Hide Names of Graders (aka Anonymous graders)

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

Canvas currently offers the ability to hide the names of students whose work is being graded, but it does not offer the ability to hide the name(s) of those grading an assignment. Faculty frequently ask how to hide the identity of the teaching team member who grades a particular assignment. This feature is especially important for courses that are co-taught and for large-enrollment courses with multiple TAs, who might be subject to backlash for grades received.


Currently, we advise them to use the Crocodoc annotations Text Tool in SpeedGrader to provide feedback, but this is not ideal. Sometimes student submissions have very little white space in which to place these annotations, and they can be difficult for students to find and read. And this significantly limits the means by which faculty and TAs can grade: bulk uploading graded files displays names, SpeedGrader comments display names, and comment annotations display names. Additionally, the SpeedGrader mobile apps do not currently include the text annotation tool, which means that graders who need to hide their identities cannot grade using mobile devices.


A much easier solution for instructors would be one that hides the grader's name (perhaps replacing the individual's name with a generic term like "grader").


This idea has come up previously (Anonymous Graders  and Ability to hide the identity of graders in the comments in Speedgrader ) but did not reach the 100-vote threshold. However, there was interest in (and confusion about) whether this feature was deployed as part of  Canvas Studio: Anonymous Grading.

Comments from Instructure

For more information, please read through the https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-15420 .

Community Champion

Hmm interesting.  Typically for us, this is ideal to not have it Anonymous as then students know who to address their questions to, transparency in grading is important.  Some backlash in grading is always going to happen I find Smiley Happy so if there is regular disagreement and confusing about grading, maybe clarifying appropriate communication policies and grading policies and utilizing the moderating grading to ensure TA grading is consistent would be helpful?  I wouldn't want there to be anonymous grading in our online program as students confused about a grade I think should be able to question the criteria used and person that has graded their work...but different institutions may feel differently.  I'd love to see more detail on why this would be useful and if other institutions have the same issues...I'm not totally against the idea but I would definitely want it locked down at an institutional level as it really is a higher level type option I think and something an entire program/school would have a policy about. 

- Melanie

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. February 3, 2016 - Wed. May 4, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works! Smiley Wink

Community Novice

I am hoping this feature will allow grading to be anonymous for the students, but the instructor will still be able to see who left a comment.

Community Contributor

 @jones_jennifer ​that would be a great feature! It would be a great benefit for large-enrollment courses with multiple TAs and/or instructors.

Community Novice

The grader is not always the person to whom queries should be addressed.

Community Novice

I have needed this feature for several semesters. We've had to do a workaround of creating an extra email account and giving the grader access to that account, but it's (a) clunky and (b) poses real confidentiality issues in that the same account is being used year over year and hence the grader can see what was done in previous years' classes.  I strongly support this feature.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Congratulations! You have successfully sparked some very interesting debate among the product team! This is a tough one for us to reconcile at the moment. Canvas prides itself on transparency to students. While we can understand why instructors may have a desire to have their name masked from the student when grading, we are still debating whether or not this is in keeping with our original mission to have an LMS that doesn't hide things from students. I'm going to archive this one because we are not currently planning to do this, but the debate is real, active and may eventually end in favor of implementing this solution.

Community Participant

Unfortunately this feature request closed just days before our law school faculty expressed concerns about this missing feature as we prepare to migrate all our courses from our legacy LMS to Canvas.  Blind grading is commonly used by law schools.  If this feature is missing in Canvas, our law school will not be able to use Canvas to its full potential.  I hope the product team will understand why in this particular situation deviating from "not hiding things from students" is a good thing. Blind grading was introduced in the law schools to protect students from grader bias. 

Community Novice

We really need this! Questions about grading need to come to me rather than to the workstudy student who does the entering. The work study student is often in other classes with the students in this course, and doesn't need the grief she gets. Why would something getting 146 votes get archived (which I think means the Canvas developers have trashed it)?

John McGowan

Emory University Rollins School of Public Health

Community Novice

I read the comments from the instructure and I do think they are missing a very important suggestion that Linda made. It was that instead of putting the actual graders name just put "grader". Now the students know that it was the grader and not the instructor that made the comment. I so agree that if there are any questions about a grade they should come to the instructor not the grader who most likely are just following some grading guide that is given them. I know for me my graders are very busy and if my students know who they are they get inundated with request for help (which is expected to be done for free). It seems to be a very simple fix and I don't see that it goes against the transparency that Canvas desires.