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Community Member

Grade visibility

How many K-12 Canvas schools are struggling with the fact that students and parents can see grades?  We find that parents can become negotiators on behalf of their kids if the grades are not high enough.

17 Replies
Community Member

Winnie, I think you are asking a troubling and yet realistic question. I feel your pain! Due to the increase of  "helicopter" parents, no matter if a grade is posted on Canvas or on a hard copy, more parents are in the midst of negotiating for higher grades. One of the best features of Canvas is our ability to post a rubric with every assignment. Once a rubric is in place I have found its hard to argue or negotiate the grade with a student or a parent. A solid posted rubric does not allow much wiggle room. When objectives, standards and outcomes are stated grading becomes easy for me as the teacher and easier to stop a parent in their tracks. I have found meaningful rubrics online to use as a template and then modify and add what I need to secure my objectives. Good luck!


Hey Winnie,

I would second Adrene's comment, rubrics can really help to "prove" a grade so to speak. I understand your concern though, did you have any ideas on what other solutions you would like to see prevent this?

Surveyor II

We have Canvas for K-8 and grade visibility was a large issue for us, especially because in K-5 the grades are based on many factors, not just assignments in Canvas. Therefore, we had the wording below coded onto our Grades/Assignment pages for our Middle School:

Please be aware that scores on this page only reflect assignments graded electronically through Canvas. Therefore grades posted in Canvas may not reflect all grades within this course. Wood Oaks Parents and Students only, please use IC Parent Portal to view your child's current grade.

For our elementary schools we had Grades removed from the side navigation and the top tool bar.  This really helped our parent community and stopped phone calls regarding grades.  Students still get their feedback and scores by going to the Assignement tab.  It's just less visible this way and really helped with parent pressure.


This doesn't quite solve the whole issue you all bring up, but you can hide the student's total grade summary for a course. Students and parents would not see a total grade for the course, hopefully, eliminating confusion about what they grade is in Canvas versus their "true" grade in the SIS. You can find the "hide grade total summary" in the Course Settings. Click on "more options" and you will see a checkbox for "Hide totals in student grades summary".

Example of a Student/Parent View of Their Grades for a Course With the Hide Totals Setting Enabled:


An example of what the hidden totals look like on a course level for a student/parent:


How to enable this:

Got to Course Settings and click on "more options"


Select the checkbox, "Hide totals in student grades summary" and click "Update Course Details"


Learner II

Hi Winnie,

I understand your dilemma with the displaying of grades in Canvas. About 70% of our teachers do use campus as their official gradebook, but the other 30% use the grade book in our SIS or a desktop product called Easy Grade Pro. So needless to say having grades come from three different spots can get a little crazy. We have a portal that sentence all this information into one spot for students parents and staff so that has helped tremendously. The other thing that has helped is just patience and time.

For the teachers that are not using Canvas for their gradebook we encourage them to hide the grades in their course navigation and use the method Deactivated user​described above. I also like the disclaimer text​ posted.

I know some schools hide their grade menu for all observers.  We have not done this, but if we can go back in time it's something we would strongly consider.

You can do this by buy modifying the Global JavaScript that you have set for your Canvas instance. If you'd like to see the code that would do this I've made a copy of it and put it on my Dropbox Account.

See: hide_grades.js


Hey Deactivated user​. Another option worth considering is the "Mute an Assignment" feature. An icon will appear indicating to students and parents the assignment is muted, which could still potentially cause problems, but it would effectively prevent students and parents from seeing any grades that you have entered until you desire. Muting also has the benefit of only affecting a particular course and it is easy for an instructor to do themselves. Modifying global JavaScript files would affect the entire Canvas instance and require technical personnel to implement. See this guide for more information on muting assignments: How do I mute an assignment in the Gradebook?

Community Member

Chris, we have recently adopted Canvas as our LMS, and we implementing it over the summer.  I'm one of the faculty members in charge of the implementation, and this is a huge issue for us.  It's not that we don't want to give student feedback, but in a K-12 setting, we have internal procedures for reporting grades that allow students, parents, and administrators to have nuanced one-on-one conversations with them about their grades.  We don't want this information updated electronically and publicly without contextual conversations.  We want teachers to be able to use the gradebook as a tool, but we don't want it to be constantly driving up the anxiety of our students and parents.

Anyway, could you describe in a little more detail how your javascript coding system worked, or  could you reference the other schools that have used this coding to remove the "Grades" button from the top navigation menu?

Also, isn't this a settings preference at the Admin level?  I have posted in the explanation of the "View All Grades" function below.  If our school turned off the "View All Grades" permission and the "Edit Grades" permission for students and parents (observers), wouldn't the "Grades" button in the Global Naviagation menu disappear for those users?

This link​ describes "View All Grades" as an Admin permission that "Allows user to view Gradebook."  It also notes that "If both Edit grades​and View all grades​are disabled, Gradebook and SpeedGrader will be hidden from the course navigation."

Doesn't this mean that some users with permission (teachers) could use the gradebook but other users without permissions (students and observers) could not see it?


Hi Nathaniel,

I didn't think to solve this via changing user permissions, but that would be better than a javascript that hides the menu after the page loads. Have you tested this out in your beta or test instance to see how it works?

Inquiring minds want to know :smileygrin:


What I typically do, especially since I weight assignments, is to mute assignments until I have 3 or 4 to release. I then release those all at the same time, this usually resolves the .1% or 1% phone call/conversation because the grade either levels out to be the same, majorly improves or drops significantly.