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Canvas not making the Grade (visible)...

Adventurer II
4 9 696

Having just delivered some PowerPoint training to students about making their presentations more effective, I thought I'd take some of my own medicine and start with a * bang * - hence the title of the piece which might have brought you here looking for something a little more provocative!

Now that you are here, why not read on?

I am moving my grading away from letters/scores/percentages to Mastery statements but would quite like to have the flexibility of using results from digital assignments/quizzes. This is easier said than done

I have tried to create my own Grading system for Mastery as a sort of Lookup based on a numeric score as I don't have the flexibility to manually add in a statement for submitted work.


When I use this scale the Grade is added to the gradebook eg


Which on first sight seems ideal.

The problem is, when you look at the grade as a student you see:


WHY if we have a Grading scheme are students also seeing the score? What is more, why is the Name of the statement MARGINALISED by appearing inside brackets - this is the "Grade" I want them to see!!

Could it not be possible to include an option that gives you the option to display to STUDENTS just the statement? 

I am unsure why it works so well in the teacher Gradebook yet for individuals shows something different.

The inability to hide raw scores and just use the terms is such a limiter for making further use of the gradebook. I want to report back on Mastery and move the discussion away from Levels/Grades to progress, dialogic conversation and feed-forward.

If Canvas continues to be the product that makes teaching and learning easier (a heck of a strap-line) then how about including the FLEXIBILITY to make a choice on what we show. Assessment and Grading is an area in Canvas that still needs some attention and I wonder if it is more of a mindset than a technical issue.

There are so many institutions that are moving away from summative models of assessment and want to record progress in different and more flexible ways. Looking through the comments on this idea demonstrates this-

Like quite a few things, Canvas goes some way to providing an answer. Its work on non-graded rubrics for example is very much to be welcomed - How do I use a non-scoring rubric to assess submissions in SpeedGrader?  but once you assess students on these, where do you put the overall Mastery statement as "non-scoring rubrics are not used for grading." it would be great if we could combine non-scoring rubrics with Mastery and not have any points showing at all!

Having the options of hiding the raw scores would be such a POSITIVE first step!

Here is my Idea suggestion - 

Adventurer II

Well written! I hope that the clarity of your example here will be noticed and will bring about change in the product to provide instructors with more options to control what is communicated to students through the gradebook.

Adventurer II

Cheers Todd. Just want Canvas ambitions to match my aspirations for staff and students.


Well done!

Community Member


Well said this is exactly the problem with using the grading scheme - We have been instructed NOT to use points scores with our students. 

Adventurer II


Wish there were an option. IN fact if you have one platform for millions of users across multiple education systems and you cannot add in your own modules/fixes (like Moodle) then you need to have options!


The problem with letters is that, unless I'm doing something wrong, any A records as 100, even though the grading scale for an A is 94-100.  A 94 is not 100, and this becomes particularly important when a student's grade is "hovering" between, say, an A and an A- or some such.  

Adventurer II

You are absolutely right Steven but I am talking about Mastery grading and not a particular score. Canvas does not have an option for me to select a score/level/comment other than Complete/Incomplete so I am forced to use a numeric scale where I dont particularly want to. In my scale I assign mastery levels based on those scores - its not what I want to have happen particularly but its the only way, currently. I have no other way than assessing mastery manually.

Perhaps I should suggest this as an idea?

Adventurer II
Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Several of our Elementary Schools have moved to Standards Based Grading (mastery).  And in the next, maybe, two or three years (?)  I hear all our schools (middle and high school as well) may be going in that direction.    This makes it quite urgent for attention to be given to the Gradebook.        We are starting to play around with Outcomes (two or three teachers) and the Mastery Gradebook.   I don't have enough information/experience to comment yet on how that is going.