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Can I make an assignment a "multiplier" for the class grade?

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Can I make an assignment a "multiplier" for the class grade? Or another grade/group in general? I have an assignment that my students just need to turn in and if they don't, I would like it to show them as having a zero in the course but if they do turn it in then they get a grade based off all the other assignments that are for points. Is that possible? Thanks!

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schaboll@uci.edu 


You cannot accomplish this directly.

Some people have an honor code that students have to agree to before they can do any work in the course. Those instructors sometimes make it as a requirement for a module and then completion of that module is a prerequisite for every other module in the course. That quasi-works well when the semester is first starting off and there are no grades, but it would be difficult to implement later on since the grades would already be there.

There is a trick that you can play with a weighted gradebook. This approach really only works at the end of the semester once all of the grades are in. Even with this trick, it will not be an automatic thing and will require some [a lot of] work.

Throughout the entire semester, you have the gradebook set up the way that you normally want it to be. Set the weights on the assignment groups to be what you want them to be. If you have a non-weighted gradebook this will not work, although many non-weighted gradebooks can be simulated using a weighted gradebook as well.

At the end of the semester, you create a new assignment group that contains exactly one assignment. In that one assignment, you put either a 0 for those who haven't turned in the required assignment or the final grade for the course for those who have turned it in. Then you change the weights on all of the other groups to 0 and set the weight on this new assignment group with the one assignment to be 100% of the grade.

If you are decent at Excel or have a large class and hate repetitive tasks, you can download the gradebook, compute the grade with an =IF(condition,then,else) type statement for the new assignment, save it to a CSV file, and import it back into Canvas. If I were doing this, I would strip out all of the columns that are not needed for the calculation and then copy/paste as values over the new scores and then delete even the last two remaining columns so that the only thing in the file was the one column that you wanted to import.

With either approach, you need to be really clear to the students that the grade they see in Canvas is contingent upon their completion of that assignment, otherwise they will get a 0. Put it in the syllabus. Say it often in assignments. Repeat it many times in class if it's a face-to-face class.

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schaboll@uci.edu 


You cannot accomplish this directly.

Some people have an honor code that students have to agree to before they can do any work in the course. Those instructors sometimes make it as a requirement for a module and then completion of that module is a prerequisite for every other module in the course. That quasi-works well when the semester is first starting off and there are no grades, but it would be difficult to implement later on since the grades would already be there.

There is a trick that you can play with a weighted gradebook. This approach really only works at the end of the semester once all of the grades are in. Even with this trick, it will not be an automatic thing and will require some [a lot of] work.

Throughout the entire semester, you have the gradebook set up the way that you normally want it to be. Set the weights on the assignment groups to be what you want them to be. If you have a non-weighted gradebook this will not work, although many non-weighted gradebooks can be simulated using a weighted gradebook as well.

At the end of the semester, you create a new assignment group that contains exactly one assignment. In that one assignment, you put either a 0 for those who haven't turned in the required assignment or the final grade for the course for those who have turned it in. Then you change the weights on all of the other groups to 0 and set the weight on this new assignment group with the one assignment to be 100% of the grade.

If you are decent at Excel or have a large class and hate repetitive tasks, you can download the gradebook, compute the grade with an =IF(condition,then,else) type statement for the new assignment, save it to a CSV file, and import it back into Canvas. If I were doing this, I would strip out all of the columns that are not needed for the calculation and then copy/paste as values over the new scores and then delete even the last two remaining columns so that the only thing in the file was the one column that you wanted to import.

With either approach, you need to be really clear to the students that the grade they see in Canvas is contingent upon their completion of that assignment, otherwise they will get a 0. Put it in the syllabus. Say it often in assignments. Repeat it many times in class if it's a face-to-face class.

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schaboll@uci.edu Welcome to the Canvas Community! james@richland.edu‌ has given you great advice. I had a similar (albeit not quite as draconian) requirement when I was teaching, and the key was to communicate the requirement frequently and in a variety of ways. garth@academicplatforms.com wrote up a solution that you might be able to adapt for your purposes: Override / Adjust the Final Grade 

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I would like to do something similar to this. Specifically, for the group portion of the grade in the course, students complete a peer evaluation. I use these evaluations to compute a multiplier (default value is 1 if group member essentially performs they way they should in the group; lower for slackers, higher for people doing more within the group) for the group portion of the grade. Then I use these multipliers to compute each individual student's score on the group portion of the course. For example, if the group scores 90 points in the group part of the grade, and an individual student's multiplier is 0.8, that student will get 90*0.8=72 points for the group portion of the grade.

I do this now by downloading the grades, and computing them in a spreadsheet. But it could be much better if integrated into Canvas. Is there any way to do this?

roger.grinde@unh.edu,

If you know how to do it, then what you're doing with the spreadsheet is the most effective way. For people who don't know how to work with spreadsheets, then manually doing it going to be easier, at least for small classes.

Edit: sorry, my browser hiccuped before I could complete this:

It's unlikely that this will be integrated into Canvas as it's kind of specialized request. Canvas holds the final grade, not the steps needed to calculate it. Unless you want to go with a flat point based and make it a separate assignment for participation / contribution, then doing the calculation externally and just entering the final score into Canvas works.

An alternative is to have a second grade based for participation that is worth 0 points and then add or subtract the amount (yes, you can have negative point values in the gradebook, you just can't have a negative possible points).