Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Visual Indicator when points assigned are above the maximum point value of an assignment

Visual Indicator when points assigned are above the maximum point value of an assignment

  This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas


  Idea will be open for vote May 5th, 2015 - August 5th, 2015  Learn more about voting...


I would like for a visual indicator to confirm that a professor and/or TA wants to assign a student points that are higher than the value of an assignment.


Example:   An assignment is worth 2 points and the Professor/TA assigns 4 points to a student.


Here's the process as I envision it:

1. Professor/TA assigns point value higher than what the assignment is worth.

2. The point value changes color (red?) indicating that the points assigned are higher than the value of the assignment (maybe also a yellow exclamation mark?).


We recently had a professor who, not paying attention, awarded points for an assignment on a 100 point value when the assignment was based on a per instance value and there are only 2 instances required.  A warning flag of some type could have prevented this.


  Comments from Instructure


For more information, please read through the Canvas Production Release Notes (2016-09-17)

Community Member

I suspect that a pop-up warning (at least beyond the first too-high grade) might be annoying, but it would be super helpful to have some sort of visual flag to, say, color code all submissions in the gradebook that have point values larger than the value of the assignment. That could both help catch errors (a common error in our school is instructors forgetting to set the initial point value, so everything is out of zero points) ​and it would be a way to see students who had earned extra credit regularly.

Community Member

Deactivated user​, weren't we talking about this last month?

Community Member​ I can live with a visual flag or some other way to get the grader's attention when the assigned value exceeds the maximum value setting. I'm not beholden to the pop-up aspect of the idea, but there does need to be some way to get the grader's attention.

Community Member

I like the idea of giving some form of feedback that points beyond those allowed have been awarded. Although, I'd offer that I'm not a fan of pop-ups. Curious to see how the voting goes on this. Thanks Seth.


Sakai has this feature.  I get REALLY annoyed with it while grading.  I think that the idea listed above of some sort of flag would be a better solution.  A popup just adds one more click and since I gave extra credit if they turned in an assignment early, this pop-up message would have to be clicked for half of the submissions that I was grading. 

Community Member​, I've edited the idea to get rid of the pop-up warning (as I indicated in an earlier reply, I'm not beholden to the pop-up idea) and replaced it with just some sort of indicator, not necessarily requiring an extra click, to serve as a warning and get the grader's attention. 

Hopefully that will help sway your vote. Smiley Wink

Community Member

I am not in favor of a pop-up warning message when more points are assigned.  Maybe a flag, color change in grade book cell, or another icon as mentioned above would be less intrusive.  Many of our instructors give extra credit by adding additional points which may take the student's score above an assignment's total point value.   Also, some instructors have extra credit assignments with a "0" point value to start with so as not to penalize students who chose not to complete the assignment. It would quickly become annoying to have to close a pop-up message each time extra credit points were added.


I really like this idea and I agree with the others that just a color change in the gradebook would be sufficient.  I have made the mistake of adding one extra digit to an assignment and did not realize it for a few weeks(this was in ANGEL).  After that mistake, I made it a point of sorting the grades for an assignment to make sure I had no 100's where there should be a 10.

Community Member

There definitely needs to be something. Is there any way we could have the option to not allow that in certain courses/subaccounts/accounts? That way if you want to be able to do it then a gradebook color change could be sufficient, but if you have a template course that should never go higher than the max, you can prevent teachers from doing so on accident? We see that all the time, students get a 19/9 and then we don't catch it right away so their grade is artificially inflated and they get upset when it's corrected. In that world if you have the 'don't allow' setting selected, I would envision it would not allow you to save the grade until it complied with the range of the points possible.

Community Member

I was bitten by this - meant to enter 100 and put in 200 without realizing it. I was shocked that there was no field-level checking on the data range; this violates Jakob Nielsen's usability heuristic for error prevention, which states, "Error prevention: Even better than good error messages is a careful design which prevents a problem from occurring in the first place. Either eliminate error-prone conditions or check for them and present users with a confirmation option before they commit to the action." See 10 Heuristics for User Interface Design: Article by Jakob Nielsen .