This is the higher ed tech podcast season four episode 14 Canvas gradebook tips.
Tim Van Norman 0:20
Welcome to today’s higher ed tech Podcast. I’m Tim Van Norman, the Instructional Technologist at IVC.
Brent Warner 0:26
I’m Brent Warner professor of ESL here at IVC. We both enjoy integrating technology into the classroom, which is what this show is all about.
Tim Van Norman 0:35
Welcome. We’re glad you’re here with us. So, middle of the semester, before midterms,
Brent Warner 0:42
pre midterms, we made it a Tim I gotta say, just frankly speaking, the all conversations in my world right now our chat GPT and artificial intelligence. Just recently, or Apple. Google announced their their one which is called Bard at the moment, I think it’s it’s kind of limited release, but it’ll it’ll kind of widen out soon. So AI conversations today, we’re not talking about that we’re gonna we’re gonna take a little break. But that’s kind of been outside of my teaching time. That’s kind of been the heavy, heavy conversations and the interesting all sorts of interesting stuff. I’m fascinated by it. But But yeah, it’s a lot. So
Tim Van Norman 1:25
it is, how about you?
Brent Warner 1:26
What are you focusing on?
Tim Van Norman 1:27
For me, I’m focusing on Hey, by the time this episode airs, I will actually be able to hold my grandson for the first time I, I am going to be in Pennsylvania, as this airs also. Awesome. Looking forward to that.
Brent Warner 1:45
Yes. You’ve had a full on Semester, even as we’re still just in just the middle of month two here, but, but it’s been a lot. And there’s been ups and downs as as with everybody, you know. But, you know, continually thank you for all of your work. And I hope you enjoy and just really take your take some downtime as you’re out there. So
Tim Van Norman 2:12
that is my intention. Yes. Yes.
Brent Warner 2:15
So Tim, today we’re going to be talking we’re kind of going back to a canvas conversation. We haven’t done a full on Canvas episode for a while I am lots of canvass questions come up to me, and I’m sure to you, uh, you know, amongst faculty members, and, and all sorts of things. And then we’re looking at some things you and I were just kind of peeking around at a few of the features the other day. And, and so just like, oh, we should actually talk about what, what’s going on inside of Canvas gradebook specifically. So let’s jump over there. Let’s, let’s, let’s get into it.
Tim Van Norman 2:54
So as you mentioned, yes, it’s been a long time since we’ve talked about Canvas, which is good. That means we’ve had a lot of other topics too. But canvasses, done a whole lot of different things. And the gradebook is just one segment of it. But as we were putting together the show notes, man, there’s a lot of stuff in the gradebook. Yeah,
Brent Warner 3:10
we’ve got longer show notes than we’ve had in a while here. But here’s all the things that’s going on. It’s like, oh, my gosh, we got it. We got a lot to cover here. But not everything will be in depth. But I think it’s good to be aware. And hopefully, people listening will take one or two little tips and tricks and, and help improve their workflow a little bit.
Tim Van Norman 3:30
Yep. So first of all, you’ve got the main gradebook. And in the upper left, there’s an option for changing to different grade books. So there’s the individual Gradebook where you can see kind of what it looks like from a student. But I really like looking at the Learning Mastery Gradebook if you have done anything with regard to outcomes, learning mastery shows you graphically how each student has done for each of the outcomes that you do. Whether this is school level outcomes, you do outcomes in your class, whatever it is, however you measure the outcomes, it shows up in that and it’s really neat, colorful, graphic way of seeing how your students are doing in those outcomes that you’re trying to make sure you cover in your class.
Brent Warner 4:14
So Tim, I’ve always seen it there. I’ve never really dug into it. Because it to me, it’s always felt like oh, okay, that’s the thing. I’m gonna have to go and get some training on before I really play with it and figure it out. It feel it just when I see learning mastery, I’m like, okay, that’s full on pedagogy, like and great. Like, it’s good to have all that stuff. But, and I might be wrong here too. So. So you know, like I said, I’ve only just kind of set my own biases as I’m like, okay, there’ll be a time when I’m going to watch these figure this out, right? But how hard is it to jump into there and kind of get started with it.
