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Law School Canvas Best Practices Guide

Guide for using Canvas for your class.

Using the Gradebook

The Grades tab in your Canvas class (AKA Gradebook) keeps track of the points your students have earned on any graded assignment or quiz given through the Canvas class.

  1. Go to your Canvas class
  2. Go to the Grades tab
  3. This pulls up a table of assignments and their corresponding grades by student
    • The columns are the different assignments
      • Unpublished assignments are viewable to you here, but students will not be able to see them.
    • The rows are the students in the classes
  4. Clicking on any box will allow you to manually input a grade for that student's assignment overriding any automatically given grade

View Options

You can change how the gradebook is ordered using these options

  1. Arrange By…: Order the assignments by a variety of options
  2. Filters: Select which module’s assignments to view
  3. Statuses…: Select highlighting options for different statuses of the assignments
  4. Columns: Select to show or hide certain columns
    • Notes: Show the column containing notes about a student’s grade
    • Unpublished Assignments: Show assignments that have not been published yet

Gradebook Options

The Gradebook menu allows you to switch between Gradebook, Individual, and Gradebook History view

Gradebook History

In Gradebook History you can pull up a history of all submissions for a student and/or assignment based on "Student, Grader", "Assignment", "Start Date", and "End Date".


  1. Import: Import a csv file of grades to add to the gradebook
  2. Export: Export a csv file of grades from the gradebook


Settings for the gradebook can be accessed using the gear in the top right corner

A detailed overview of the settings is given at the bottom of this page.

Individual View

Global Settings

  1. Here you can set the settings for the entire Individual view
  2. Select a Section: Choose which section these settings apply to, select  "All Sections" to apply to all sections of the class
  3. Sort Assignments: Choose how assignments will be sorted in the gradebook
  4. Treat Ungraded as 0: Sets all ungraded assignments to 0 points earned
  5. Hide Students Names: This will hide the name of the students when viewing the grades
  6. Show Concluded Enrollments: If you use the same Canvas class semester to semester or year to year then this option will show the grades of previous students
  7. Show Notes in Student Info: If you have written notes on a student’s grade this option will show those notes in the gradebook
  8. Show Totals as Points on Student Grade Page: Shows the total points earned by a student on their grade page.
  9. Download Current Scores (.csv): Download a csv file of the current scores for the selected section
  10. Upload Scores (.csv): Upload a csv file of grades to the gradebook.

Content Selection

  1. Select a Student: Choose which student whose grades you wish to view. The Previous Student and Next Student to cycle through all students one at a time
  2. Select an Assignment: Choose which assignment you want to view grades for. The "Previous Assignment" and "Next Assignment" buttons can be used to cycle through all the assignments one at a time.


  1. To use this section you will need to have selected a specific student and assignment previously
  2. Grade For: [Assignment Name] Here you can set the score for the selected student for the selected assignment.
  3. Excuse This Assignment for the Selected Student: Here you can choose for the selected student to be excused from the selected assignment. This will remove the assignments total points from the total possible points the student can obtain for the class.
  4. Submission Details: Pulls up the details on the students submission for the selected assignment. 
    • You can also change the grade for a student’s submission on the selected assignment here if you wish.
    • You can also post comments on the student’s grade here

Student Information

If you selected a student their information will appear here

Assignment Information

If you have selected an assignment its information will be displayed here, along with assignment specific actions.

  1. Muted: When selected students will not be able to see their grades or feedback for the selected assignment
  2. Message Students Who…: Brings up a menu to send messages to students who meet selected criteria for the assignment
  3. Set Default Grade: Allows you to set a grade for all students for this assignment. You can also choose to overwrite any submissions that have already been made
  4. Curve Grades: This allows you to set an average score for the assignment, curving all scores based on it. You can also set all ungraded submissions to zero points here for the purposes of curving. NOTE: Curving grades is irreversible you will be able to access the grade history of pre-curved scores, but the curved grades will stay in the gradebook.

Gradebook Settings

Late Policies

You can set automatic grading policies for late submissions here

  1. Automatically apply grade for missing submissions: Using this option any late submission will receive a flat grade percentage.
  2. Automatically apply deduction to late submissions: This will automatically subtract a set percentage per time interval chosen to late submissions until the minimum grade percentage is reached.

Grade Posting Policy

  1. Automatically Post Grades: Assignment grades will be visible to students as soon as they are entered. Grades that have already been hidden will remain hidden.
  2. Manually Post Grades: Grades will be hidden by default. Any grades that have already posted will remain visible. Choose when to post grades for each assignment on each column in the gradebook.

When done changing setting make sure you click Update in the bottom right to save the changes.