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Is there a way to auto excuse students from assignments before they started?

My school has a rolling enrollment, as such I have a number of students who joined mid way through content at varying places. In the new grade book, I saw a handy late submission box, and checked it thinking it would make my life much easier by automatically providing zero's for missing assignments. Well it went back and put in zero's for every not graded assignment I had, that were exempt because the student hadn't joined us yet.

Is there a way to change the status of multiple assignments at once (like highlight 20 assignments and mark them all excused)? Or perhaps to set a begin date for each student, where it figures this out automatically.

8 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach, as far as I'm aware there is no way to change or adjust grades in the manner you are requesting. The best I can think of is to go to the gradebook, sort it by assignment due date and then work your way across for each student putting in an EX. Or, possibly download the gradebook to excel, put in the EX's, and then re-upload it. As a side note, as long as you don't put anything in the box (so it's blank) it doesn't actually hurt the student's score/grade. 

Hope this helps!

Yeah, I had been leaving them blank up until now, I turned on the auto fill missing work option in the new gradebook, and it went back to filled those ones I left blank. I got it reverted back now, and am not turning back on the missing work policy option again until I hear of a bigger way to do it.

Community Coach
Community Coach,

Were you able to find an answer to your question? I am going to go ahead and mark this question as answered because there hasn't been any more activity in a while so I assume that you have the information that you need. If you still have a question about this or if you have information that you would like to share with the community, by all means, please do come back and leave a comment.  Also, if this question has been answered by one of the previous replies, please feel free to mark that answer as correct.



Community Member

I have this exact issue and was rather hoping there was an alternative to going into every assignment separately. It looks like there isn't which is a real shame as we have new students starting all the time with maybe 2 or 3 assignments each week per subject.

Technically as long as you don’t enter any grade for these students for the earlier assignments, they won’t impact their grade. Otherwise, downloading the gradebooks is probably the quickest way to enter in all the EX’s.  

Our grades get transferred to another grading software to communicate grades to the district and parents, and we need an entry in every assignment. So this isn't practical for everyone (to leave the assignment blank, instead of "excusing") I would also like to see this feature in canvas!


Many of the grading processes are not user friendly for teachers.  Don't you have a panel of educators who evaluate the user friendliness in terms of how the gradebooks are used on a daily basis?  It's exhausting to get surprised by the problem, try to figure out the workaround, and advocate for a solution on the user forum when most teachers would have caught these problems in the development stage.

Totally agree with @mlion .  I remarked to a colleague just last week that between me and somebody with coding experience, I would think a lot of issues that drive me insane could be resolved in a month of effort.  For instance, this.  One of my biggest pet peeves is also that there is no way to enter a special code for different kinds of zeroes.  There are so many reasons why a kid might have a zero, and now I have to un-sync Canvas from my district gradebook and hand-enter all of my grades because it isn't functional enough.