Align Your Syllabus And Canvas Gradebook
Oftentimes when you are assigned a course to teach, your Canvas course will have been copied from an older version of the course. While this helps maintain consistent content is being taught over the various sections and sessions, it may also mean that the grading elements outlined in your syllabus may not reflect what is actually built in Canvas. If you are building a brand new course, Canvas has certain grading defaults that also may not reflect the grading elements from your syllabus. This could mean that you are telling students that they will earn a certain letter grade based on one range of percentages while Canvas is actually identifying those grades in a completely different way. This could be extremely problematic. Therefore, you should always verify that the grading elements in your syllabus and on Canvas match.
1. Check your Grading Scheme.
Ensure that the Gradebook Scheme is the same as what you have on your syllabus (or your grades will not align). Either change your syllabus to match the Canvas grading scheme or vice versa, but they must match (see the Canvas Enabling a Grading Scheme tutorial, or the UTO Creating and Adding a Grading Scheme video ).
2. Check your Assignment Grading Categories and Weights.
Ensure that the assignment categories and percentages listed on your syllabus are the same as what is listed in the Canvas Assignments page (see the UTO How to Weight Grades video).
Review your syllabus to ensure that assignment categories will make sense to students and will be effective ways to demonstrate what they have learned.
Typically there should be 4-6 assignment categories.
Each category should be assigned a percentage to add up to 100%.
The Canvas default category called “Assignments” will need to be changed. Even if you change its weight to 0%, students will still see the category, so it is best to either rename it or delete it all together.
Every assignment that is assigned points should be moved into one of your weighted categories, even the “welcome” assignments like a syllabus knowledge check or academic integrity agreement. If you don’t, those points will not go towards students’ overall grade.
Attendance should not be one of your assignment categories, but you can include participation (see Methods of Measuring Participation).
3. Consider customizing your Canvas Gradebook.
Ensure that you have the New Gradebook enabled in Canvas and that you understand how to access the SpeedGrader feature (which will really help your grading be more efficient (see the UTO New Gradebook and SpeedGrader video).
Customize the Gradebook Total Column as needed (see the Canvas Total Column tutorial).