Tim Van Norman 4:50
So like I said, you need to just set up outcomes in your course. Okay, so like as this can be that you’ve downloaded them, you’ve imported them from your car. ledges are your school’s system. Or it can be that you’ve just sat down and said, You know what I want my students to learn how to use, learn what a noun is learn what a verb is, learn what an adjective is, stuff like that. And you can literally create your own outcomes in your course. Oh, okay, then when you do an assignment, that would have something to do with one of those, you can have it rate based on that. So you can score and it can be part of the score, it can be not part of the score, it could be something you select on for the different grades for the student. It can be from quizzes, etc. But what happens is, every time it’s measured, it shows up in the gradebook if that if it’s graded, if it’s part of your grade, but it then shows that outcome, and how they are doing in that outcome so far in your class. So if you measure something at the very beginning of your class, hopefully not all of your students have already mastered your outcomes that you want, and then measure it again in the middle and measure it at the end, you should see improvement across that. And this gives you graphically where you can just literally take a quick glance, and you see Oh, everybody’s green. And oh, everybody’s dark green, that means they’re really mastered, or oh, there’s a couple of reds in here, have, have they gone from red to yellow to green, you know those types of things. And you can see it very quickly. You can see it overall grade for the whole class on each individual outcomes on that. So it’s a really neat, graphical way of seeing it.
Brent Warner 6:37
Question, this is just I’m not this is getting into like hacking territory with it a little bit. But like, let’s say you’re kind of interested in participation, like how students are engaging with the class and you kind of do you’re in? Could you set it up to say, like, hey, informally, every day, I just kind of want to give a little rating as to how much I saw the students participating in class, it’s not gonna go into grades necessarily, or anything like that. It’s just kind of, for me to keep track of, could you set? Could you set up like, you know, participation levels for? I don’t know if that’s a good example. But could you set up things that are not specifically learning, but just, Hey, these are goals that I want to see, or I’m interested to know, if my students have hit? Could you put those in there, too.
Tim Van Norman 7:25
So goals that are spot time, a spot in time type of goals would work really well? Like you’re talking about attendance or participation over time, I think that would be a little bit harder to make that one work as well. You’d have to really pay attention and understand how you’re going to do it. Because also in all of this, I don’t want to create extra work for you. No, no, no, I’m looking at how do you make this happen? Easily? Not? How do I? How do I have to go in every day and make a change? It’s not like, yeah, I
Brent Warner 8:00
don’t think that’s me, I am thinking of some teachers who really like to track data and create understandings of their own things. You know, like, I probably wouldn’t ever do anything like that. But, but I do know, some teachers that are just like, I love having all this data and analyzing it. Right. So.
Tim Van Norman 8:16
So from that perspective, one of the options is the export. So you can export your gradebook to a comma delimited file. Oh, so basically to Excel. So you can export it at any time, you can export the view that you’re in, or you can export the whole thing. And why is that important? Well, frankly, I love at the end of the semester, when faculty just download their, their grades, and have them store them in Excel. Everybody feels more comfortable. Canvas isn’t going to lose the grades. But you know, it’s kind of nice to have them yourself. If anybody ever comes back and asks a question, you simply go to a spreadsheet that you’ve gotten, you’ve got everything in front of you. So um, but you can use it for things like this to where you can actually I know some people who will take semester to semester and compare how did students grades go this semester versus this semester versus that semester?
Brent Warner 9:10
That makes sense? Yeah. Okay, cool. Well, we got two things there. All right, what else it’s,
Tim Van Norman 9:14
it’s cool. Gradebook history, going back to that, that one spot. If you’ve ever accidentally changed a grade, as we’ll talk about in a second, you can go down a column and just enter grades, which is great. But you realize halfway through, you’re in the wrong column, which happens a lot. Not as not as much as I’m afraid or hopefully not as much as I’m afraid but, but more often than I’d like to have happen. All you have to do is run the Gradebook history and you can see exactly what the grade was before. So you can just change it yourself. You don’t have to go back and Tim Do we have a backup? You know, what can I do? is pretty simple. And I really liked that particular part. So great book history. You can, you can just see it right there on the screen. It’s really nice that way. We’ve talked about export. But then if you keep on going over to the right, there’s this gear, which is settings. And underneath there, there’s a bunch of different tabs, late policies. So you can say, hey, if somebody’s late, automatically deduct a certain percentage from their grade. So you still grade them as if they handed it in on time. And Canvas then does the deduction for you. Yeah, if you want, but it does it for all of your gradebook, not just one assignment. So you got to be you got to make sure this is truly what you want before you do
Brent Warner 10:36
it. Okay, so it’s not so careful with a it’s like only this quiz, right? It’s gonna be for everything. Okay, so be careful, for sure. Yeah,
Tim Van Norman 10:44
be very careful. And then missing submissions, that one’s really nice, as long as you put in due dates. Then when they didn’t submit by that time, it automatically gives them a zero. And the nice part then is you can still change it. So this is not locking you into anything, but it’s a missing submission, gives him a zero, the student sees a 00. Wait, I whoops. And they handed in that, then you can be the teacher and figure out how you want to handle it.
