I have read everything I can about weighted grades and, being relatively new to Canvas, am still confused. I'd like to ask the question by stating my goal and asking simply how I get there:

I want to set up a course in which the final grade will consist of the following components:

4 brief essays, 40% of the final grade

Quizzes, 20%

a final exam, 20%

presentation, 10%

participation, 10%

I understand this much: that I need to set up "assignment groups".

My questions:

1. Do I need five such "Assignment Groups", one for each category above, even if there only one item in the group?

2. What function is served by the "Points" in individaul assignments? (It seems not to matter what value I enter. Is that true?)

3. In one Assignment Group, can I weight individual assigments differently? Or will, for instance, the Assignment Group for the four essays inflexibly divide 40% by four, so that each individual essay amounts to 10% of the final grade? (I ask because I usually like to weight the first essay less than the later ones, thus honoring improvement as students improve.)

Thank you!

RSS

Robert, hopefully I can help with your questions!

1 - Yes, you need an assignment group for each of your five weighted groups. So five assignment groups and yes you need an assignment group even if there is only one item in the group.

2 & 3 - In a weighted gradebook points only matter if you have more than one assignment in that assignment group. If you only have one assignment, then you could make it worth any value (greater than zero) and it would still calculate the same. If you have more than one assignment in an assignment group than the points for an assignment determine how much that specific assignment counts (or adds to) the weighting the student gets for that specific assignment group.

For example, if you want all four of your brief essays (worth 40% overall of the course grade) to count equally towards that 40% then you would need to make sure all four essays are worth the same number of points. Ex: 100 points each.

Yet, if you wanted the four essays to factor differently into the 40% you would give them a different number of points. Ex: 25 points for Essay 1 & 2, 50 points for Essay 3 & 100 points for Essay 4. What this would do is internally weight these assignments within your 40% assignment group. So Essay 1 would be worth 12.5% (25 points/200 points total for this group = 0.125 or 12.5%), Essay 2 would be worth 12.5%, Essay 3 would be worth 25%, and Essay 4 would be worth 50% of the overall 40% for that assignment group.

I hope you find this information helpful in setting up your gradebook, but if you have additional questions, don't hesitate to let us know!

Kona