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Assignments within weighted groups treated with equal value regardless of points

Assignments within weighted groups treated with equal value regardless of points

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




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.





Community Member

Hi all,

Has anything changed here?  Has Canvas made any changes to this?  I want my Canvas Gradebook to be like an Excel spreadsheet.  We should be able to calculate an assignment group average by making the calculation with the displayed averages!  At least give us the option to do that, for crying out loud?  Any progress???

Community Member

I cannot believe that Canvas doesn't provide this very basic function, which is how most people grade. Blackboard does this by default.

If I'm going to have 10 questions on one quiz and 13 on the next, it's ridiculous to expect me to calculate how many points each question needs to be worth so that the two quizzes are worth the same number of points. Some chapters in the book are longer than others, so I'm not going to have the same number of questions on every quiz, either. If I'm displaying grades as percentages, that means I want those percentages used in all calculations based on that grade!

Community Member

The reason Canvas doesn't have this feature is because they don't want it.  I can't believe Canvas Programmers are dumber than Blackboard Programers.  Nope.  Somebody decided it cost too much money.  

Community Member

Most of us have categories of different weights: Quizzes, Exams, Homework, etc.

Within each category items are automatically weighted differently according to the number of points.  This is not a problem if you make everything the same number of points (100 for example).  However, when there are quizzes of differing point values, they are weighted within the category according to their point values.  A button to click that would allow us to weight all items in a category equally would prevent the need to be so meticulous with the number of points in an assignment.  This is essentially calculating the average percent rather than the average points in a category.  

I want to assess average level of mastery of weekly content, not average number of questions answered correctly.  Some concepts require more questions to assess mastery and thus the need for varying point totals.


Item with in a categoryCurrent SituationProposed Option
Quiz 135/40  (87.5%)35/40  (87.5%)
Quiz 2  45/75   (60%)45/75   (60%)

Quiz 3

19/20   (95%)19/20   (95%)
Quiz 4 28/30   (93%)28/30   (93%)
Quiz 5:35/50   (70%)35/50   (70%
Average score to be given the assigned category weight.162/215  GRADE = 75%405.5/500 GRADE = 81%
 This shows the student mastered 75% of the questions asked.This can show the student mastered 81% of the objectives tested (even though some objectives may have had more questions).


The option could be achieved two ways: 

  • A toggle to opt for assignments weighted equally in a category.
  • An option in the assignments to RECORD, not just display the percent.
Community Member

I am adding my voice to this list so the list gets longer and hopefully Canvas notices this.  Mastering one topic may take more work/evidence than mastering another.  Homework assignments may not contain the same number of questions but some may still wan to weight each assignment equally.  Just as it matters to the overall grade which way one does this, it also matters when the instructor is trying to drop a few low scores.  If the assignments are being weighted equally, the scores that are dropped will be different than if the assignments are weighted proportionally.    

As I look through this thread, it seems like this has been a topic of conversation for nearly 5 YEARS.  Does that not warrant a change?

Has anyone found a work-around? 


Community Member

I agree that Canvas needs this option. We are using Canvas as well as Ascender for grades, I want to be able to match my grades in my gradebook in Ascender as well as Canvas for my remote students, but this do not allow for it. Canvas needs this option in order for my grades to match correctly. 

Community Member

I will add my voice to this much needed feature. I support faculty that are very frustrated to put work into this with everything else they have to do and I concur. It is a feature in other LMS' and would like to see this on the roadmap ASAP.

Community Participant

This is to add my voice for this feature as well, for what its worth.

@kboyke : A workaround is suggested here :

I do not find it very workable. I have 43 assessments in a category. As per the official suggestion in the above thread, I will have to create 43 assignment groups, one for each assessment.

What I am doing is to export everything to a Google Sheet where I apply custom formulas. Of course, writing a formula to span 43 assessments is quite cumbersome. So I would not recommend this.I am just doing this out of desperation as Canvas does not offer a way and I have to submit my grades.

Community Member

Please add a feature that allows for the individual assignments in a Group to be weighted equally instead of by their point totals.  This can be in the place where you assign weightings to different groups.  Just add a box in there next to each group that can either be checked or not and has language such as:

"Weight items within the group equally"

The use of this is the following:  Suppose that I want to have 4 in class exams, drop the lowest of the 4 scores, and then weight the remaining exams as 20% each.  However, the exams have different point totals due to different total numbers problems on the different exams.  To accomplish this I would create a category "Exams", and select the feature "Weight items equally" (that the programmers should EASILY be able to add) and also select to drop the lowest score.  Then, I weight the column as 60% of the Total.  Currently, there is no easy way to accomplish this, and it takes way more work than should be necessary for the user.

Blackboard and other of your competitors include this basic feature.

Community Member

Just to add my cents: I agree and want even weighting within assignment categories regardless of point values.

And if I can't have that, I want the option to restrict students from viewing their grade totals, because the picture Canvas gives them is not accurate.

Community Participant

This conversation has been going on for five years yet nothing has been resolved.  Again today I posted a comment for Canvas to offer even the simple feature of letting instructors choose points to grade a category thus allowing different weighting to assignments in that category, or choose percentage which would allow instructor to equally weight the category assignments by these assignments being treated as percentages.  This aligns with what "bentont" described above in their table (repeated below). 

My response from Canvas was the usual: "Thanks for sharing!  Here are some similar topics.  We encourage you to add your comments there."  I ask why?  Rarely does anything get resolved.  Blackboard and even ANGEL allowed for this flexibility.  I am getting tired of the rinse/repeat action of Canvas without anything changing.

Item with in a category Current Situation Proposed Option
Quiz 1 35/40  (87.5%) 35/40  (87.5%)
Quiz 2   45/75   (60%) 45/75   (60%)

Quiz 3

19/20   (95%) 19/20   (95%)
Quiz 4  28/30   (93%) 28/30   (93%)
Quiz 5: 35/50   (70%) 35/50   (70%
Average score to be given the assigned category weight. 162/215  GRADE = 75% 405.5/500 GRADE = 81%
  This shows the student mastered 75% of the questions asked. This can show the student mastered 81% of the objectives tested (even though some objectives may have had more questions).