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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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18 Replies

With you too on this Jim.  For certain courses where we might not use MGP (not many in our school), having "All Grading Periods" is good.  Clint, we are getting positive feedback on the dropdown and the default view of the current grading period.

Community Member

Joe and Clint,  I just posted a feature request regarding Due Date in the gradebook Header:  and wanted to share and get feedback, as well as the related need to have the due date in the gradebook export.  When Teachers would choose an export, it may be for reconciliation, to provide a final digital version for the end of the course/term, etc....  Having the due date in the export accomplishes multiple needs.  Clint, can you share this with the gradebook export team as well?

Hi Clint,

Our campus uses multiple grading periods and we are now on the last day of Q3, going into Q4 tomorrow.  At this later date in March, I had hoped that Instructure would have this resolved.  The gradebook grid cells for Teachers go into cannot-edit mode:

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 11.48.17 AM.png

, yet when I an account admin view the grid for past grading periods (Q2 for example) can edit them:

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 11.50.38 AM.png

What in the permissions has to be changed to allow Teachers this access?  Yes, they can go into speedgrader to make post quarter adds/changes (no slick-grid security there), but many teachers will have a chunk of grades to enter a few days after the gradebook term ends.  In our case they will catch up this coming weekend and we require final grades for our term (Q3) to be completed by Monday, 5 days after the quarter ended.

Do you have an update you can share?

Hi Jason,

As I outlined above this can be done as a workaround while our gradebook team is working on fixing this issue, however, it wont be ready this school year. See below:

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.

Does that make sense how they can make that work?

This is great if done at the course level, but not for account level grading periods, that is where most schools like us set it to keep the system clean. I know this is stepping on the security settings of MGP for Teachers versus Admins as permissions goes, but the slick-grid security on MGP is affecting the Teachers. When the MGP quarter ends the code takes the grid cells to RO mode, why do that? We can control access to the course with end dates, so it doesn't seem appropriate to RO the cells for MGP this way.

Sent from my iPhone


I did a quick test of a line of code and found that by adding


to the gradebook page, the cells become editable again.  If you add that to your theme editor javascript file, it will allow your teachers to make their changes.  This hopefully will get you through until a fix is made.

Disclaimer: I did not do extensive testing so I don't know if it has undesired effects anywhere else. You will want to load this on ONLY the gradebook page and run it through some thorough testing on your test environment before using it on your live site. This code is not supported by Instructure. Use at your own risk.

I was going to hunt for this tonight to see if I could find a solution. This is awesome and yes use at my own risk for sure. Many thanks and 3 thumbs up

Sent from my iPhone

I second Jason, grading periods are administered at the district level, not the teacher level.  Going back to another point, when a grading period completes, teachers are usually given a few days to enter grades and make adjustments.  The work around I have been using is to artificially extend the grading period several days later than it really is, but that causes problems with teachers who want to give an assignment on day 1 of the next grading period.  We have to come up with convoluted explanations of "don't create an assignment for the next grading period on day 1, make it for day 4, then we will retroactively close the grading period back to the real end date, etc...."  Its not a good work around and it confuses people.  Bottom line, the admin needs the capability to determine if and when the grades lock, there needs to be the ability end a grading period, while still giving teachers full editing access, and there needs to be more flexibility where grading periods can overlap and act much like 'terms' do today.   

Mike, so the effect is that the grades are editable indefinitely?