Grading is stressful and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to ruin the end of your semester. We’ve put together some of our favorite Canvas tips to make end-of-semester grading just a little bit easier.

Make sure all your assignments have a grade. If a student is missing an assignment, make sure to enter a zero grade. The “Total” grade does not include ungraded items shown with a dash, so failing to assign students who have not turned in an assignment a zero after the due date results in students seeing a better grade than they may actually receive. Use the “Set Default Grade” option on the gradebook column after the due date to set un-submitted grades to zero. For help, consult the Canvas guide, How do I set a default grade for an assignment?

Create assignment groups to drop the lowest grade. If you would like to drop grades from an assignment set, place those assignments in an assignment group and add a group rule to drop the lowest grade(s). It is important to remember that if you drop grades, you must enter a zero for any assignment not submitted by a student. Canvas will only drop graded items. For help, consult the Canvas guide, How do I create rules for an assignment group?

Match your gradebook grading scheme with your syllabus grading policy. If you would like to display the course “Total” grade to your students as a letter grade, enable the course grading scheme. However, make sure to update the default Canvas grading scheme to match your syllabus grading policy, and if you are using weighted assignment groups, verify the group weights are consistent with your syllabus. For help, consult the Canvas guide, How do I enable a grading scheme for a course?


If you have any questions about your gradebook or about how to use Canvas effectively, IT Academic Technology Services staff is always available at the Faculty Commons (116 Pearson Hall) or you can send your questions to

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