My husband and I both use Canvas at our institution--Houston Community College. He is experiencing a problem.

We spot check averages to be careful. Tonight, we discovered that his end of the semester grades are averaging approximately two points higher than they should.

What could be the problem? How do we fix this situation? We appreciate your input and possible solutions.

Best regards

Jaye Ramsey Sutter, JD

J-Ramsey Sutter,

Is your husband using a weighted gradebook that has some assignment groups without any grades yet? If so, Canvas scales the existing weights to make 100%.

For example, if you only have grades in assignment groups adding up to 95% of the grade, then Canvas will multiply the scores by 100/95 = 1.052632 (see below for more information).

One thing to watch out for, which often bites people, is extra credit. With a weighted gradebook, there is no extra credit in groups until the weights of the assignments passes 100%. If you have categories adding up to 90% with a 10% final project (not yet graded) and a 5% extra credit group, then all you really have is 95%, so it does the scaling as mentioned above.

What it really does is take the weighted average, which includes dividing by the sum of the weights.If you have 30% homework, 60% tests, 10% final project, and 5% extra credit and there is no final project yet, then the following would happen (I'm making up the student scores)

63.32%(60.15/0.95)The 60.15 that you think the student should have is divided by 0.95 (multiplied by 100/95) to make it out of 100 percent.

That Final Project assignment group is completely ignored since it has no grades in it.

What most people is happening is this:

60.15%But that's not how Canvas does it.

Now, once that final project is in, we get this

68.35%This time, there is no scaling applied because there is at least 100% available and the 68.35 that the student gets is what the student gets.

There are some lengthy discussions here in the Community on here involving weighted gradebooks and extra credit. Someone else probably has the links to those bookmarked. I know that Kona Jones and Stefanie Sanders had been frequent contributors to those discussions. One of them is here: Extra credit using weighted assignment groups.

There is also an explanation in the blue notes at the top of the Canvas Instructor's Guide page on How do I weight the final course grade based on assignment groups? . The Canvas Guides have lots of answers to other questions, but sometimes they aren't clear enough.