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Default Grading Schemes at the Account Level

Default Grading Schemes at the Account Level

(7)

Because schools often have a school-wide grading scheme that might differ from the default in Canvas, it would be much more efficient if, at the account level, administrators could set the default grading scheme.  Currently, we can create a grading scheme that is available to teachers.  But, if every teacher has to manually go into settings to switch to that grading scheme, it is pretty inefficient.

26 Comments
asatkins
Community Participant

Oh, yes, this would be great for us too. Our K12 school uses a 7 point scale, so if anyone forgets to change the default grading scale the SIS will skim off the +/- in the import and just report it as the (in many cases wrong) letter grade, so it's a big deal for us to go set every master course to have the correct grading scale. I think our College of Medicine would appreciate this as well, they use all sorts of weird grades.

James
Community Champion

kgeary​,  @asatkins ​:

While you wait on this feature, or for someone else to come along and say "Oh, you just do this ...", here's something you can do.

You can use the Courses: Update a Course API endpoint to set a grading scheme.

     PUT /api/v1/courses/:id

The :id is the Canvas Course id, which can be obtained in many ways including: from the course URL within the page, from the List active courses in an account API method, or from within the web interface from going to Courses >> Managed Accounts >> Settings >> Reports >> Provisioning. In many places, it's possible to use the SIS course ID, but those are usually labeled :course_id and this is just :id, so I'm not sure it will work here. It could be a failure of the documentation or it could be that it's not.

When you use the PUT method, you only need to specify the changes, and in this case, it's the course[grading_standard_id] that you need to identify. It takes an integer value, which is the grading standard to use.

The problem is that the grading standard id isn't easily obtainable from the web interface as everything dealing with grading standards is done through Javascript and the ID doesn't show up. The Grading Standards API allows you to create a standard, but not list the ones that are in use. What I ended up doing was viewing the source of the page that allows you to edit a grading standard. It came up as a single line of Javascript as a JSON object. I copy/pasted it into an online json decoder to clean it up and make it readable. It's an array of grading schemes and you're looking for the value of id for the one you want.

You then loop through every course that you want to force have that grading standard, calling the PUT method, with the course[grading_standard_id] specified.

It sounds daunting, especially if you've never used API calls before. If you have used API calls, this is one of the easier ones to do. If you (or someone at your school) has the technical know-how, it's definitely easier than going into each course one at a time and manually changing it.

asatkins
Community Participant

We ran into the hard - to - find object ID with the grading standard issue when we were looking into this, but that makes a lot of sense. That's a good workaround for now, thanks James!

James
Community Champion

 @asatkins ​,

I was just looking at the Grading Standards API controller source code for another issue and saw that there is soon going to be a List Grading Standards API call available. The update just got put into the code July 30, although here's the information about it from July 23: Add ability to get grading standards via api

That will definitely simplify finding those grading standard id's and I'm excited to see it going in.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

This idea is now open for voting.

James
Community Champion

Just a note that the List Grading Standards API endpoint is now available (yay!)

Depending on your application, though, you may need to be careful using it. It will list either those available at the account level or those available at a course level, depending on which method you call.

"Not a problem," you say, I know where the grading standard resides because I created it In this particular application, that's correct, so no worries.

However, the reverse direction is not straight forward. Let's say you are getting course information through the API and wondering what the actual grading standard is that is being used (not just the id number). If you want to obtain the grading standard, you may need to make two calls --- one to the course and one to the account --- before you get the actual grading standard.

jbriggs
Community Participant

Additionally, it would be ideal if not only the grading scheme cascaded to courses from the account but it also cascaded down to letter graded assignments within the course. Glad to see that it is at least in the API now. This has been a sore spot for us since we implemented 3+ years ago.

mdelaney
Community Member

Agreed on the letter graded assignments.  Because of the extra steps most of our teachers stay away from using that option because it has the potential to skew because they are valued on a different scale.

swright
Community Participant

I would like to apply a default custom grading scheme to a whole course, instead of choosing it each time I make an assignment, with out losing the current feature of being able to give a specific assignment.

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

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help_desk
Community Member

It would be great to be able to apply a grading scheme for all the courses at our high school. We are using quarter courses and staff do not remember to add this, let alone times 4 and then for 4 classes.

*On the same note, adding a grading scheme in general is a really poor interface. The small box and having to scroll and click in so many places is frustrating.

I have created our grading scheme at account level, but would make a huge impact for both accuracy and happiness if staff just had that one applied to any course in our school.

biray
Community Champion

This idea has been re-submitted here: " modifiedtitle="true" title="Set up Default Grade scales for all courses. It will be open for voting in the next voting cycle (April 6, 2016).

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

This idea is one of the lucky ones that was selected to get a little more time for voting as part of our evolution of the feature idea process. It was selected because of it's vote count and/or comment thread.

*Selection criteria: Most (not all) ideas that received 70+ votes in their initial voting round.

llortsher
Instructure
Instructure

Hello Everyone!

If you are familiar with how to use the API, you can use this API https://canvas.instructure.com/doc/api/all_resources.html#method.courses.update and this parameter `course[grading_standard_id]` to set the grading scheme in each course. Keep in mind Canvas doesn't support API / JS / CSS so you would want to make sure that you have someone to maintain the code added to your instance.

Thanks!

bhau1
Community Member

Upvoted.

I would like to add that this is a necessity for any school system where A-F is not used, such as in my own country of Norway. Here we use 6-1 and having to change the grading scheme is an obtrusive reminder of the fact that Canvas is not designed around our needs every time we make an assignment. I imagine it is the same for many other countries that Canvas is expanding into. Just change it.

gharbor
Community Participant

This seems like a "no brainer" to me.. it would just require one button next to site level grading schemes that an organisation has created to "Set as Default". If not set it can use the current "invisible" one that Canvas uses.

282165_GradingSchemeDefault.png

Then at a course level staff can choose to use the grading scheme for the course or select other schemes for tasks ect..

Thoughts?

tlc_OU
Community Participant

We at the University of Oklahoma would love to be able to apply a default grading scheme at the account level that is more aligned with what the university uses for the majority of courses.

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

Hi tcox‌! Since I don't use grades the normal way, I usually skip ideas in the Studio that are related to grading, but I saw your name here so I voted up too. 🙂

Thanks for all your help this semester with my two Canvas hiccups. 

tlc_OU
Community Participant

Thank you! And it's always my pleasure to assist you guys; I want to make your teaching experience as stress-free as possible if I can :smileygrin:

laurakgibbs
Community Champion

You are totally succeeding! 🙂

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