a simple idea but implementing it in Canvas would save a huge amount of staff time (and make for more transparency for students too).

cwruck
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hey folks,

This is actually on my dream list of things to do. Nested weighting is something I hear from a lot of clients who have used other LMSes and I can understand how people may have grown accustomed to it. I'm not sure this will make the list of highest priorities in the immediate future, but it is something we will consider long term.

P.S. To be clear... the lack of custom weighting of individual assignments within an assignment group does not mean that the total grade is "miscalculated". I can understand that instructors that are moving from a system that allowed custom weighting of individual assignments within an assignment group may perceive this to be a "miscalculation" because it's calculating differently than it did when they were adding custom weights to individual assignments in the past, but:

  1. The calculation is working as intended and is not incorrect.
  2. The fact that custom weights were not entered on each assignment in Canvas should indicate that custom weighting of individual assignments isn't happening. So I'm not sure I understand how it would be perceived as a "miscalculation" at the end of a semester?
kona
Coach Emeritus

Yep, that's pretty much what I said on this blog - Understanding how grades are calculated when using Assignment Groups. I know it might be confusing to some, but it actually is calculating the way it is intended to.

lse224
Community Champion

We always understood that was how it was designed to work which is why I proposed it as a feature request instead of a bug report. The issue is that this is one of two ways that can be interpreted, and we can't expect all faculty to read the entire guide, and a product designed to be intuitive shouldn't require it. Assuming that all faculty will think that the weighting will work the way that the developers decided it should isn't inclusive enough for the hundreds of thousands of Canvas users. There are two ways to think about weighting within groups. Canvas chose one. We get many complaints about the inflexibility of the gradebook and hoped that this would be one step into giving our professors the freedom and autonomy that Canvas aspires to.

Custom weighting is going beyond the original feature request. Our hope was that we could just have two options, the way it currently works and the option to consider the scores as percents instead of points and give them equal weight within a group. It's a miscalculation because there are two ways to think about this and nowhere in the UI is it indicated that this is how weighting works. Both the way that it currently works and the percent average version are completely reasonable assumptions.

*edited for grammar

Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

 @b_figueira , this feature idea has been archived because it surpassed the necessary vote total to move forward to the next stage, and received a comment from the product team in April 2016 indicating that it is on the longer-term roadmap.

emeryki
Community Member

YES YES YES!!  Please make this happen 🙂  it is a huge time sink to convert each assignment grade into a percent before I add them to the grade book.  I have many assignments from students' lab manual that are all worth different point values.  Would love for this to get moved to the 'Short-term roadmap'.   Thanks!

jedington
New Member

I would like to add my support to this.  As a user or MyMathLab, this would be very helpful. I know that if I create assignments strictly in Canvas, I can weight each problem in a certain way, but it would be even easier just to allow us the option of having all assignments equally weighted, or more importantly, allow us to assign the weight of the assignments inside of category weighting. 
I for one hope this 'longer-term roadmap' has a fastlane!

kriles
New Member

This discussion is ridiculous. Just add the feature. If your infrastructure is too inflexible to handle customized weighting, then I will recommend to the University of Michigan administration that we consider other vendors. We had a system in place for years called Ctools that supported this capability. When we upgrade our software, we are supposed to get more options, not fewer. This is not rocket science - it's software. Just do it and stop fiddling around with silly voting systems.

Keith Riles

Professor of Physics

University of Michigan

brown_6316
New Member

I am with you Keith.  This whole discussion is a waste of time.  Canvas staff:  Get it into the software NOW!  This was a simple radio bottom in our old LMS.  Why should a software program control how many points my assignments and assessments should be for my courses?  This is absurd.  My "points" are dictated by how I would like to grade "individual" assignments, they have no relevance to separate assignments.  My syllabus dictates the category weightings for the entire course.  Each category has multiple items within it that are to be EQUALLY weighted, generally speaking.  Add customized weighting to your software now before we throw it away.  Very unhappy with this lack of functionality...

Michael W. Brown

Lecturer , Construction Management Program

The Ohio State University

kriles
New Member

Thanks, Michael. It's hard to believe a professional software company

is giving its users such a runaround. This request has been made by others

at least as early as January 2016 from what I saw on the forum.

Best,

Keith

On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 10:25 AM, brown.6316@osu.edu <instructure@jiveon.com

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
  Idea is currently in Product Radar Learn more about this stage...
kriles
New Member

I clicked to learn more about Product Radar and concluded from it that Canvas is in trouble. The idea of allowing flexible weights has been around since at least as early as late 2015, yet the code developers apparently find this request too daunting to take on and won't promise to take it on anytime soon. As someone who writes computer programs as part of my research, I find this situation to be pretty pathetic. If I owned stock in Canvas, I would sell it. Unfortunately, my university has apparently committed itself (for now) to a company that has prematurely ossified.

hjackson1
New Member

This is a feature that I DESPERATELY miss from my previous LMS (D2L). It creates a large amount of additional work for me to convert all assignments to be worth the same number of points.

snelson6
Community Contributor

 @mevans1 ‌  @tcrandall ‌  @eoneill ‌ I think that this is something that Relay would want. I encourage you all to check it out and add your votes if you agree!