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assignment weighting in assignment groups

assignment weighting in assignment groups


It seems this has been a reoccurring request for some time now, but is not generating the votes needed to get attention. Perhaps it is time to try again!


Canvas would benefit greatly from being able to allocate a weighting to individual assignments within an assignment group. At present, rather than an overarching "Geography" assignment group for HASS, I have to put each individual assignment in their own group to distribute task weighting for the course. HASS also covers economics, politics and history - that makes for A LOT of assignment groups to break up the weighting for tasks.


In my view, it would be much simpler to have the Assignment Group that aligns with the unit or module being taught and has a weighting for the overall course, and an individual assignment weighting function within the group without having to fiddle around with the points. I think most teachers would agree that there is enough of a workload without adjusting and readjusting points to weight assignments according to their worth. I for one wold love to be able to do this with a quick click of a button instead of laboriously pouring over numbers.


Please vote up on this - it is clear that many people are asking for this function in many different ways.

Gradebook: weigh assignment within assignment group

"Lock Grade" option in Gradebook

Weighting Assignments

Community Member

I agree that it would be extremely helpful to be able to weight individual assignments within an assignment group. 

New Member

@ anyone from Canvas have ANY  updates on this? This has been requested for 4 years now. Original post was sent in from 2016. Is anyone listening?

New Member

This is something we definitely need, I have multiple schools that have used this in the past on our previous LMS and are asking for it.

New Member

This is important to our department and many others at Virginia Commonwealth University. This gradebook limitation has been problematic in our transition from Blackboard to Canvas.

Community Member

In my previous use of Blackboard, we had the option of having grades weighted "proportionally" or "equally". This meant that for my 50 online assignments, all with different point values, I could weigh them "proportionally" within my "assignments" group.

However with my "exams" group, I had 5 exams. I could weigh those "equally" in that group.

Then for the overall grade for the class, I had assignments worth 30% of their grade, exams were 50% and 20% was written papers.

The key was being able to adjust the "weight" of each item within the "group" or category.

New Member

Agree with what has been said before. We really need this. The "points as proxy for weighting" is very clumsy and breaks in certain scenarios. 

Our challenge is that we want to use a single course shell for a year subject that has four distinct terms (and final portfolios). Terms and portfolios have overall weightings but various assessments inside a term need to have specific weightings.

We also have other courses that only last a single term. In these, the lecturer could use Assignment Groups weighting for other purposes, which leads to confusion. 

Community Champion

I agree that this modification would be nice.  Because it has not been done yet and that it is available in blackborg (that is not a misspelling - I hate them with a passion for buying better lms's and then creating an inferior product in some terms) that blackborg has a patent on that feature in some way (blackborg does that with anything and everything they can).  So Canvas has to come up with some way to implement it that is not in violation of a blackborg patent(if there is one).


New Member

I would love a more nuanced ability to create assignment weightings within groups.  

Community Member

This does not need to be a Canvas feature. If a typical assignment is worth 10 points in an assignment category and you want double, make it worth 20, if 1/2 make it worth 5, if something else apply your own scale factor.

New Member

@cdunn4 using pt values as a proxy for actual weighting is not only clumsy, it can break in a number of scenarios. Example - if you use the traditional quizzes, the quiz determines the final point value rather than what you set it to. Similarly, you can create instability if you set a different point value on the Canvas assignment compared to something like an Google Assignments LTI assignment. In our experience, it also confuses students. If something clearly is out of 50pt, to then display it as 20pt for the sake of a weighting proxy is not ideal. Yes what you suggest is a workaround which we currently use, but it is just that, and it is not really a proper solution. 

Community Member

If I have four questions and make them each worth .25, Canvas lets me do that.  So a 4 question quiz can be worth 1 point versus 4.  I have not experienced a quiz total different than the value I have set for the questions.

I have not used Google Assignments LTI, so I can imagine that transferring scores from one system to another can cause confusion. 

Our school uses powerschool for grades, so once the scores sync from Canvas, I could change the individual assignment weighting (within a category) in powerschool without changing a setting in Canvas.

New Member

I really want to be able to weight grade categories too.  This feature exists in Blackboard, why isn't it in Canvas?

New Member

Agree that this would be a very useful feature. We are transitioning from another LMS to Canvas this coming term, and this is one feature multiple faculty have already requested since they were using it in our previous LMS. Faculty really do need and want this level of fine-grained control for some course and gradebook configurations. Using points as the weights within groups (i.e., basic or simple weighting) works for some situations, but there are exceptions. If the fear of losing simplicity with the current gradebook is a concern, it could be a feature that site admins have to enable first so that it doesn't clutter up the existing gradebook editing area for those who don't want/need it.

Since it looks like voting has ended on this Idea, is there a current Idea for this that we can vote on, or is commenting on this thread considered a show of support for the change?

Community Member

It is now 2021 and it doesn't look like this will even remotely happen. It seems like we either have to adjust our grades manually (waste of time with 160+ students for each assignment/quiz/test) or just not use Canvas for it's gradebook.

