Set Default Grade- Include Excused, Late, & Missing


The "set default grade" is a great tool.  However, with our current hybrid model (some at school and some at home) we are running into a bit of problem with managing assignments.  Some of this may originate with how our sections are integrated with Canvas, but that is not something we as teachers have control over.

Each class has a single section that is linked the SIS.  Teachers are not allowed to manage their sections.

If teachers would like to give an assignment to only the online learners or only the in class learners they have to enter the names individually & manually (we have not found a way to copy and paste in a list from a notepad or other document).

A relatively simple work around (if it worked) would be give the assignment to the entire section, assign the default grade as excused, and then remove the "Excused" code from students that are not excused.  The problem is "set default grade" does not accept "Excused" or any of the shorthand for excused.  This would also be faster and more convenient that editing each daily assignment to add a student to the assigned list if they are absent.  A teacher could quickly move through the gradebook, remove the "excused" code and the assignment would then appear for the absent student. (If I have understood correctly, setting and assignment as "excused" actually hides the assignment from the excused student.)

This would be a feature that would simplify life for many teachers.

If someone knows of a better work around, please share 🙂

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
Community Member

It is too time consuming and a waste of time to have to go back and excuse 100s of assignments for new students. This should automatically happen on Canvas' end. Especially for an elementary self-contained classroom. It's too much to have to excuse old assignments. And if we don't, those assignments sit in their to-do list and blank in our gradebook. 

Community Member

Not all assignments are marked late or missing at the due date. In order to mark them this way, teachers have to go to each assignment and mark it. 

There should be an easier way to mass mark assignments missing or late.

Community Member

Oh please please please please add Excused to Default options. 

Community Novice

100% agree! The options for Excused, Missing, & Late should all be options when setting a default grade.

Community Participant

Set default grade as "Missing" is a complete game changer. With external tool assignments, Gradebook does not recognize if a student has not turned in their work. With over 150 students and multiple assignments, I am having to go and manually mark assignments as "missing". The "set grade as" function should also allow us to bulk mark assignments as missing. Setting a grade to 0 is not really the same thing, because students are not notified that their work is missing.

Community Novice

We are new to Canvas and so still learning. When new students are added to a class, all the assignments that have been assigned from the beginning come up in the new students to do list. To get rid of them the teacher has to go in and exempt them from every assignment.  This is very time consuming for staff, especially when using standards. I talked to canvas and they said this is the best way to do it. This affects every teacher everywhere. Could this be changed so teachers can choose which assignments go to which students.

Community Member

Yes!  Please add more default options for grades. 

Community Explorer

Being able to mass mark students as excused would assist with teaching virtual students. We are leaving assignments open for the semester to offer flexibility during covid and because of the learning curve of learning digitally. Right now, teachers have to hand excuse assignments for new students. We are entering the end of the semester. There are many assignments per student to excuse. Thank you for considering this option.

Community Member

I just tried to set default grade to "EX" and was told it wasn't an option, though this post made it sound like that was possible:

More default grade options would be amazing to mark things en masse as excused, missing, or late. How can we make this happen?

Community Explorer

I agree, we need this option.

Community Member

Please add this I have so many students due to being virtual/hybrid who do not due assignments. It would be nice to choose missing as an option! 

Community Member

Yes in the default grade option should also have the ability for a default comment.  When we used PowerSchool for the primary gradebook you could set a default score, with an option of "missing, excused or late" and be able to make a comment.  Maybe integrate the email option??? 

Community Explorer

I wish this were possible too, but for a different reason.

When using an external tool submission type (playposit or kami), students with no submission are NOT marked missing automatically in the gradebook.  I have to go in separately and put 0, and have given up on putting "missing" tags kid by kid because it is so time consuming.

I want to be able to add "missing" in the default grade menu - students (not to mention their counselors and parents) who see lots of "missing" tags pay a lot more attention than if the assignments just say "no submission".

When a kid with this type of external tool submission eventually turns it in, if I had previously put the "missing" tag on it manually, canvas does not un-missing the assignment by default.  Then the "missing" needs to be manually removed.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

@cdlee The use case you've described is being discussed at Option for missing assignments to get a zero if us... - Canvas Community

Community Member

I have 113 Students in one class and about 10 of those students are in need of alternative assignments.  I would like to be able to publish assignments for only the select group of kids and then still have it sync to our grading system (Skyward). However, it doesn't do that.  So I figured out a way that works when I only had 40 students in one class.  I can post the regular assignment in the modules and the "normal" students know to only do the assignments tied to the modules.  I can then post the alternative assignment in the assignments tab for the students that need it.  What I do is then mark excused for all students except the ones that need the alternative and then excuse the alternative students from the regular assignments.  It works.......with a SMALL number of students to maintain.  113 is not a small number to maintain.

PLEASE make it so "set default grade" will us to excuse everyone at one time and then click the ones who need to actually do the assignment.

Community Member

It would be great if you could add in Excused or Missing as one of the default grade options, instead of just the points. It's cumbersome to have to go in for each student and have to open the dialogue box, and click excused.

Community Member

I completely agree with melz.  This is incredibly time consuming and tedious.  This should happen automatically.  

Community Member

Excellent Idea! Default Grade that accepts hotkey submissions or adding an option for a Default STATUS might be a way that would make the coding a little easier. If adding a Default Status option to the gradebook, may I made some suggestions? 

Default Status Options: 

  • Excused (E or EX)
  • Missing (M)
  • Absent (A)
  • Late (L)
  • Differentiated (D)
  • Complete (C)
  • Incomplete (I)
  • Can Redo/Retake (CR) or perhaps Redoable (RD)
  • Redone (R) or perhaps some other marker for a graded 2nd attempt? Updated (U) might be a good alternate for this one that actually might have other various applications. Example Use: if you have a whole class that bombed a test and you take time in class to review and reteach, it might be helpful to have an option for mass-marking a test or a quiz as a 2nd attempt or as having an updated score. There are also those kids that swear up and down you didn't actually update their test score when they turned it in, so a U for Updated might be very helpful! 

These are just some suggested statuses that would be INCREDIBLY helpful to have not only in the gradebook as a whole, but also would be extremely helpful to have as an option for Default Status. Please and Thank you! 

Community Member

I also wish to add a comment with a fill score!