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Canvas Spotlight: grading best practices

Learn how to use the Canvas Gradebook to its fullest potential.

By Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo, Laura Berryman and Alex McDaniel

March 9, 2021

Students wearing face masks in an exercise science class.The Canvas Gradebook is a powerful and helpful tool for in-person and online courses. It’s also different from what you may be used to if you’ve previously worked with other learning-management systems such as Blackboard. This Canvas Spotlight explains some of the benefits of using the Canvas Gradebook and provides more detailed information on how to use and customize it.

Because grading is such an important topic, this is a special Canvas Spotlight with more detail. The overview provided here links to three more in-depth pages with information that covers student interactions with grades, customizing your Gradebook and optimizing your use of the Gradebook. Regardless of whether you are new to using online teaching tools or you are a seasoned veteran, this valuable information will help you use the Canvas Gradebook to its fullest potential.

Benefits of using Canvas Gradebook

The Canvas Gradebook is a convenient one-stop shop for all grade and assessment feedback information. The Gradebook is a useful tool because it:

  • Adheres to FERPA requirements
  • Is easy for students to use and access
  • Automatically calculates grades
  • Can be extensively customized
  • Provides full analytics

Best practices for using Gradebook

  • Keep grades up to date to ensure that students have an accurate picture of their performance.
  • Communicate early and clearly with your students.
  • Clearly identify where students can access their grades.
  • Explain your grading scheme, especially if it is different from traditional grades.
  • Share with your students when they can expect their grades to be available.

Learn to use and customize Canvas Gradebook

The following comprehensive Gradebook guide will help you use the Gradebook more comfortably and effectively. Some of the topics covered include applying your own grading scheme to a course, dropping the lowest scores and grading on a curve. In the links below, you will learn how to set up the Gradebook and customize it to best suit your needs. You can also read about additional best practices for how to simplify and improve your grading experience.

Have questions?

Want help on this or other teaching and learning topics? Please visit us for live support (10 a.m.-3 p.m., M-F) or try one of our self-help tutorials.

Topics: Best practices, Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, Online Learning, Technology

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