Late Policy Missing Assignment Default Value


In Canvas, we have noticed a strange default value in the missing assignments section of the late policy in gradebook. By default if a professor uses this feature it will set the value for all missing values to 100% (full marks) but when looking at its function it should default to 0% (no submission = no marks). The reasons why Canvas should change the default value from 100% to 0% are:

  • Due to the nature of this tool, it is often used to assign 0% to all missing assignments. As such having the default be 100% instead of 0% means that each time the professor sets up this feature for a course they will need to change this value.
  • With the default value set to 100% some professors misunderstand what this actually does as why would the default mark for a missing assignment be set to 100%.

For these reasons the default value of missing assignments in the late policy should be changed from 100% to 0%.

Community Participant

Good point! I noticed this also. I just enter a zero if an assignment is not submitted (then change the grade if and when the student submits). But I wonder if the issue is miscommunication. Is the default grade DEDUCTING 100% of the assignment value? or GIVING the missing assignment 100% of the value (as you assume in your suggestion, as seems to be the case in the Canvas gradebook setting, and I agree would not make sense). 

For this reason, I would not use this feature at all. Just continue to manually enter zero for unsubmitted/overdue assignments.

Community Champion

I've tested it and  @matthew_penner is correct about the function and the default value.  You've offered a good example of how this could confuse teachers, however.  It is safe to use this feature as long as you understand that difference.

Another about using the late penalty that may interest you is: The goal of that idea is to help students understand the status of their grade after a late submission

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

 @matthew_penner ‌, we notice that you've modified this idea. Members who have voted on or are following this idea will receive a notification that the idea has been modified, but will not be able to see what, specifically, was modified in the idea title and/or description. Since this idea has been gathering votes for several months now, would you please add a comment to let voters and followers know what has been changed so they can re-evaluate their votes in the context of that new information?


Community Explorer

Hi Stefanie,

I was unaware of the alert it would send out to members who have voted on or are following this idea however the change I made was adding to the tags of the idea. I added the ubc, ubco, and university of british columbia tags.



Community Champion

I have to agree, it seems odd that the default value of a missing assignment is 100%.  0% makes a LOT more sense.

A teacher told me he assumed it meant 100% of the score would be removed.  I just can't think of anyone who would want to assign 100% to a missed assignment.  Should be a simple fix and a lot less trouble!  There have been a small handful of teachers at my school who had this problem, not many, but very disturbing for them and quite hard to fix afterwards.  All those scores have to be manually changed, and how do you know who actually earned the 100%?  Nobody should have this problem.

Community Participant
Comments from Instructure

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.

Status changed to: Archived