How To: Setup The Canvas Gradebook

Canvas Requirements decorative logo image

This guide will walk you through the process of utilizing the Gradebook to record your students' grades in Canvas with a focus on courses that use weighted grading. Please note that the same steps can be used for classes that do not use weighted grading. For this step, you should have already completed Steps 1 and 2. You can find information on Step 1: How To: Locate a Basic Canvas Course Template and Step 2: How To: Setup Simple Syllabus in Canvas. This article is Step 3 of a 3 part series that was created to assist faculty in meeting the requirements set forth by Florida SouthWestern State College.

How to Use the grade book to record students' grades Step 1

The first items you will need to set up are under assignments. On the left, you will find the Assignments link located in your course navigation bar.

Course navigation image

When you navigate to the Assignments area, you will see all the current Assignment Groups created in your course. If you have an empty class, the only thing displayed will be the default group titled, Assignments with no items in the group. 

Empty Assignments Group


To get started, you will want to have a copy of your syllabus to use as a reference. You will want to create an Assignment Group for each weighted category in your syllabus. 

Sample Syllabus template

To create an Assignment Group, locate and click on the + Group button.

+Group button location in the assignments area of a Canvas course.

In the window that appears

  1. Type in the name of the group as it appears in the syllabus.
  2. Type in the numerical value for the assignment group weight (for example 25%).
  3. Click Save.

Add Assignment Group window demonstration

Repeat the steps above to go through and create all the weighted groups in Canvas as they appear in your syllabus.

If you want to rename an existing Assignment Group, locate and click on the kabob icon to the right of the Assignment Group.

Location of the Kabob icon for each assignment group

In the menu that appears, locate and click on Edit.

Sub menu location under the kabob icon location

In the window that appears delete the current group name, then type in the new Assignment Group name you wish to use and click Save.

Image showing text box to change assignment group's title.

The assignment will now have the updated title.

After you have all the groups created, as they appear within your syllabus, you will need to set the % each group is calculated.  

On the Assignments page of your course, locate and click on the top right kabob button when the Assignments Group Weight menu option appears left click on it to open a new window.

Assignment weights group menu under the Kabob button

In the menu that appears, click in the box to the left of Weight final grade based on assignment groups, so there is a checkmark in it. 

Upon being enabled, you will see all the assignment groups you created appear below with an area to type in the numerical value you want to weight them. 

Assignment groups weight full menu image

Be sure to click, Save. You can verify the changes have been made successfully by looking at each assignment group. You will see the % that the group is calculated at to the right of each group title. 

Verify weights listed on assignment groups image

The next steps will take you through creating assignments within those groups.


Step 2

Navigate the Assignments are of your Canvas course if you are not already there. On the left, you will find the Assignments link located in your course navigation bar.

Course navigation image

When you navigate to the Assignments area, you will see all the groups you created in the previous step. This is where you will create all your assignments for classwork students turn in. To make your first assignment, click on the (+) button within the Assignment Group it belongs to. This will open the "Add Assignments to..." window.

In the new window that opens, you will need to fill out the form.

(1) The Type should be set to "assignment."

(2) The name should match the name of the work listed in the syllabus that you are collecting in class. This way, when it comes time to enter the grades, you can quickly identify which assignment in the Canvas grade book goes with the work received.

You can leave the Due date empty, but it is helpful for the students to keep up with their work if you enter a Due date. This will make it appear in the students, "To Do..." list when they login to Canvas.

(3) The points will need to be set to; the number of points you have the assignment, quiz, or exam worth in your syllabus.

(4) Click the Save & Publish option, and you have your first assignment placeholder created.

You can create placeholders for in-class tests, exams, or quizzes using the same method. All the placeholders you create will need to be set to the Type called "assignment." Go ahead and work through your syllabus now, creating all the placeholder assignments for all the work you will be collecting.

Add assignment to assignments menu image

Be sure as you are adding the assignment placeholders that you are clicking the + button in the correct Assignment Group for each assignment. 


Step 3

When it comes time for you to enter the students' grades into Canvas, navigate to the grade book area of your course by clicking on Grades.

Grades navigation image

Step 4

In the grade book page of Canvas, you will see your students listed in the first column vertically, and all the assignments you just created are displayed horizontally across the top.

Empty grade book image

To enter a grade for a student, click in the cell of the student; you want to grade and type in their grade. 

You can press Enter on your keyboard after entering a grade for one student to move to the next student's assignment box automatically.


How to: Get Additional Support

eLearning is here to support you through this process. You can reach out to Canvas support 24 hours a day, seven days a week by clicking on the Help link from the Canvas global navigation bar. From all of us at the eLearning department, thank you for your time.

Introduction to Canvas for Ground Professors – Enroll anytime and get started learning about Canvas at your own pace.

Canvas Basics for Campus Faculty Workshops – Want to dive deeper? Check out the TLC Training Calendar to register for upcoming workshops scheduled for summer and fall 2019.

Still struggling: Request a consultation with a Canvas expert


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Article ID: 58155
Wed 7/25/18 8:47 AM
Fri 6/14/24 3:51 PM