Earlier in this thread @cwalker said "gradebook functionality should never dictate pedagogy". Those words couldn't be more true.

New Member

The ability to weight assignments within a group and to show sub-totals for a group within a gradebook is, bar none, the best possible change you could make to my life and my students understanding of their progress.

My course is 24 hours per week x 7 weeks. Within that course, I assess 4 main skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

- There are 9 ungraded assignments (completion or rubric + feedback).

- There are 4 quizzes weighted at 2%, but all of them have a different points value, so each quiz needs to be in its own group.

- I give 2 unit assessments valued at 6%, comprising two reading tests (1.5% + 1.5% BUT different skills/different times needed/different points values) and two listening tests (comprehension (1.5%) and notetaking (1.5%) BUT different points values and two diff interfaces - quiz + assignment (b/c I'm using LockDown Browser, so the quiz can't have a file upload section for students' notetaking sheets).

- I give a midterm and a final assessment suite, each of which has four parts as above (2 reading & 2 listening) plus a writing assessment and a speaking assessment.

TOTAL = 29 separate columns in the gradebook. Every single part of each assessment needs to be its own group, and it's clunky as hell.

Students can't understand their grades because there is no mechanism to group them logically.  I need them (and me) to see a single sub-total that reps the whole of Test 2 in addition to seeing its 4 parts. A sub-sub-total to show the reading skill vs. the listening skill assessments on Test 2 would be a bonus. Crucially, they want to know "how they did on the midterm/final" and they're stuck with 6 separate grades and no sub-total that represents that whopping 30% or 40% of the course grade.

The purpose of sharing students' grades as we go is to help them understand when they're struggling and need help, or when they're progressing successfully toward completing the course. My students have no idea where they stand, especially because the calculated grade is not visible to them as they go (departmental policy). In order to calculate it themselves (which few can to begin with), I have to share a full-page sheet that is way too complicated. It's not my wish to obfuscate students' grades! (And I don't think it's yours, either.)

Please, please, please give us a way to weight individual assessments within a group, regardless of each assessment's point value, and to show group sub-totals. This business of having to create individual groups for every graded activity wastes time, and it makes meaningful grade groupings opaque to students and teachers.

Thanks for listening!

New Member

My institution has just transitioned to Canvas from iLearn.  I am absolutely flabbergasted that there is no ability to weigh individual assignments, only groups.  Within my experience, the vast majority of weighing done by instructors is at the level of individual assignments, not over categories.  That Canvas lacks an ability which even a flatfile spreadsheet can manage is outrageous.  Please implement this immediately.

New Member

I agree with the original poster that in courses with lots of grades we need to be able to weigh grades within assignments, and not just assignment groups for the final total grade. I've been able to do that in Blackboard Learn's gradebook for years, so it shouldn't be that hard to create it for Canvas as well. (I see that some of the immediately previous posters also cite Blackboard as proof that this can be and has been done and ask that Canvas find a way to provide what we've had with our previous LMSs.)

Richard M. Berrong

Prof of French

Kent State University

New Member

Could an update please be provided?

Moodle does this as well (Weighted Mean) -  [ ].  

We are switching from Moodle to Canvas, and I wish I could tell faculty that a feature they currently use in Moodle is offered in Canvas.


New Member

I also want to support this thread.  I use a weighted grading system.  Homeworks and quizzes in total represent a percentage of the total grade, usually 10-15%.  Some quizzes are 10 points and some are 15, some homeworks are 25 points and some are 100 points, but in the end, I want each assignment weighted equally within the overall category, so that if, for example, I have 10 assignments within the category, and the category in total is 10% of the grade, then each quiz or assignment is worth just 1% of the students grade.  This is very important in creating low-stakes assessment opportunities.  With the way Canvas has it set up, I can't make that 10 point quiz equal to that 100 point response paper unless I make them both the same number of points, which is awkward and cumbersome.  Worse, when you set up a weighted grading system, it is not clear that it is really a hybrid point-weighted system, so I wonder how many faculty are inadvertently miscalculating their students' final grades. 

This is such a simple fix, I would think, and the fact that Canvas has such a complicated way to register complaints or suggestions is even more insulting.  A waste of my time!

New Member

Would it be possible to add a feature to Canvas where the exams with different point values can be weighted by percentage and not points? You can view the scores as a percentage in the gradebook, so it would seem easy enough to add this option. That would allow one to create quizzes with different point values, but count each quiz equally towards the quiz category for the whole course. Otherwise, to use grading categories with a dropped assignment/quiz (which is a nice feature), I'm forced to create quizzes with very odd point values for each question, which is unnatural. For example a 132 question quiz that I'm forced to assign 100 total point to means that I have to make each question worth .757 points. Fare easier would be to have, say, 4 quizzes of different point totals that equally contribute to the weighted Quiz cateogory (say it's 60% of the overall course grade), but the lowest one is dropped.


Matt Roberts

Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, Viriginia