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Hide Names of Graders (aka Anonymous graders)

Hide Names of Graders (aka Anonymous graders)

(1)
This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

Canvas currently offers the ability to hide the names of students whose work is being graded, but it does not offer the ability to hide the name(s) of those grading an assignment. Faculty frequently ask how to hide the identity of the teaching team member who grades a particular assignment. This feature is especially important for courses that are co-taught and for large-enrollment courses with multiple TAs, who might be subject to backlash for grades received.

 

Currently, we advise them to use the Crocodoc annotations Text Tool in SpeedGrader to provide feedback, but this is not ideal. Sometimes student submissions have very little white space in which to place these annotations, and they can be difficult for students to find and read. And this significantly limits the means by which faculty and TAs can grade: bulk uploading graded files displays names, SpeedGrader comments display names, and comment annotations display names. Additionally, the SpeedGrader mobile apps do not currently include the text annotation tool, which means that graders who need to hide their identities cannot grade using mobile devices.

 

A much easier solution for instructors would be one that hides the grader's name (perhaps replacing the individual's name with a generic term like "grader").

 

This idea has come up previously (Anonymous Graders  and Ability to hide the identity of graders in the comments in Speedgrader ) but did not reach the 100-vote threshold. However, there was interest in (and confusion about) whether this feature was deployed as part of  Canvas Studio: Anonymous Grading.

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-15420 .

35 Comments
kroeninm
Explorer

Hmm interesting.  Typically for us, this is ideal to not have it Anonymous as then students know who to address their questions to, transparency in grading is important.  Some backlash in grading is always going to happen I find Smiley Happy so if there is regular disagreement and confusing about grading, maybe clarifying appropriate communication policies and grading policies and utilizing the moderating grading to ensure TA grading is consistent would be helpful?  I wouldn't want there to be anonymous grading in our online program as students confused about a grade I think should be able to question the criteria used and person that has graded their work...but different institutions may feel differently.  I'd love to see more detail on why this would be useful and if other institutions have the same issues...I'm not totally against the idea but I would definitely want it locked down at an institutional level as it really is a higher level type option I think and something an entire program/school would have a policy about. 

- Melanie

jordan
Community Member

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. February 3, 2016 - Wed. May 4, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works! Smiley Wink

jones_jennifer
Community Member

I am hoping this feature will allow grading to be anonymous for the students, but the instructor will still be able to see who left a comment.

lindalee
Adventurer II

 @jones_jennifer ​that would be a great feature! It would be a great benefit for large-enrollment courses with multiple TAs and/or instructors.

alistair_kwan
Community Member

The grader is not always the person to whom queries should be addressed.

bzikmund
Community Member

I have needed this feature for several semesters. We've had to do a workaround of creating an extra email account and giving the grader access to that account, but it's (a) clunky and (b) poses real confidentiality issues in that the same account is being used year over year and hence the grader can see what was done in previous years' classes.  I strongly support this feature.

cwruck
Community Member

Congratulations! You have successfully sparked some very interesting debate among the product team! This is a tough one for us to reconcile at the moment. Canvas prides itself on transparency to students. While we can understand why instructors may have a desire to have their name masked from the student when grading, we are still debating whether or not this is in keeping with our original mission to have an LMS that doesn't hide things from students. I'm going to archive this one because we are not currently planning to do this, but the debate is real, active and may eventually end in favor of implementing this solution.

DanBurgess
Explorer III

Unfortunately this feature request closed just days before our law school faculty expressed concerns about this missing feature as we prepare to migrate all our courses from our legacy LMS to Canvas.  Blind grading is commonly used by law schools.  If this feature is missing in Canvas, our law school will not be able to use Canvas to its full potential.  I hope the product team will understand why in this particular situation deviating from "not hiding things from students" is a good thing. Blind grading was introduced in the law schools to protect students from grader bias. 

jmcgowa
Community Member

We really need this! Questions about grading need to come to me rather than to the workstudy student who does the entering. The work study student is often in other classes with the students in this course, and doesn't need the grief she gets. Why would something getting 146 votes get archived (which I think means the Canvas developers have trashed it)?

