Gradebook FAQs

Gradebook FAQs

The following are some of the questions we frequently get asked about Grades in Canvas. For a full list of FAQs from Canvas, check out these Canvas Guides from Instructure: Grades

Can I add columns to the Gradebook on my own?

The Canvas Gradebook is driven entirely by the Assignment Index Page.  Columns in the Gradebook are only created by adding an Assignment in Canvas. If you need to create a column in the Gradebook to use for manual grading, you can create a No Submission or On Paper assignment.

No Submission assignments are when you do not want students to submit an assignment in Canvas. This assignment type can be used to create extra columns in the Gradebook, create an assignment that involves multiple scores, or give extra credit.

On Paper assignments are when you want students to submit an assignment to you but not through Canvas. This assignment type applies to traditional face-to-face courses or hybrid courses when you want the assignment turned in during class, but you still want to create a column in the Canvas Gradebook for grading purposes. When students view the assignment, they see that the assignment will be submitted on paper.

How do I create assignment columns for non-submission assignments in the Gradebook?

In Course Navigation, click the Assignments link, then click Add Assignment. Enter the Assignment details and set the Submission Type to No Submission or On Paper. If you are ready to publish your assignment, click the Save & Publish button. If you want to create a draft of your assignment and publish it later, click the Save button.
Note: Along with published assignments, the Gradebook will display unpublished assignments by default, but you can not enter grades for unpublished assignments.

How can I reduce confusion about which Assignments the students have to complete and those which are used only to create a column in the Gradebook, such as attendance?

When creating assignments for Grades, those columns show in the Gradebook.  One can then add assignments that require the students’ attention to Modules. This will allow not showing the Assignments tool on the Course Navigation Menu.  It will then reduce student’s confusion when they see an Assignment for attendance for example.  This is confusing to them.  By hiding the Assignment tool, the students will only see it in Grades and they will consider it a grade for attendance not an assignment they have to complete. 

Is it possible to hide columns/assignments in the Gradebook?

At this time, it is not possible to hide columns in the Gradebook so the number of columns is reduced.

The Hide Grades feature only affects previously posted grades for an assignment. Best practice suggests that instructors should use this feature sparingly (i.e. to hide grades posted in error). To hide grades, follow Canvas' instructions here.

Please read the next section about posting policies to learn more about how you can choose to manually or automatically release grades.

How do I select a grade posting policy for a course or Assignment in the Gradebook?

By default, Canvas courses use an automatic course posting policy. All assignment grades are visible to students as soon as they are entered in the Gradebook. Grades for anonymous and moderated assignments do not post automatically. 

To set a policy for a course, follow Canvas' instructions here.

To set a policy for an Assignment, follow Canvas' instructions here.

How do I apply a Missing Submission policy in the Gradebook?

The Missing Submission policy lets you automatically apply a grade for all missing submissions in the Gradebook. A submission is labeled missing when the due date has passed and it has not been submitted. Only submissions with a status of Missing will be affected by the Missing Submission policy. The Missing Submission policy is set per course. Setting a Missing Submission policy affects all assignments in a course, including assignments with due dates in the past. To exclude a specific assignment, mark the submission as something other than Missing in the Grade Detail Tray.

In Course Navigation, click the Grades link. Click the Settings (gear) icon. In Gradebook Settings, view the Late Policies tab. Click the Automatically apply grade for missing submissions checkbox. Selecting this checkbox will automatically apply the grade you set for any missing submissions in the course. Set a percentage in the Grade percentage for missing submissions field. Click the Update button.

The Missing Submission policy allows you to define a grade that will be granted for missing submissions as a percentage of the total points possible. The percent entered is multiplied by the total points possible on the assignment and the resulting value will be awarded to missing submissions. For example, if the Missing Submission grade is set to 20% and the assignment is worth 10 points, all missing submissions for that assignment will be awarded a grade of 2 points (10 points possible x 20% = 2 points awarded). To award all missing submissions with a grade of 0, the Missing Submission grade can be set to 0%.

How do I apply a Late Submission policy in the Gradebook?

There are many caveats and misunderstandings about this setting. (It marks submissions late by the second, so submissions entered right on the minute of the Due Date are counted late.) We do not necessarily recommend using it. Therefore, before applying this setting, please read all the notes and instructions from Canvas regarding this policy. 

How do I sort and display student data in the Gradebook?

The Student Name column displays the students in your course. Hover over the column header titled Student Names and select the Options  (3 vertical dots) icon. You can view options to sort names by last name, SIS ID, Integration ID, and Login ID and display names by either first or last name. You can also choose to view concluded and inactive enrollments.

To display names in a specific name order, select the Display as link. By default, names display as first name, last name. To sort in descending order, click the Last, First Name option. To view secondary information for students, select the Secondary info link. This menu allows secondary information to display below the student’s name. Options include the student’s section, SIS ID, Integration ID, Login ID, Group, or no display. Only one secondary information option can be displayed at one time.

Can the Assignment Groups totals be hidden from the students in grades?

Using the main course navigation menu, select  Settings, then ensure you are on the Course Details tab. Scroll to the bottom and click the blue link entitled More Options.  This will populate 7 course-wide options.  One of the options, Hide totals in student grades summary, will hide those totals.  Another option is to Hide grade distribution graphs from students.  Once you make your selections, be sure to click on the blue Update Course Details button to save these changes. 

Is it possible to create a Gradebook with different requirements for the two groups of students in a stacked course (i.e. 400/500)?

This is referred to as differentiated grading.  Basically it involves setting up assignments and assigning them to a section, such as the 400 students.  Then creating the assignments for the 500 students and assigning those assignments only to this group of students.  Once this is done, the Gradebook will calculate the students grades based on the section they are enrolled in.  For more information on this, contact UO Online for assistance. 

How can extra credit Assignments be included in Grades, but not be part of an Assignment Group?

Create a new Assignment Group and name it Extra Credit.  Assign it a percentage that makes sense for the course. This will be above and beyond the 100% already set up in Assignments and Grades. Keep it unpublished until the end of the term when you want the extra credit to show in Grades. Add the grades, publish it, and adjust the weight of the group as necessary. 

Is there a way to Exempt a grade for a student?

If a grade for student should be exempted, put an EX in place of the point total for that grade item.  It will then appear as an EX in Grades and not be calculated as part of the student’s final grade.

Can I copy a custom grade scheme from one course to another?

At this time custom grade schemes do not copy when copying course components. This is a feature request with Canvas. 

Can I email students directly from Grades?

Yes! From the Student Name column in gradebook, click on the student you would like to email.  A separate window will populate on the right of your screen.  Click the Envelope icon to email them directly.


Related Topics: Canvas Gradebook, Canvas

For further assistance, UO Online & Canvas Support is available.

  • In-Person: Room 68 PLC
  • By phone: (541) 346-1942
  • By email:
  • Chat with us at
  • Submit a Service Portal Ticket by clicking the Help button at the bottom of the Global Navigation Menu in Canvas