Brent Warner 11:17
Yeah. So I actually, you helped me set this up for myself. And the goal is not in my case. So I’m pretty flexible, like, Hey, if you’re late, like, whatever, that’s fine. Like, we can talk about it, we can sort it out. And so it’s not meant to be a hard grade. But it is meant to one, kind of take care of it for me so that I don’t have to remember to go back in and fill in a zero grade for someone if someone never submits anything. But also it’s a little kick in the pants to the student to say, hey, oh, wait, I gotta zero Wait, what happened? Right? And then they’ll kind of, you know, get that little notification for themselves, and hopefully then reach out and say, Oh, I’m ready. I’m sorry, this is only going to be 20 minutes late or something like that. Right. And so it doesn’t have to be, you know, an actual punishment, right? You don’t have to be giving people zero grades, but it can be, it can be a motivator for the students just, you know, again, it just kind of a way like, we all get those things. It’s like, Hey, this is your last bill warning before it gets sent to collections. And you’re like, Oh, I didn’t mean to not pay it. I just, you know, whatever happened, right? So you pay that thing, and you’re good.
Tim Van Norman 12:27
Not only that, but when you’re close to cut off times, when you when students can drop without penalty and stuff like that. It’s nice to know that the grade in Canvas is actually accurate. So I had one student stop in and they had I think it was like a 65% going in the class. And they’re like, I can do this. Now I’m probably not going to get an A but I can I can bring my grades up and and be reasonable. Well, the moment we turn, we put zeros in for the assignments that were missing, they went down to a 35% that that’s not going to be recoverable, not up to a decent grade. Yeah. And so then the student might be encouraged to go ahead and drop it drop the class before it’s a problem. And even better if they can learn that earlier in the semester and get with the, with the teacher and maybe get some help and get that grade up faster. Yeah,
Brent Warner 13:23
it’s an it’s really an issue, right? Yes, it can, it can give them an honest reflection of where they are, instead of just kind of some pie in the sky thinking. Right?
Tim Van Norman 13:33
Right. So. So I really like that, that putting the zero in early. There is an advanced tab, the only option there is final right now is Final Grade override. But that’s actually a really neat option. So here at IVC Canvas does not feed into our student information system with the grades. But other places it does. But even at that students want to see in Canvas what their final grade is. So what it does is create a column that you can adjust the grade, you can override the grade, so that it still calculates, but you’ve basically given them a bonus column to so say they’re at a at 9.95%. And you have it set up to automatically that’s still a b or b plus or whatever. You might want to give them that point zero 5% and kicks them up to the A Yeah, yeah. So it’s a really neat option.
Brent Warner 14:33
Yeah, I mean, it’s great that it’s there. Like there’s going to be I can already hear people going you shouldn’t do that, you know, the great, whatever, but like, that’s all about a side, right? Like, like people’s feelings about how they do it. It is important to be able to have a feature because that’s real customizability for for you to you know, like whatever ends up happening, right or maybe after something’s happened, right? I don’t know, like all sorts of situations happen right? So little bump up little issue here, whatever. So. So it could just be an easier way to take care of that at the end.
Tim Van Norman 15:06
Before this, I would hear from faculty who Oh, okay, now I’ve calculated their grade, it’s at 5.95, I want to get them up into an A, so I’m going to change the grade value on this assignment, or something like that, and, and then things became fake. I like the fact that there’s a column there that just says, You know what, I gave you extra points next, you know, so it’s a really nice, nice option. The last tab is view options. And under View Options, there’s the ability to arrange this is how do you view the Gradebook itself. So you can arrange the assignments by alphabetical order due date, default order, which is the order that you’ve got them physically in the Assignments tab. And there’s a couple options there. But it also underneath that has some really neat checkboxes that you can do. And, you know, unpublished stuff like that, whether you want to see the unpublished assignments, but you can split the student names. So let’s say you want to have first name and last name separated, you want to alphabetize by first name, instead of by last name, something like that. You can do the split of the student names, and now it’ll come up as a separate column, you can hide the assignment group totals. So if you say you put all of your assignments in one group, why should you have assignments and then total right next to each other? It just doesn’t make sense why that is at least not doubling up something for you their view ungraded is zero. So if you didn’t mark the other, what I was talking about before with the group, where you can just have to put in a zero for everything that was the late policy, the missing submissions, you can actually just mark all the ungraded as zero.
