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Treat zeros as ungraded for both teacher and student views

Treat zeros as ungraded for both teacher and student views

(1)
Choosing for a gradebook to treat ungraded assignments as zeros should set that as the default to the grades view students see.
67 Comments
Chris_Munzo
Community Champion

So are you saying that you'd want a zero automatically entered after a certain number of days passed and the assignment was ungraded?

JACOBSEN_C
Community Contributor

Nope.  Currently, if an instructor chooses to "treat ungraded assignments as zero" in a courses gradebook, students have to manually uncheck a box to not "calculate only based on graded assignments" to see the same grade total in the course that the instructor sees; to be on the same page as the instructor concerning the grade they are earning in a course.  The default on the student side is a check in the box regardless of the setting chosen by the instructor.  If an instructor chooses to ungraded to equal zero, the check should leave the box on the student's view of their grade calculation by default... otherwise, they are setup for a fall, thinking their grade is higher seeing it as inflated not including zeros on assignments.

anthonem
Community Contributor

Would love to see this request find more attention. As it stands the "treat ungraded assignments as zero" is misleading, and I have found inconsistencies in how "drop the lowest X scores" works when enabling the "treats ungraded assignments as zero" is enabled. Also, I've been told in a Canvas help ticket that this setting is meant to be per-session...meaning you have to turn it back on every time you log into Canvas with a new session. Too many problems here!

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

I'd find this particularly helpful as the end of a course approaches. Recently, I set my Gradebook to "treat ungraded assignments as zero" when there were about five days left in a course, hoping to spur the remaining participants into action, and was dismayed to discover that the setting only affects my Gradebook view--and as  @anthonem ​ notes above, only for that session. I wound up sending students a message telling them to toggle their own "calculate only based on graded assignments" checkbox in their Grades view, but it's hard to know how many of them actually did that.

awilliams
Instructure
Instructure

Totally agreed. It being the end of the semester some of the newer (to using Canvas) faculty and their students have expressed some serious displeasure to find out they were misunderstanding grades.

bacherts
Community Contributor

In order to keep an accurate grade for my students I go in and enter a zero after the due date for all students who haven't completed the assignment.  Usually by using the set default grade after I have finished grading everyone else's or while in SpeedGrader just entering a zero (this way I can include a comment as well).  It would be better to be able to check "treat ungraded assignments as zero" like stefaniesanders​ does as the semester approaches or implement this feature: so that a zero is auto entered after the due date that way a teacher doesn't have to remember to enter the zero and students always have an accurate reflection of their grade in the course.

cwruck
Community Champion

Hey all,

I completely agree that this verbiage and action is confusing. We are working on a design for better verbiage and a cleaner solution to this problem.

I want to make sure we agree on what the problem is. To me it has two parts.

Teachers don't want to have to hunt through the gradebook to award zeros to the assignments that are missing or late.

Teachers want to be able to see what a student's grade might be if they didn't turn in any of the missing assignments (I'm told this is the original reason for the feature). The verbiage for "treat ungraded as zero" implies that the grade is actually being awarded and doesn't clearly indicate that the teacher is the only one seeing these zeroes being awarded (students don't see the zeros).

What do you all think? Would you agree that those are the primary problems?

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

Hey Deactivated user​, thanks for articulating the clarification. I see this as three separate requests, only one of which is covered by the idea under discussion here.

(1) The current "Treat ungraded as zeros" function should be accompanied by clear verbiage that this is a hypothetical exercise that does not actually give zero grades to any students.

(2) Teachers should have a tool that allows them to assign zeros to all students across the Gradebook (ideally, since many teachers award zeros in a timely fashion as they grade each assignment, this functionality would only come to play toward the end of a semester and would be more of a "just-in-case-I-missed-something" exercise).

(3) Teachers should be able check "what-if" grades for an individual student just the way students can:  How do I check my What-If Grades? (The old community had a feature request for this--"What If" Student Grading View for Instructors and Administrators : Help Center --but I couldn't find one here in the new community.)

Is this how others who've contributed to this discussion see it playing out?

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

Sorry, Deactivated user​, I meant that reply to go to you. :smileyconfused:

Beth_Young
Community Contributor

 @blong  just added this feature idea to the new community: " modifiedtitle="true" title="Allow instructors to use what-if grades Smiley Happy

cwruck
Community Champion

Thanks stefaniesanders​,

Can you help me understand the use case for teachers needing "What-if" grades?

