Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

New Quizzes should not *automatically* grade written responses

New Quizzes should not *automatically* grade written responses


Any questions that teachers have to manually grade (essay, short answer) are automatically calculated as zeros in Quizzes.Next. There are 2 major issues with this:

     1. Student's grades are completely inaccurate until the teacher grades them. This can cause serious issues like suspension from a sports team due to grades, consequences at home, and unneeded anxiety and stress. Yes, I can mute the assignment so they don't see that grade at home, but administrators who are determining eligibility see it as part of the average. 

     2. Because Quizzes.Next considers this question already graded, as a teacher, I have no way of telling which responses I have graded and which I have not.  In the old Quiz system, it shows a document symbol in the gradebook and a little orange dot next to their name in Speedgrader to show that these questions still need to be graded.  When you are look at a specific student's quiz in Speed grader, it tells you what still needs to be graded, but still shows a check next to their name in the list, so you have to scroll through every student to see if it has been graded. With hundreds of students turning in assignments at different times this is not helpful.

Considering the old version has this, this is something that should have been fixed before it ever came out of Beta. It is a serious glitch in how Quizzes.Next interacts with the Canvas Gradebook. 


There are already many posts about this, and I myself have posted about it before, but time is ticking. Before long, "Old Quizzes" will lapse and "New Quizzes" will be the only option, and so this is becoming more and more urgent.

In Canvas New Quizzes, open-ended questions are automatically graded as zero until the instructor assigns a different grade. I already know the workarounds for this problem, but it should not be a problem that needs workarounds in the first place. After all, it is clear that no instructor would ever want the questions to be graded this way.

For other types of assignments, the grade is shown as pending until the instructor gives a grade. When will New Quizzes adopt this sensible and critical grading practice as well?


Yep. 100%.


I went on a Twitter rant about this as well...

And I originally created a new thread about this issue, but my post was rerouted and posted onto this thread. And I'm not gonna lie: it feels a bit dismissive to be just thrown onto the pile of identical complaints dating back almost two years. 

Canvas people: Can we get a straight answer on if you're even considering fixing this? Because if New Quizzes will soon be the default, you've got to address it...

Surveyor II

Just wondering if there has been any movement on this yet from Instructure? It's really problematic for us.

Explorer III

Hi there, agree with above. It would be good to get an update on this. It will be a major problem especially for instructors of large courses that use new quizzes in an attempt to save time.



Please change this! It is alarming to students and teachers. Quizzes should not appear as if they've been graded when they have not. Especially with an automatic zero.


There are SO many comments but not very many "votes" so please remember to vote on this as well!! (It's the 5 star rating thing at the top and I think it's SUPER unclear that that's how you "vote" but apparently it is)

Yes, I tell students in the quiz instructions and in class that those questions go in as zero and to try not to worry about their grade until I get to check it but I still get messages from concerned students! This is a massive pain and I HATE that it doesn't show up in our "to-do" showing that it needs grading.

I always put a comment that just says "✓" after I grade their test so I know which ones I've double checked but the speed grader sorting is still and issue. For these I usually choose to sort by submission date which helps a little bit but it's still not perfect.

Navigator II

The biggest impact from this is to the students.  Students are immediately prompted to check their score, and that score is displayed to them by new quizzes even if grades is hiding their score. Regardless of whether new quizzes autogrades, a hidden score should be a hidden score:


I completely agree that new quizzes should not be auto-grading questions that require manual grading.  For starters by not auto-grading, it would make the hiding of those autograded scores less urgent. 

I would also expect ungraded questions to trigger the existing grades functions that indicate grading is required.  It is one thing to wait until after an exam closes an go in and manually grade every submissions, but there are inevitably students with excuses and extensions - and new quizzes offers no indication on the grades tab of when (or if) those make-up new quizzes have been submitted.  It is not at all practical to scroll through a long set of assignments and then open each to see if zeros are earned or needing grading.

It would be nice to see the impact on the total score either as a toggle for all muted assignments, or two total columns, one displaying the current student view total and the other the total if all muted grades were unmuted. 

Surveyor II

If a quiz contains an essay question, obviously the instructor needs to look over that question and manually grade that.  The problem I am having however, is that when I open the quiz in speed grader, it displays check marks beside every student who has taken the quiz (since they've received an auto graded score for the quiz).  I see nothing in speed grader, or anywhere else in canvas that indicates which students have had their essay questions graded and which ones have not.  I have to open speed grader and manually go through every student one by one --- which is not a problem if I were to grade them all at the same time.  I try to grade them as they are submitted rather than waiting to do them all at the same time --- in which case I ALWAYS have to go one-by-one in speed grader to see which ones I've graded and which ones I have not.

Speed grader needs to put a dot, and not a check, beside the students who's essay questions have not been graded --- just like it does for any other type of assignment which has not been graded.

Surveyor II

The original post about this was made almost 2 years ago.  Canvas admins..... WHY hasn't this been fixed by now???


I see you've been flung onto the pile of identical complaints. Welcome to the club.

The treatment is so dismissive, and the process is so opaque, that I can't help but be convinced they don't actually care about what we have to say.


@megande Thanks for pointing that out! I haven't been able to figure out how to vote for features since they changed the page layout months ago.


In the new Quiz format there is some confusion when auto-graded elements are mixed with essay questions that need to be graded.  After submitting, the student sees a very low grade because it is auto-graded with the essays questions as 0 points.  It would be nice if either the auto-graded elements are separated from those that need grading, or if a note pops up saying it is not the final grade.


I agree. Not only that, but it makes it REALLY hard to tell the difference between quizzes I haven't graded yet and quizzes that are missing or got a low grade.


This automated feature really needs to be changed. Please just have the notebook appear instead of a 0. This is very problematic for students and teachers, especially those that grade sync. 

Surveyor II

Currently, in new quizzes if there are questions that the teacher needs to grade it automatically assigns a score of 0, or the score earned on autograded questions, before the teacher has graded it.  In classis quizzes, it does not assign a score and instead shows the picture of the paper meaning it needs to be graded.  It is frustrating for students and me as the teacher that new quizzes does this.  It should run like classic and not input a score until the teacher grades the needed questions.  It should also show the symbol it does for classic to let teachers and students know it is waiting to be graded.

Surveyor II

Any idea when this will start to be implemented?  It looks like it's something needed and its been open for conversation for over a year.

Surveyor II

I understand it's an LTI issue, but it doesn't make sense that the LTI is unable to give a correct response to an ungraded essay question. If it is able to flag the teacher at the top (in SpeedGrader) that Question #N needs to be graded, then it should be able to consider a "no score" for the whole test until it is graded by the teacher. I get that it may not be able to put the Quiz in the ToDo list, but if it can pass a score of zero to Canvas Gradebook, it should just as well be able to pass a score of nothing whenever an essay question is part of the Quiz. I can workaround this by setting a Default score of nothing, but this only works right after the first time a Quiz is taken. If a student is to retake a quiz, I won't actually know if they did or not unless I run through every Quiz again! This is not efficient at all. This issue is even worse than the inability to give partial points for matching or categorization or to format fill-in questions inside a table.

Surveyor II


Don't forget to rate this topic with 5-stars (or however you wish). Comments and votes will get topics seen by Instructure staff quicker. Whether it will be implemented is a different story, but at least the issue will be seen.


Agree this really needs to be addressed.  I have a quiz that is only essay, and the automatic zero is causing students a lot of unnecessary stress.  Current work around is: put on manual, hide grades and then as student responses come in, edit the score in gradebook view and  just delete the zero.

There's got to be a better way.