Grading Schemes in Canvas

Grading Schemes in Canvas

A grading scheme refers to how you determine grades in your course. If a student scores within a certain range, they will receive a corresponding letter grade. For example, the standard grading scheme at the University of Oregon holds the cutoff for an A- at 90%. The most common use of a grade scheme is to apply a letter grade to the Final Grade score in the Gradebook. The letter grade scheme can however be applied to any item in the Gradebook.

The University of Oregon has created a default UO Compliant grading scheme that includes A+ to align with the UO Grading Policy. Learn more from the Office of the Registrar's Grading System page.

If the default UO Compliant grading scheme doesn't match the grade ranges you use when assessing your students, you can edit the grading scheme or create your own custom grading scheme following the steps outlined in the Adding a New Grading Scheme section below.

Related Topics: Canvas, Canvas Gradebook

UO Compliant Grading Scheme

The default Canvas grading scheme is NOT compliant with UO policy because it does not include A+. UO policy requires the possibility of an A+ as outlined in the University of Oregon Grading System policy.

If you choose to use a grading scheme in Canvas, you need to do one of the following:

  • Set the grading scheme to the UO Compliant version
  • Edit the Canvas Default grading scheme to include A+
  • Create a custom grading scheme that includes A+
UO Compliant Grading Scheme with A+ option


Setting a Grading Scheme

You can enable an existing grading scheme for your course by editing your Course Settings. If you need to change your course grading scheme at any time, you can manage the grading schemes and find a new scheme.

In the Course Navigation Menu, click the Settings link [1] which should open on the Course Details tab [2].

Canvas settings course details tab


On the Course Details tab, scroll down down to the Grading Scheme item [3]. Check the Enable course grading scheme box.

If you haven't already set a grading scheme for your course, you will see the set grading scheme link [a]. Click the link to select the UO Compliant Grading Scheme, update the Default Grading Scheme, or to create a new grading scheme.

If you previously selected a grading scheme in your course or if one was imported using the Course Import Tool, you will see the view grading scheme link [b]. Follow this link to see all available Grading Schemes for your course.

Grading scheme set or view


Here you can view and/or edit your grading scheme. Edit a grading scheme by selecting the pencil icon. You can also select another grading scheme by clicking on the Select Another Scheme hyperlink [4].

If you have additional grading schemes already established, you can manage them by selecting the manage grading schemes [5] link.

Canvas select or manage grading schemes

Managing Grading Schemes

Here you'll see a list of all grading schemes available to you, including the UO Compliant Grading Scheme.

1. You can create a new grading scheme by selecting the Add a grading scheme link.

2. You can edit existing grading schemes by selecting the pencil icon, or delete a grading scheme by selecting the delete icon.


Canvas Add or Edit grading schemes

Adding a New Grading Scheme

To create a new grading scheme, select + Add grading scheme.

Give your new grading scheme a Title [3].

For each line item, edit the grading scheme name in the Name field [4]. This can be a letter or a longer description as shown at right.

Edit the minimum end of each range in the to [number]% field [5]. The grading scheme must contain a full range from 100% to 0%.

If you need to add ranges, place your cursor over a range checkbox and click the Add [+] icon. You can remove individual ranges by clicking the remove [x] icon.

Click the Save button to save your new grading scheme. Your new grading scheme will appear in the list of available grading schemes.

Canvas create new grading scheme

Using a Grading Scheme on Assignments

There may be times when you'd like to apply a specific grading scheme to an assignment (or discussion).

As you are setting up the assignment, select Letter Grade in the Display Grade as field. Then select View Grading Scheme.

Canvas assignment display grade as option menu


Canvas view grading scheme in assignment setup



In the View/Edit Grading Scheme window, find the grading scheme you want to use for the assignment and select Use This Grading Standard.

Canvas select custom grading theme for assignment

The grading scheme will now be applied for that assignment. 

Things to Note

The Default Canvas Grading Scheme is not compliant with UO policy. If you plan to use the Default Grading Scheme, you must edit it to include A+ as outlined in UO grading policy.

Custom grading schemes are set at the course level and not the account level. This means that when you set-up custom grading schemes in a course, those schemes will stay with that course when you export it. However, new courses will have only the default UO Compliant Grading Scheme available and you will have to set-up any custom grading schemes.