Change Default Grading Scheme


So there is a default Grading Scheme which is set by Canvas.  Yet we cannot change that to match our SIS??  This is preposterous thinking!  We'd like to be able to change the default grading scheme so that our users do not have to go into each one of their courses and select the option to use our own grading scheme.

Coach Emeritus

Hi  @kdecamp ‌

You can most certainly set your own grading schemes in Canvas, including an account level grading scheme that your faculty can choose. We have never done this at our school, so I am uncertain if you can make it your default scheme across your account. Faculty may still need to select this scheme at the course level.

As to whether this is "preposterous thinking" or not, I don't have a clue. It is what it is.

However, I am also going to share your idea with the‌ group where there is expertise that might be able to tell you haw you can make your account-level grading scheme a default.

I hope this helps,


Community Novice

Hi Kelley,

Thanks for responding. I think it absurd that Canvas would not give us the

option to change the default scheme in our portal so that individual

teachers do not have to go into their courses and pick a grading scheme

that I set up. If we were given the option to change Canvas' default

grading scheme in our portal, the work would only be in the initial setup

of the district account (or school). And all teachers would default to

this new grading scheme without actually having to take the extra steps..

Keran DeCamp


715.735.1394 | 715.923.0407 |

2139 Pierce Avenue, Marinette, WI 54143

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On Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 1:49 PM, Kelley L. Meeusen <>

Coach Emeritus


I can understand how this might be inconvenient for your school/district, but it is challenging to try to design a very huge application like Canvas so that it works for everybody in every way they need. Canvas was designed to be flexible, and not every school or district mandates a required grading scheme. And also keep in mind that Canvas was originally designed for the higher education market where it is quite rare for a grading scheme to be mandated. The major growth of Canvas in the K-12 market is rather recent.

But, what Canvas has provided is an opportunity for all users to requests changes in Canvas, and they pay attention to those requests. This doesn't mean that everything that is asked for is done, but almost every change that happens in Canvas is based in user request, and that ain't bad!

I hope someone in Canvas Developers has a nice nifty work-round for you.


Community Participant

Hi Keran,

I'm with you - our grading scheme is a custom one here at my UK HE Institution. It is fairly common practice for custom scales to be used here in Britain. Being able to set the default scale to be a custom one would save a LOT of time and frustration when support and teaching staff miss out on that one key step and don't select the grading scheme.

Any work-arounds out there gratefully received!

Community Novice

I totally agree!

Sent from my iPad

Keran DeCamp


(715) 735-1394

Community Champion

Until Canvas gives you a one-click option for this, you might consider using the API to achieve this goal. Courses - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation . This is assuming that the grading_standard_id is related to the grading scheme.

Community Novice

The way Canvas has designed this seems to be the opposite of trying to make it work for everybody. If they were trying to make it work for everybody, why wouldn't they just make the default editable?

Also, on what planet is a 60 - 60.9 an "F" ???


Community Member

The understand from our current CSM is that the API documentation in GITHUB is unsupported feature of Canvas. Play at your own risk.

Community Member

We are new to Canvas - deploying Spring 2020.  I see this exchange has been going on for some time.  I have to agree that the inability to change the default seems counterproductive.  The default doesn't match our institution - I now have to ensure all faculty manually select the correct one as opposed to the default being editable for everyone to use.  I'd certainly like to see this changed at the Canvas Developer level.. then its easily usable for all.  Have to agree with @mattguites above. make it so everyone can use they way they wish - change or not change.. that is whats needed #canvasdevelopers‌ 

Community Participant

This has been asked by some instructors as we also don't use an "F" as a grade here and this is the default that comes up. So I'm +1 to having some way to change this. 

Community Member

We would also like to be able to set a default grading scheme on the account level. Thanks!

Community Member

Lets make this a voting thing, I really want it!  I'm tired of typing a new grading scheme for every class every semeseter.

Community Novice

I would like to see an alternative grading scheme option to the 100 point scale that is currently Canvas's only (default) grading scheme, which as you know sometimes causes controversy among students over arguments about the grade point ranges. The 12-point scale has the advantage of having a uniform gradient over the entire grade range:

A = 12 points

A- = 11 points

B+ = 10 points


Although I'm not a computer programmer, I would think this would be pretty straightforward to implement. Opting for the 12-point scale would mean that all graded assignments are based on 12 points maximum. The summary grade columns, including the last "Total" column, would not be based on 100% but instead reflect the relevant average on the 12-point scale (e.g. 9.7 or 11.4 or 12, etc.). I've talked to many colleagues here at Georgetown, and there is a sense that this option would get a lot of use on Canvas because it is clearer, fairer, and more transparent. 

Community Participant

I keep revisiting this every time an issue arises with the default grading scheme behavior in Canvas. At the particular moment, it has caused a student issue with Financial Aid because they received an F at 60.8%. That is a huge problem because the implications are astronomical just because a faculty member checked the box and didn't change it. 

I think the easiest thing to do would be to remove the default altogether and force the faculty member to choose which grading scheme they want to use. At the admin level in the grading tab, you can have a selector that sets a default for all courses in that account or not. 

Let's keep this conversation going so that it can be noticed by the developers. 

Community Explorer

We are in higher education and use a default HD, D, C, P, F, FN grading scheme. We have two grading schemes added to the Canvas root account but they are exceptions and can easily be applied at the course and assignment level. Are most institutions in the same boat? One main grading scheme with a few outliers?

Status changed to: Archived
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As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.