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Why do grading periods have to lock?

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So my institution - 55k students, 8k teachers, and 136k parents have just started using Grading Periods.  So far so good until we just moved from one grading period to another.  We learned the hard way that the grade book for the concluding grading period locks.  Why is this?  In K12, teachers need a few days between the end of the grading period to when report cards come out to add assignments, make modifications, etc.  To have them lock really doesn't make sense.  So if I leave the grading period open, then the assignment for the next grading period are not aligned correctly.  When this was first discovered, we had hundreds of emails from angry teachers as to why they could not edit grades in their grade book.   There is also the case of students with special needs, or for other reasons need grades to be entered well after the close.  We have found that speedgrader is a work around, but that is really too complicated to explain to 8k teachers.  Canvas, please remove the grading period locks as they really don't make much sense, especially in K12.  Thanks.

Other related issues with grading periods that need to be fixed:

  • The Export report in the Gradebook needs a filter by grading period so teachers can get that information
  • The grade summary page that a student or parent observer see need to show the current grading period, not the full year average as that is misleading.
  • The Canvas APP needs to have a grading period filter.  Currently it shows the year long average which is not helpful to students and parents who are only interested in quarter grades, so teachers have to explain that people shouldn't look at the app for grades
  • Many of the reports need a grading period filter along with the term filter.
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1 Solution

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Instructure
Instructure

Hi joseph_allen@hcpss.org​,

I understand your frustration with the locking grading periods. There is a work around for this, if the teacher goes into their course settings, grading schemes and then grading periods, and edits for example the start of the grading period which defaults to 12:00am and changes it to 12:01am they now have edited the grading periods so it is theirs and they can edit grades in that grading period for as long as they need. I know this doesn't address your question as to why it locks in the first place, there are reasons that relate to schools who do want that feature for when their grades post to SIS and they want it to be locked, however, you can vote for this feature (Allow admins to control when grades lock in concluded grading periods) if you haven't already and follow it for any updates from product.

Regarding your other topics, many of them are in development and you should be able to expect soon:

  • The Export report in the Gradebook needs a filter by grading period so teachers can get that information (this is currently in development and could be released in the next release for 11/21/15)
  • The grade summary page that a student or parent observer see need to show the current grading period, not the full year average as that is misleading. (this has been developed and was released this past weekend to Beta, we are expecting to have it pushed to Production on 11/21/15 release)
  • The Canvas APP needs to have a grading period filter.  Currently it shows the year long average which is not helpful to students and parents who are only interested in quarter grades, so teachers have to explain that people shouldn't look at the app for grades. (This is something we will need to add to the roadmap for mobile as it usually is a little behind in development from Canvas desktop version, however, I'll be sure to bring this up with Product as well).
  • Many of the reports need a grading period filter along with the term filter. (Specifics could be helpful and this would be something our Product team will need to look deeper into and see how we can ensure reports can accurately pull MGP data)

I know this doesn't answer all of your questions, however, I hope this helps and provides some insight into what we are currently doing to resolve these concerns. Thanks for you patience and feedback.

Clint Kelson

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18 Replies
Instructure
Instructure

Hi joseph_allen@hcpss.org​,

I understand your frustration with the locking grading periods. There is a work around for this, if the teacher goes into their course settings, grading schemes and then grading periods, and edits for example the start of the grading period which defaults to 12:00am and changes it to 12:01am they now have edited the grading periods so it is theirs and they can edit grades in that grading period for as long as they need. I know this doesn't address your question as to why it locks in the first place, there are reasons that relate to schools who do want that feature for when their grades post to SIS and they want it to be locked, however, you can vote for this feature (Allow admins to control when grades lock in concluded grading periods) if you haven't already and follow it for any updates from product.

Regarding your other topics, many of them are in development and you should be able to expect soon:

  • The Export report in the Gradebook needs a filter by grading period so teachers can get that information (this is currently in development and could be released in the next release for 11/21/15)
  • The grade summary page that a student or parent observer see need to show the current grading period, not the full year average as that is misleading. (this has been developed and was released this past weekend to Beta, we are expecting to have it pushed to Production on 11/21/15 release)
  • The Canvas APP needs to have a grading period filter.  Currently it shows the year long average which is not helpful to students and parents who are only interested in quarter grades, so teachers have to explain that people shouldn't look at the app for grades. (This is something we will need to add to the roadmap for mobile as it usually is a little behind in development from Canvas desktop version, however, I'll be sure to bring this up with Product as well).
  • Many of the reports need a grading period filter along with the term filter. (Specifics could be helpful and this would be something our Product team will need to look deeper into and see how we can ensure reports can accurately pull MGP data)

I know this doesn't answer all of your questions, however, I hope this helps and provides some insight into what we are currently doing to resolve these concerns. Thanks for you patience and feedback.

Clint Kelson

View solution in original post

Community Coach
Community Coach

Here are two Canvas Feature Ideas​ related to Grading Periods that you might want to comment/vote on:

Community Member

Hi Clint!  Thanks for your meaningful response!  I'm excited by the 11/21 date for these features and I really hope those hold firm.

I looked at the grades summary page in beta, and I just wanted to add that it might be nice to make the toggle include "all grading periods."  In this picture below, the student can only toggle between the two grading periods we defined.  Yet if he clicks into the accelerated chem class, it also adds the ability to toggle "all grading periods."

124431_pastedImage_2.png

Just an insight.  This work is awesome, however!

Thank you Canvas team

Hi jschurrer@stxavier.org

I can look further into this, however, I remember the thought behind not including "all grading periods" was because if the school was using grading periods, they didn't want their to be an "all grading periods" option since it wouldn't make sense to show the combination of the scores. I'll pass your feedback on.

Clint, I get that completely.  However given that canvas doesn't have the ability to create a semester grade (yet), for some of our teachers that running total is also their semester grade.  But this doesn't include the teachers who average Q1 and Q2 to get their semester grade. 


Not an easy fix all the way around and this new development in beta is heads and shoulders better than the current iteration.  My thanks again.  I don't mean to be nit-picky.

Jim,

I was able to find out the following from our engineering team:

There will be a feature flag for those schools that have the Multiple Grading Periods feature enabled. It will be "Show 'All Grading Periods' Totals. So....for a school that DOES NOT want a student to see "All grading periods totals" they will not want that enabled and the student can only select from the grading periods. If you do ENABLE that feature then there will be an option to select "Show all grading Periods Totals". Does that make sense?

Perfect sense and perfectly workable. Thanks for being so quick on this!

Hello Clint,

Thank you for the details.  Your depth is great to hear and very helpful to report back to our staff.

I do have a couple of feedback items:

  • The Export report in the Gradebook needs a filter by grading period so teachers can get that information (this is currently in development and could be released in the next release for 11/21/15)

The coding team has been able to filter on Sections for Quizzes now, so having not only the Grading period selected (or All Grading Periods) in the Dropdown, but also the Section (or All Sections) is very important to Teaching staff. https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/3042#comment-26409

  • Many of the reports need a grading period filter along with the term filter. (Specifics could be helpful and this would be something our Product team will need to look deeper into and see how we can ensure reports can accurately pull MGP data)

For support staff like myself the Account Level/Sub-Account Level export by Term, then MGP (multi-filter) is critical:    ... solution would be a multi-value lookup pair for the report dropdown (allowing me to choose the Term, then the Grading period).

Would that option also get referenced on the Grades Global Icon view by chance?  Build once, reuse flag where needed Smiley Happy