Rubric option to subtract points for late work.


I would like to have the option to add a row in the rubric to subtract points for work being late.


There  is not  a way that I have come up with to do that.  I tried creating a rubric with minus points; that didn't work.

In the quizzes, there is a calculation that can be made using the fudge box at the end of the quiz.  I can enter minus points and then the calculation is automatically done when the score updates. It seems something similar should work in a rubric.

The row, in my imagination, would look something  like this and it would be the last row in the rubric:

Late work   Does not apply  Grace Period     1 day late       2 days late      3 days late    additions day late  

                             0                         0                -5 points        -10 points       -15 points       -5 per day

Or, maybe, simply:

Late work    Minus 5% per day.

It's a computer, there has to be an easy way for a computer to do that simple calculation automatically when given the conditions to do it; however, this is not my field of study so I could be completely wrong. 

Community Novice

It's not a short-term loss. Canvas has been deaf on this for a long time. This thread started on June 23, 2017. I have nothope they'll do anything about it and I am finally migrating to Gradescope. In general, the company has not been responsive to even the simplest and most basic of the complaints (most of which, as a software engineer, I know are relatively easy to fix). 

Community Champion

 @hakan_erdogmus This thread was originally focused on deducting points for late work, and the new gradebook includes a specific function to do exactly that.  There are several new ideas for further improvement to that function, but I cannot consider building in an automatic late/missing policy to be unresponsive. It happens that there are other circumstances for applying penalties other than lateness.

Unfortunately, the change to the new gradebook has come with a rubric update that will not save any values below zero.  Rubrics saved before that update would save down to -1, which allowed an organized rubric incorporating various penalties.  This is new and the source of my comment about hoping it is only a short-term change. 

Replacing the -1 with a zero is followed by resorting multiple zero value columns into illogical sequences.  That means all the notes about various penalties must be included in a single zero point column.  It is less organized this way than it was before, and it was only ever a work-around for the fact that values below -1 could not be saved. 

Canvas appears (to me) to be committed to achieving feature parity, and so I am hopeful that the ability to save negative values in the rubric will be restored or replaced by something better (such as a customizable checklist of penalties that could be built into the rubric in advance and applied by checking a box below the rubric.)

Community Participant


The more we know, the more we know, there's more to know, than we think we know!

Community Novice

I also find the limit of showing question details up to 25 questions only when making a quiz to be extremely annoying. It takes literally hours longer to double-check questions for a final exam because I have to manually open every one of the questions. Plus, when you do that, you can't read the entire potential answers for each question so it's easy to have a typo and not realize it. When I asked about these limitations, I was just told to preview my quiz. Previewing the quiz and then fixing each question as you go is a major hassle.

Community Novice

I completely agree. I don't want to give credit just for adhering to the word count limit. I want to penalize them for not adhering to it. I want them to earn credit for their writing content, but not for just adhering to the word count limits.

Community Champion

And previewing doesn't help when you have a pool for each question and want to check all versions since it'll just pick one (and then draw with replacement the next time you hit preview, so you can't even be sure to see them all by previewing 5 times if your largest pool is 5 versions, for example).I rarely use stand-alone questions rather than multiple similar versions of a question, so preview is pretty useless for proofreading. 

Community Champion

I deduct 3 points for things turned in incorrectly, but in ways that still allow me to grade the assignment (I tell them to turn in a share link to the "can edit" version of a Google Doc, so I can leave comments and see the revision history each time they resubmit - a lot of my students will end up resubmitting after feedback and Google Docs has a better interface for both of us to see and comment on the changes in a living doc than the built-in speedgrader tools). I'm not interested in giving anyone who turns in a Google Doc of any kind, as long as I can edit it, 3 points nor in compressing the parts of my rubric about actual math things to make room for those three points.

Right now, I use the rubric to grade it as though I weren't doing the deductions, then edit the final score to reduce it by 3 and leave a comment explaining why. I wish Speedgrader at least let me save a canned comment for that, but as-s I'm stuck using an artisanal process for a bulk problem since I'm not given any useful automation tools.

Community Participant


The more we know, the more we know, there's more to know, than we think we know!

Community Member

I would like the ability for negative values to be used within the range option: Late submission -5 to -1 points.  I prefer this method because I have a single criterion row with options for 'Late' 'No submission' and 'Other, see comments'.  The  'No submission' and 'Other, see comments' both have point value '0' so they don't affect the student score but they do send a message to the student. 

Community Contributor

Sigh. Another basic function sitting unaddressed after YEARS of complaints. I got here from the user question thread at, which gave both a bit of insight into the problem and a taste of the frustration at it being ignored. Is it really easier and more productive to write a bunch of new code to give community users cutsie statuses for participation levels than to fix these relatively simple problems? Does anyone here really care if they are classified as a "learner" or a "surveyor" or a ... "surveyor II"?

