[Gradebook] A better way to give individual grades in Group Assignments

USE CASE: I do a lot of small “group” exercises in the classroom.  I need the ability to grade the submissions as a group (which is there), but I also need the ability to provide individual grades (to students who were absent, etc.)  That functionality is also kind of there.  But as it stands now, I have to grade, then edit the Assignment to allow for individual grades. 


If I try to override a single student's grade in the Gradebook, it assigns that grade to everyone on the team.  There's no way that I have found to give an individual score to a student without editing the Assignment.


But then the Assignment has to stay that way for the rest of the semester.  The problem is that when I copy one course into another, I have to go into each individual assignment and make sure the Individual Grade option is turned off.


Also: when I separate it out into individual scores I THINK it removes the non-submitting team members’ ability to view the submission.  (I haven't found a way to really test this other than having a student show me their interface.  I cannot add "Test Student" into a Group.)


IDEA: It would be great if the SpeedGrader or Gradebook interface could allow me to enter a default grade for the team, but then show a list of team members who I can assign an individual grade to while in SpeedGrader.  That way the assignment stays the same (no editing) but I can assign different grades to individuals (overriding their team grade) in real time.  Or something like that.





Added to Theme

Provide more flexible grading options Theme Status: Identified

Community Explorer

This would be really valuable for our team!

Community Member

I completely agree with this. I should not have to switch back and forth between grade individually vs grade group in order to assign grades for group projects.  

Community Novice

I agree, I think the second part of this idea is really helpful. I do a major group project in my classes. I want to be able to assign the same grade to the whole group and for all of the them to see my comments. However, sometimes a group member may not be deserving of the same grade (ie. based on group feedback, etc.). It would be helpful if I could choose in speed-grader to assign the same grade to the whole group or give a group member/members a different grade.  However, I would still like all students to see the feedback and comments within an assignment, even if one gets a different grade. 


I know many of my colleagues in my department would welcome this type of option.

Community Member

I am going to add more to this issue, since I am in the middle of trying to grade group work right now, and Canvas makes doing this a nightmare!

I want to assign the same grade to each member of a group, so I check this option in the assignment.  I am doing this because I want to fill out ONE rubric and have all group members see this.  That's great.  But then, I have some groups where one or more group members did not participate at all, and I want to assign JUST those members zeros.  At this point, I SHOULD be able to go to the gradebook and change that ONE student's grade for this assignment to zero but no...  if I do that, it changes EVERY member's grade to zero.  So I have to:

1) get out of Speed Grader
2) edit the assignment to change the options to assign individual grades
3) go BACK to the grade book and change that one member's grade to zero
4) go BACK to edit the assignment again and change the options BACK to assign the same grade 
5) go BACK to Speed Grader again to resume grading other group's submissions

Then, when I encounter another group with a non participating member, I have to REPEAT THESE SAME STEPS ALL OVER AGAIN.

This is the most ridiculous set up I have ever seen in a course management system -- and because of it, I absolute HATE that my university switched to Canvas!

Community Member

@hoggardr  I agree with you that this is a huge oversight in Canvas and should be fixed asap.

Community Member

Canvas does not provide the option to grade an individual who misses or does not participate in a group assignment separately in the "This is a Group Assignment" button is clicked and the "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually" is off.    In a recent exercise 6 of the students in the group got 15 points each for their collective work through Speedgrader, one student did not participate and should have got a '0'.  But in the Gradebook when I tried to change the student's grade to a '0' and marked him as 'missing' Gradebook changed the grades of several other students in the group to '0'.  The only solution, I was told, was to click the "Assign grades to students individually" button--but if I did that then I would have to enter the grade individually for every member of the group.    That is adding an unnecessary amount of time and adds to my workload.  Canvas needs to provide in the Group Assignment section the option for instructors to assign a separate grade for 1 individual without having to make each member of the group an individual grade and enter them.  The workload when I shift groups around is unreasonable--and it would a very easy option to provide

Community Member

I got shifted over to this group after I posted my comments under Ideas--so I apologize if I look like I am clueless.  But the fact that there are so many of us indicates Canvas needs to do something--and fast


Community Member

B-linn, just make sure that you do not set up the assignment as individually graded, because this means that each student in the group needs to submit the assignment instead of 1 student submitting. (So why does Canvas think that this is a group assignment?)

See hoggardr's instructions above.

Thinking of the coding changes required of Canvas -- it should not be much.  Right now the code says 'if you update a grade for 1 student, change it for the entire group'.  They only need to change the code to say "update only for this 1 student".

Community Member

Thank you for the advice,  I have set up the assignment as Hoggard suggested.  I do hope this gets resolved by Canvas quickly


Community Member

I agree with everyone who mentioned wanting a more convenient way to individually grade students within a group. I like the "This is a Group Assignment" option; However, I was disappointed to find the "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually" part is really no different from grading individual assignments. I'm seeing comments on how to go around this problem, which is fine, but it doesn't resolve the issue of simplicity and convenience. 

What I would like to see, when "Assign Grades to Each Student Individually" is selected, is a speed grader page that looks something like this:

Speed Grader, group assignment (individual grades)Speed Grader, group assignment (individual grades)

I would also include a way to send comments to the individual student as well (not found in the image). This way all of your group grading can be done in one place. You don't have to jump from one page to the next editing assignment settings or figuring out who is in what group.