I understand why an instructor might want to make sure they distributed all the zeros they needed to~ or have a way to see what a student's grade would be if they don't turn in any of the missing things and received zeros... but what is the scenario where a teacher is playing with "What-if" grades for multiple students at the same time (because they can do it on an individual basis on the students grades page)?

Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

I can share a use case that I would often hear from  @khull ​.  He wanted to be able to use the what-if feature with his students when he had conferences with them.  His workaround was to have them login.

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

HI Deactivated user​, with pleasure! One example that immediately comes to mind is when you are assessing a course full of students who need to reach a particular benchmark. Using the "treat ungraded as zeros" feature allows the teacher to see at a glance which students would not achieve that benchmark at the end of the term if they didn't complete any additional assignments. Being able to "what-if" in the complete Gradebook, in the aggregate (rather than having to navigate to each student's Grade page individually) would allow the teacher to quickly determine which students might need an extra nudge on specific assignments, and/or would allow the teacher to focus students on specific assignments and the grades they would need to reach. I understand that students can do that on their own--and I always point students to the "what-if" functionality--but in my view, the more specific direction I can give students in this regard, the better.

Also, when an assignment is muted, a teacher can rapidly navigate to the Gradebook and enter hypothetical grades for numerous students. If the assignment is unmuted, this is no longer feasible because students would now be able to see all the grade changes and would receive notifications for them. This especially resonates with me because at my school--and I'm sure at many others--the grading scale consists of only full letters: A, B, C, D, and F--and for the writing-intensive courses I teach, students will only get credit for having completed their writing-intensive requirement if they achieve a C or better in the course. I hate to see a diligent but struggling student miss that C by a few one hundredths of a point. In a class with 100 students, it is far quicker to be able to "what-if" those borderline students in the Gradebook than it would be to make a note of those students' names and then navigate to each of their respective Grades pages.

That's just a few off the top of my head. I can readily say that throughout the course of any given semester I've wished for "what-if" ability many times for various reasons.

Hope this helps!

bacherts
Community Contributor

One that I had and the work around stefaniesanders​ already mentioned would be when you get those students who ask "do I have any change of passing this course?" the solution now would be to encourage them to use the what-if feature and to play with it, but I feel like a better response would be for me to do the same thing and answer their question.

JACOBSEN_C
Community Contributor

(Hey-look, 25 people voted for this.  That's great, thanks!)

Replying to the June 10th "Response from Instructure", I haven't really haven't kept up much with this after I posted it (and I admit could have done a little better with the grammar of the post), but the focus of the idea (the goal?) does not directly have teacher in mind.  I'm reading "1. Teachers don't want to..." & "2. Teachers want to be able..."  and that may be missing the intent of the idea.  *Students* need to be in sync with teachers on the grade they are earning in a course.  Students and teachers need to see the exact same values, at least initially, or first thing after they each click "Grades" on their respective ends.  "What-if's" and etc. can happen later, but when a teacher chooses to "treat ungraded as zeros" students need to see their grade calculated treating ungraded assignments as zeros too, right-off-the-bat.  Ultimately, and I'm sure its why I would have submitted the idea, a teacher mentioned that their students were not seeing the same grade values as they were and it became something the teacher had to address in class.

JACOBSEN_C
Community Contributor

(and I clicked "post" a little early on this one too... :smileylaugh:)

Stef_retired
Community Team
Community Team

^This, absolutely,  @JACOBSEN_C ​. I want students to be able to see the same grades I'm seeing when I click the "Treat ungraded as zeros" button. I don't want to inundate students with the notifications that would ensue if I were to enter default grades as zeros in each column; I want every student to be able to see where he or she would stand if they were to walk away from the course at that particular moment without expecting each student to resort individually to the "what-if" option.

abates
Community Member

I think too few people realize this is happening. What student is going to complain that their grade is too high?

jonathan_cowan
Community Participant

I think if you could toggle the feature whether or not zeros are generated for all assignments, or just past due assignments, it would make the most sense in terms of flexibility. Also, when toggling the feature on and having it only consider past due assignments, it would be great if it then ignored any turned in assignments that students have done which may not be due yet.

arovner
Community Contributor

These are all good ideas.  I want to emphasize that AT LEAST, the student grade view should not include the "calculate only based on graded assignments" box checked.  It is SO misleading and what a surprise once their instructor enters their zeros - their grades plummet.  Secondly, if the faculty member does not put zeros in for the unsubmitted assignments, the students do end up with inflated grades (@Amy Bates mentions- what students are going to complain about that!) .  I like the solution of offering a date by which a zero is automatically entered.  If this was part of the assignment/discussion/quiz settings, it would bring attention to this issue. 

Thanks!