Canvas Insider

Coming This Fall: The New Canvas Gradebook With the semester’s end in sight, grading is likely top priority, so this issue of Canvas Insider looks at the ins and outs of the Canvas Gradebook, specifically the New Gradebook.

A Tale of Two Gradebooks

Currently, Canvas supports two versions of the Gradebook, the Classic Gradebook (also referred to as the Old Gradebook) and the New Gradebook. If you use Canvas for grading today, you’re likely familiar with the Classic Gradebook, the default Gradebook. The New Gradebook, enabled only by changing a course setting, offers the same functionality as the Classic Gradebook, but also includes new, enhanced features for viewing and managing grades. To learn how they compare, review the Gradebook Functionality Comparison: Current vs. New Canvas Gradebook, a comparison chart that lists the features of each and includes links to relevant how-to articles.

The New Gradebook will fully replace the Classic Gradebook in the coming months. Replacement is expected before the start of Fall 2019.

While this article focuses on features of the New Gradebook, you might have questions about the Classic Gradebook and how to use it. For detailed instructions, visit the Canvas help articles:

How to Use the New Gradebook

Like the Classic Gradebook, the New Gradebook uses a tabular format. The first column displays student names. Adjacent columns are added for each of the published components—assignments, quizzes, and discussions—you’ve chosen to grade in your course.

The Gradebook offers many options to view, input, and manage grade data. Control the display of the Gradebook and various options using the menus at the top of the Gradebook and the Options buttons. Hover over a column heading to display its Options button (pictured left). Clicking the Options button will open a submenu with choices.

1. Gradebook menu: Select Individual View or Gradebook History. Individual View allows you to assess one student and one assignment at a time, while Gradebook History displays a log of recent grade changes in the course.
2. View menu: Filter and sort the columns of the Gradebook according to several view options. Sort by Assignment Name, Due Date, Points, and Module. Filter by Assignment Group or Module, if applicable. Choose colors to highlight assignment statuses, such as Late, Missing, Excused, etc.
3. Actions menu: Choose to Import or Export grades. Export saves all grade data to a .CSV file. Import allows you to select a .CSV file to upload into the Gradebook.
4. Student Name column: Displays the names of students in your course and other secondary student data you choose from the Options submenu. Select a sort order and other display preferences.

Assignment columns: A column is automatically added to the Gradebook for each graded item—assignment,   quiz, survey, or discussion—you add to the course. Unpublished assignments are hidden, unless you enable the Unpublished Assignments option on the View menu. 

The Options button in an assignment column offers choices to display and enter grades. Sort the Gradebook by grade, message students, establish a grading curve, set a default grade, mute the assignment, and more. 

Note: Because Canvas allows students to see assignment grades as soon you enter them, muting an assignment allows you to temporarily hide the grade from students, giving you the chance to grade all the students before releasing grades (i.e., unmuting).

6. Assignment Group columns: A column is automatically added for each Assignment Group you create in the course. If Assignment Groups are weighted, the weighted grade displays below the title in the column heading. The grades of all assignments in each Assignment Group are averaged together to produce the column values.

Total column: Displays the cumulative average of all grades in the course. If Assignment Groups are weighted, the weights are reflected in the Total grade; the assignment grade earned by the students is multiplied by the assignment group weight. 

The Options button allows you to sort by grade, move the total column to the front of the Gradebook (i.e., the first column after Student Name), and if Assignment Groups are not weighted, view the totals as a point value instead of a percentage.


For more details on the features of the New Gradebook, visit the Canvas help article How do I use the New Gradebook?

How do I set a course to use the New Gradebook?

If you’d like to enable the New Gradebook, it’s best to switch to the New Gradebook before a course begins or after it ends. After the New Gradebook is enabled, you will be unable to turn it off if any student submits an assignment, quiz, or graded discussion, even if it is submitted through the Test Student using Student View.

To set an upcoming course to use the New Gradebook in advance of WashU’s full adoption of the feature, follow these steps: 

  1. In Course Navigation, click the Settings link.
  2. Click the Feature Options tab.
  3. Available features will appear in the Feature Options tab. New features are enabled by your institutional admin, and the Feature Options tab will not display any features until they are granted access to you.
  4. Locate the New Gradebook feature, and click the X to toggle the option button and turn on the feature for your course.