The late penalty is only one use case for a point deduction line in a rubric; the late deduction option in the grade book does not fix this problem, as seen by the multitude of posts here citing other reasons for wanting to deduct points. Similar to many others here, I have certain things that I absolutely expect an upper division biology student in a majors course to get correct, and I am not allotting points for those things. The point allotments are developed from the assignment learning objectives, and relate to demonstration of concept mastery. The deductions are for egregious errors of a more basic nature. They don't fit within the assignment points, because the assignment assumes a starting place and builds from there; it doesn't include points for things that should have been mastered previously. 


Community Member

I would love to have the option to include a negative point for reports that don't meet formatting requirements! I would save me the hassle of typing up an explanation and manually deducting a point from the auto-graded rubric score.

Community Member

Two issues with actual date timestamp of submission and point deduction: SECONDS COUNT! 

(1) a submission was marked late when it was timestamped between 11:59:00 and 00:00:00, with a submission time set for 11:59:00, which is intended behavior per 

Canvas Production Release Notes (2018-01-06)

Late Submissions

The Late submissions policy allows instructors to apply an automatic deduction to the grade in a late submission. Grade deductions as noted as a percentage of the total points possible and must be entered as a number. Additionally, deductions are applied to a specific time interval—day or hour—that the submission is late.

(2) there may be a UI discrepancy on the student side.

Submission Time should display 11:59:00pm if that is the 'expected behavior.' or code should trigger "LATE" deadline for submission as of mm/dd/yyyy 00:00:00am of the following day.

Ex. Deadline 02/21/2021 11:59pm, submitted 02/21/2021 11:59:58pm and submission was marked LATE despite displaying as meeting the deadline of 02/21/2021 11:59pm. Rubric policy rules deducted 50% of grade based on this coding logic.

Case review for:

Info - Submission Details - Submission Date = 22-Feb-2021 12:00AM (UTC-0500)

Submission ID: 1514922217 Student ID = 1112977957  Class Name = LTI Class Class ID = 27875253

I wonder what the frequency timer is set to 'sweep' file submission folders for new submissions?

See support case #07367552 for developer level details.

Coach Emeritus


I'll throw this out there for you and anyone else coming across this multi-year thread.

Create as a last criteria in your rubric (or wherever you want really - I just use last because it is a catchall).

Name the criteria miscellaneous deductions.  Create all the criteria that you think you might want to deduct points for and put them in as the criteria name and put on there the deduction (-1, -2 or -3) these points are not the point values for the selection but in the wording.  See below:


you then select the box you want and then in the pts box just type in the negative value - i.e. -1, -2 -3 -5 or whatever.

Not the best solution of click and done, but at least you don't have to type in the response.

Or if there is a strange one not covered, type it up in the comment box and put the negative score in the pts box.


Community Member


I too would like rubrics to have option of negative marking, but for a different reason.

Students submissions are electrical drawing - and there are loads of different types of mistakes students can make ... so marking up from zero isn't suitable in this situation.    I would like to use the rubric to check lots of features/functions and deduct marks for any errors encountered. Total possible deductions would be more than 100%. 



Coach Emeritus


You can do that with the way I state.  Just set up your last criteria with 0 points for full and 0 pts for no marks.  Then in the description put in wording that other deductions can occur and will be placed here - you could list what those may be.

Then for the score box on the far right, put in the comment box what you are deducting for and how much and then just enter the score as a negative number in the over all score box - do not select the rubric criteria of 0 or 0.  It is not as fast as having criteria with negative points, but it does work.

Community Member

Currently, if we want to deduct points from a student assignment, either straight points or as a percentage, due to lateness or something else that resulted in a penalty, we have to simply change the amount of points awarded. In other words, if a student got a +10/10 on an assignment, but lost 50% due to being late, we have to score it as +5/10. This is especially apparent with scoring with rubrics, where we have to go through and lower the score in individual categories to get to the score that results from the lowered points. This makes it hard to show students what they got based on their submission itself versus what the penalty is.

What I would like to see is for the ability to score the assignment as normal, have that scoring visible to the students, but then have the option at the bottom to subtract either a certain number of points or a percentage off the total score, and have that altered score be what goes in the gradebook. (I think this might be similar to, but not exactly the same, as Fudge Points that are available for Quizzes.)

For example, if a student got a +90/100 on an assignment, I would want to be able to dock 20% by choosing that in an option at the bottom of Speedgrader and, while the student's rubric would still show how they did originally so they got clear feedback, it would show that they lost 20% for lateness, etc. from the overall score which now gives them a new score that goes in the gradebook as +72/100 (NOTE: This example came out evenly but there should be the option to round to the nearest whole number to avoid having a score such as +71.2/100, etc.). Additionally, teachers should be able to also just deduct a certain number of points rather than a percent, for example a student who gets +8/10 but loses 2 points for some penalty that then has a final score of +6/10.

This feature would allow clearer student feedback as it would indicate the difference between scores being what they are based on missing requirements or not meeting standards versus penalties for lateness, etc. This way, especially for assignments with rubrics, it would be clear to the student what standards they had met and at what level, while also indicating penalties clearly that lowered the score.

Status changed to: Archived
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