John McGowan

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

kenrouse
Community Member

I read the comments from the instructure and I do think they are missing a very important suggestion that Linda made. It was that instead of putting the actual graders name just put "grader". Now the students know that it was the grader and not the instructor that made the comment. I so agree that if there are any questions about a grade they should come to the instructor not the grader who most likely are just following some grading guide that is given them. I know for me my graders are very busy and if my students know who they are they get inundated with request for help (which is expected to be done for free). It seems to be a very simple fix and I don't see that it goes against the transparency that Canvas desires. 

InstructureInstructu

ianjohnston
Community Member

Our institution uses student worker graders and there have been issues with student going to these student workers with questions when they should be addressed to the instructor. One possible amendment to this idea would be to create some sort of permission that allows a user to grade "on behalf of" the teacher in the course.

jmcgowa
Community Member

Daniel has expressed concerns for an entire law school. Linda, Ken, and Ian have made great contributions that speak to an easy fix.  May we please have a comment by the Canvas gurus? If these are not considered reasonable suggestions, we need to know why before we can propose alternate solutions.Thanks!

John McGowan

Rollins SPH, Emory University

bzikmund
Community Member

To address the transparency issue raised in the Instructure comment: At my institution, we draw a distinction between TAs (Graduate Student Instructors) who are allowed to interact with students and Graders who are explicitly (on penalty of violation of collective bargaining agreements) who CANNOT interact with students. Transparency makes sense for TA/GSIs, but it significantly complicates the issues for Graders, who are told they cannot interact directly (but may be contacted directly if their name is visible). Questions are supposed to be referred to the instructor or TA/GSI (if available). It seems to me that anonymous grader role actually facilitates precisely the communications that need to occur.

frtlss
Surveyor

I'm a sub-account admin at my institution and have spent way too much time since we went with Canvas trying to find a viable solution to this problem - Most recently, by trying to create gmail accounts for graders and adding them as non-instituition users so we can get around this flaw.  I support faculty who are increasingly concerned by this and the lack of response from Instructure.  Anyone know if Blackboard, Moodle or Brightspace offer this feature?

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team
  Idea is currently in Product Radar Learn more about this stage...
johnpj
Surveyor

It is hard to argue against when the discussion is framed as one of student transparency, but there many cases where it is essential for identity of a grader to remain anonymous. This is particularly salient when a novice teaching assistant is in a position where they can be pressured or otherwise influenced by students. Canvas already supports anonymous peer reviews, so the philosophical ground on this issue may have already been conceded Smiley Happy

lindalee
Adventurer II

The with new DocViewer and annotation tools becoming available later this month (see https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/releases/blog/2017/05/31/insights-canvas-docviewer...‌), one of the workarounds that we had used to accomplish hiding of graders names will be lost. Up until now, for teaching teams with a requirement to hide graders' names, we advised them to use Crocodoc's free text annotation tool, which does not indicate who made the mark.

The DocViewer free text annotation tool is now working in our beta instance, and these annotations are now tagged with the name of the person who entered the text. While in most circumstances this would be welcome, for teaching teams with this requirement, it is a significant loss of functionality.

I sincerely hope that this feature request will be reconsidered in light of the impending loss of workaround functionality that many of us have relied on.

lchallen
Community Member

This issue has just come up in my organisation as well. We too were using Crocodoc's free text annotation tool when anonymous grading was required. It would be good to get both an update on this feature and also to find out if any of you have found a new workaround that we may use now?

curtain
Learner II

We at Kansas State also have this need.  Having GTAs and TA remain anonymous in the grading process has real value and this is a needed feature

r_mellor
Community Member

Sometimes the markers (graders) are hired in to mark only, and it is not appropriate that they receive lots of grumpy email, then they either do lots on unpaid work replying, or annoy the students further by not replying. Just as one can add "teacher" or "module leader", there should be "grader", and this role is always anonymous.