Is there an elegant way to drop students lowest score in a grading category? (For example, drop the lowest quiz grade?)
I'm not sure if I consider it *elegant* or not (), but yes, this functionality is built into Canvas as a possible rule for Assignment groups. For more information on how to do this see the following guide - How do I create rules for an assignment group?
But how do you make Canvas treat the lack of a score as 0? In other words, must I manually put in a score of 0 for students that don't take a quiz or do an assignment, or can I tell Canvas to treat those entries as 0 (so Canvas does not drop an assignment for which a student actually does get a score - which is what is appearing to do by default)?
If the answer is that I must manually enter 0s, is there a way for me to select just the students who have no score for an assignment from the Gradebook and have Canvas give everyone I selected a 0 or must I download the Gradebook into a spreadsheet, edit it with the spreadsheet, and upload it again? (For what it's worth, I have ~400 students and they get to drop one homework assignment, so each assignment seems to be having about 35 people not submit anything.)
In the gradebook, grade everyone who has turned in the assignment. Then click on the pull-down arrow at the top of the column. Choose "Set Default Grade"
Enter a grade of 0. Do not overwrite already-entered grades. Click Set Default Grade.
As far as I can tell, there is no way within Canvas to communicate to students what the class average (or score distribution) is for any item in Grades or Assignments. If this is the case, then setting grades to 0 is unproblematic. If not, then setting a bunch of grades to 0 artificially skews the average on a homework (when one will be dropped), and I'd want to alert students to this and/or disable this feature (if it exists).
Check out the View Scoring Details section of How do I view my grades in a current course?
Here's an example from a quiz of mine.
You do need at least five students completing the assignment to report this information, but if you're teaching a class with 400, that shouldn't be a problem.
The mean of 9.6 does appear to include the 0's. The lowest grade for those who actually took it was 7 and only including those gives 10.05 as the mean. The 9.6 does not match what I show, though, so it must include concluded students --- if I go to the quiz moderation page, the current students have an average of 9.3 for that assignment.
There have been multiple requests about that score detail panel here in the community. You may wish to search for those and leave your comments there rather than here, as this was just a "question" as opposed to a "feature request". In other words, the comments won't reach as many people if they're left here. What you're after may also involve creating different ways of signifying zero in the gradebook (0 vs no submission 0), which has probably also been a feature request.
This reply epitomizes what frustrates me about Canvas and it's "help". The link you give is to a student document. Prior to posting I tried to figure out if students could be shown statistics for an assignment. I did a search - for "mean" "median" "display statistics to students" - I did a top level search, I looked in answers, I looked in ideas. I found no links on the first page of any search results that told me (the instructor) how I might be able to give this info to my students. I went to my Canvas courses and went into the Student View - no statistics available. I went back in as an instructor and checked Grades and individual Assignments to see if there was some checkbox I missed to display this info to the students. Nope.
Now I go back to the top level search on Canvas and search for "Score Details" - still no relevant links on the first page that tells me how I, the instructor, can let a student see this info.
Now, you tell me I'm asking this in the wrong place. I can't even find one item relevant to the topic on the first page of any search results!
Beck, here's the link to the guide for instructors: How do I view assignment details in the Gradebook? I found it by searching on "grade statistics" (without the quotation marks) and using the filter to show only Documents (e.g. Guides). It was at the bottom of the first page of my search results. When I used "score details" in my search (again, without the quotation marks), this guide was the second result after I applied the filter.
I know how I can see statistics. My questions/concerns are regarding whether I have the ability to let students see statistics. James' answer above seems to indicate that there is some way that students can be shown statistics (or maybe it's just for some kinds of assignments?).
Aha, gotcha, Beck. in Course Settings, the setting that reads Hide grade distribution graphs from students is disabled by default (please refer to How do I hide the box and whisker plot (grade distribution) graphs from students? and How do I set details for a course?). So you shouldn't have to do anything on your end; students can already see the statistics for all graded assignments on their Grades tab by default, unless the setting to hide them has been enabled in the course. My students usually find the graphs on their own by clicking around--I know that because students ask me about it from time to time--but if they need help, the guide to which James Jones linked will help them out.
Thanks. Apparently my students have been able to see these misleading (and miscalculated) scores all along (since the default is to show them). Here's what's very frustrating -
1) the location of this setting is in a completely non-obvious place
2) the magic search terms are "grade distribution graphs" which to me has nothing to do with scores on individual assignments (a grade to me is A, B, C, etc.; a score is 57) much less things like commonly used terms such as mean, median, histogram, etc.
3) it is no way obvious to me when I am in the Student View that my students can or cannot see these "grade distribution graphs" - there's nothing I can click on while in the Student View that will show me a graph and the message that appears where I now know that it would show up is not immediately understandable (unless you've already read through the student guide)
Sorry for the confusion. I meant that expressing your frustration with the way things currently work will reach a bigger audience if you attach them to related feature requests rather than this post. I had a 4 y/o wanting attention at the time and didn't have time to research where they were. One feature request up for voting until January 2017 is about statistics in the gradebook, but contains links to many of the related feature requests I was referencing.
I gave the link to the student guide because it answered your question about whether students can see the results ... and because I experience the same frustration with being able to find things that you do. Until Stefanie provided the link, I didn't know how to turn it on or off -- just that students could see it.
When I have several more days to devote to this (since searching for anything in Canvas is an exercise in perseverance, patience, and the ability to come up with synonyms), I will be posting to any and all "feature" requests that I can find that are remotely relevant.
For what it's worth, neither the link you gave nor any of the referenced links are relevant to the issue of how Canvas treats ungraded items in drop-the-lowest grade compared to how it calculates averages for the class compared to how it calculates the student's average for the drop-the-lowest grade section.
And, until you posted your link, I had no idea students could even see anything, since the "Student" View doesn't accurately reflect, you know, the student's view.
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