Nathaniel Gee

Multiple Grading Periods Functionality has Changed--for the worse?

Discussion created by Nathaniel Gee on Aug 12, 2016
Latest reply on Sep 21, 2016 by Theresa Wheeler

K-12 Colleagues,

 

We adopted Canvas last year, and the Gradebook function was the hardest to sell to the faculty because of its visibility to students and parents and also because of its inability to "nest" grading periods that overlap such as Quarter One+Quarter Two=Semester One. 

 

Luckily, in the nick of time before grades were due early last fall, Canvas issued out its grading periods option that allowed instructors to create grading periods and then use them to view their grades in the gradebook using those periods.  It still didn't allow us to "nest" grading periods, but a teacher could create a Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 grading periods, view those grades, then erase those periods, creating a Sem 1, Sem 2 grading periods.  So, we could at least adjust the grading periods at reporting times in order to get the proper grade to submit to our SIS.

 

School just started this year, and instructors discovered with ALARM!!!! that they no longer have this ability.  In fact, grading periods must be set up at the account level by the admin.  Our school allows teachers to choose whether they want to use quarters (50% each per semester) as their grading policy,  or semesters (quarter one and three reports are just halfway through the semester, and the semester grade is 100% of the grades).

 

I worked with our admin a long time today trying to figure out how this new system works, but it seems now that the school must decide on ONE GRADING SYSTEM FOR ALL GRADES K-12.  We cannot even create a quarter system for Middle School and a semester system for the Upper School.  The new grading periods functionality is so restrictive that it doesn't even allow sub accounts flexibility.

 

So, while last year each teacher could at least plug in their own grading periods--although still with no nesting capability--now the entire school K-12 must follow the same grading periods.  And therefore the workaround to get nested grades has vanished.

 

We called Canvas tech, and their solution was to create separate courses for each quarter or semester.  Of course, this just creates multiple courses on student and teacher calendars, the chore for our admin to create and populate new courses throughout the year, and teachers need to copy content from one course to the other all the time.  Furthermore, having multiple courses--Q1 course, Q2 course, etc, just creates separate gradebooks, and then students and teachers cannot easily see all the grades and averages for the year in one spot.

 

So, it seems to me that Canvas has moved backward in fixing grade periods for K-12 schools.  Are we seeing this correctly or have any of you figured out a fix for this that we haven't discovered? 

 

I think this is a rather serious problem, and it will discourage even more teachers from using the Canvas gradebook.  Many have been slow to adopt it already.

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