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Connecting a scanner to Speedgrader

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Hello! I teach math at a high school. I would love to be able to grade my students assignments using speedgrader, rather than the traditional marking with a pen. I know students can upload their assignments individually, but many of my students are low-income and do not have the required computers at home to do this. Additionally, if I set the assignment for online submission, all the the students (I think) must submit online. Those that turn in paper will have their assignment marked 'Missing' until I manually change each via speedgrader.

So, I'd like to be able to scan submitted student papers. I wonder if there is a method in Canvas for this, or if a software interface exists that will connect a scanner to speedgrader?

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rwaters@missionprep.org 

There are several things going on here before you ever get to the question of whether a scanner will work with SpeedGrader.

One aspect is the inability for instructors to submit work for students. There is a feature idea open for this: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1124-submit-an-assignment-on-behalf-of-a-student" modifiedtitl...

A second is that you cannot have "on paper" and "online" submissions for the same assignment. There is a feature idea open for this as well: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1110-allow-multiple-submission-types-on-the-same-assignment 

A third is that there is no provision for SpeedGrader grading types that are not submitted online. Canvas just doesn't expect that there is anything in the system for those type of submissions.

A fourth is that you're asking if there is a scanner interface to SpeedGrader. That kind of direct connection does not exist. What needs to happen is that the student can submit an assignment and then the instructor can view it in SpeedGrader. Students do not have access to SpeedGrader and SpeedGrader is designed to grade assignments, not submit them.

I also teach math and sometimes the work is too difficult to have the students enter into Canvas as an essay question. I give students the ability to use a scanner, cell phone, tablet, or whatever device they have.  The scanner software most likely has the ability to create a PDF directly. For those using their cell phone or tablet, I had them use CamScanner (this was 4 years ago and there are probably alternatives -- i.e., I'm not endorsing CamScanner, just saying what I used) to convert it to a PDF. When the students submit a PDF to Canvas, you can then mark it up with SpeedGrader. For my kind of comments, I don't need to mark up the actual document, so I let them submit a PNG image and then I just provide feedback in the submission comments. You could also have a scanner in the room that will scan to a PDF and email it to the student, who can then submit it themselves.

Any of those requires you choose online submission. If a student doesn't submit it online, then it will show up as missing. Still, it is likely to be the best solution you're going to find for the majority of the students if you want to mark it up with SpeedGrader.

Another route is to make it a paper solution, but then no one can upload it to Canvas. What you can do is to run all of the documents through your scanner and convert them to a PDF. Hopefully you have an automatic document feeder. Then use Acrobat Professional or other PDF editing software to add the comments directly to the PDF. You'll need to split the assignments into separate documents so that you don't share student's work with other students. You can attach the graded and marked up PDF as a submission comment.

If you get the idea that this option is a lot of work on your part, you would be correct.

Another option is to grade it on paper and return it to the students without using SpeedGrader to mark it up. That has fewer hurdles to jump through than the other alternatives.

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rwaters@missionprep.org 

There are several things going on here before you ever get to the question of whether a scanner will work with SpeedGrader.

One aspect is the inability for instructors to submit work for students. There is a feature idea open for this: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1124-submit-an-assignment-on-behalf-of-a-student" modifiedtitl...

A second is that you cannot have "on paper" and "online" submissions for the same assignment. There is a feature idea open for this as well: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1110-allow-multiple-submission-types-on-the-same-assignment 

A third is that there is no provision for SpeedGrader grading types that are not submitted online. Canvas just doesn't expect that there is anything in the system for those type of submissions.

A fourth is that you're asking if there is a scanner interface to SpeedGrader. That kind of direct connection does not exist. What needs to happen is that the student can submit an assignment and then the instructor can view it in SpeedGrader. Students do not have access to SpeedGrader and SpeedGrader is designed to grade assignments, not submit them.

I also teach math and sometimes the work is too difficult to have the students enter into Canvas as an essay question. I give students the ability to use a scanner, cell phone, tablet, or whatever device they have.  The scanner software most likely has the ability to create a PDF directly. For those using their cell phone or tablet, I had them use CamScanner (this was 4 years ago and there are probably alternatives -- i.e., I'm not endorsing CamScanner, just saying what I used) to convert it to a PDF. When the students submit a PDF to Canvas, you can then mark it up with SpeedGrader. For my kind of comments, I don't need to mark up the actual document, so I let them submit a PNG image and then I just provide feedback in the submission comments. You could also have a scanner in the room that will scan to a PDF and email it to the student, who can then submit it themselves.

Any of those requires you choose online submission. If a student doesn't submit it online, then it will show up as missing. Still, it is likely to be the best solution you're going to find for the majority of the students if you want to mark it up with SpeedGrader.

Another route is to make it a paper solution, but then no one can upload it to Canvas. What you can do is to run all of the documents through your scanner and convert them to a PDF. Hopefully you have an automatic document feeder. Then use Acrobat Professional or other PDF editing software to add the comments directly to the PDF. You'll need to split the assignments into separate documents so that you don't share student's work with other students. You can attach the graded and marked up PDF as a submission comment.

If you get the idea that this option is a lot of work on your part, you would be correct.

Another option is to grade it on paper and return it to the students without using SpeedGrader to mark it up. That has fewer hurdles to jump through than the other alternatives.

View solution in original post

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