Brent Warner 16:58
Now at this one, is that just is that just a temporary viewing
Tim Van Norman 17:02
this is view it. So this calculates everything as if it was zero, it does not change anything for the student.
Brent Warner 17:08
Okay. Okay. So that’s just for yours. That’s it. Because then when you’re if you’re having a side by side with your student, and you’re looking at it, and you go, boom, let’s mark this view as zero. I’m not actually giving you zeros on all these things, however many assignments it is, but this is our baseline. So now we can have the conversation. Right?
Tim Van Norman 17:27
Exactly, exactly. So you also have the option of turning on and off notes. So there’s a column that can come right next to the student’s name with the notes. So you could say you offer one late, or I know that’s a common one, you could actually just put in late and the date, or late in the assignment number, and it just gives you that column. Students can’t see it. But it’s really cool to actually have that available in the gradebook itself.
Brent Warner 17:55
I traditionally use this Tim, I’ve got so many ESL students that kind of have their English nicknames. Right, so I’ve traditionally use this to plug their nicknames in. But I’ve also noticed that right now, it seems like some of my own students are able to change now their own names somehow Is that what’s going on. So
Tim Van Norman 18:13
in Canvas, there is a place where people can change their names, we have that turned off, okay. For us, we have it in our student information system, where they can give what they’re called what’s called a preferred name. Okay, so my name is Timothy van Norman, but my preferred name would be Tim.
Brent Warner 18:35
So when when we put that in at our school, when we put that in, now it pushes through to Canvas,
Tim Van Norman 18:41
it pushes through, it shows up on your roster pushes through the canvas. And if I change it, it will automatically change it in Canvas as well.
Brent Warner 18:48
Okay, because I didn’t see a name change so. So for some people who don’t have that set up, or who don’t have it activated in Canvas, you can still go put in nicknames if you wanted to right there. I’ve seen some teachers, like do descriptions of their students so that they know like, they’re like, Oh, who is that person? Oh, yeah. brown hair, or something like that. It’s like, okay, that’s the person, right? So. So there’s lots of different uses for that kind of simple little column there. Right?
Tim Van Norman 19:15
It is a very useful column. And then, so moving out of settings we’ve got I’m going to start on the right with total. Okay, so one of the really cool things you can do is to the right of the word total for the Totals column. You didn’t click on the three dots, it gives you several options, but one of them that I really, really like is move the total to the beginning. That’s nice. So what does that do? Right next to the student’s name as you scroll you have their total that’s great. That is amazing. It really has has saved a lot of people frustration as Okay, I gotta scroll back and forth to see if this made any difference nope, is right there. And then also display as points So, if you are not using weighted grades, if you’re using weighted grades points that won’t make any sense in total. But if you are not using weighted grades you can display as points. So you can see how many points that student actually has in the class. Rather than seeing 98.95%.
Brent Warner 20:20
Yeah, I can see. Because there are also a lot of teachers who do things like, hey, this class is worth 1000 points, right? And I’m just gonna work your way through that. So that I can definitely see where, you know, depending on how you have your class set up, lots of just the option to be able to swap that one way or the other is really great. Yeah, and I love the the diluting the total to the beginning. It’s like, I love that everyone’s like, it’s so awesome. And it’s like, it is awesome. It’s great that it’s there. But also, it’s like, probably should have been there from the beginning as well.
Tim Van Norman 20:53
So if you think of spreadsheets, you always calculate all the way to the right. Sure, sure, sure, of course. But in this case, it really does make a huge difference to have it all the way on the left,
Brent Warner 21:03
especially as you’re scrolling left and right, right. And doing that whole thing I should also I’m just going to throw in, we’re not doing a zippy tip this one, but I’m just going to do it anyways, which is I think if you hit the CTRL button or the command button, depending on your keyboard and then scroll, you can you can scroll left and right in the gradebook instead of instead of going down and clicking on it and then dragging it to the right into the left on your gradebook. So there is a way to scroll horizontally with your keyboard and your mouse.
Tim Van Norman 21:36
That is true. And it also depends if you’re using a touchpad, you can just scroll side to side to by just using two fingers and doing it. But that’s for those people who don’t use a mouse. And wish they did they were using a touchpad instead. So yeah. But is that it’s really important because sometimes also, the bottom of the bottom scroll bar will disappear. Yeah, and canvas. And so being able to move over without having to scroll all the way to the bottom of all your students. It’s one thing if you got 15 students, some mouse if you got 50, just for scrolling. So that’s a great, a great tip there. Assignments themselves. So there’s when you got the assignments at the top of the screen, you can click and drag them and put them in order you want. Remember, I talked before about view options where you can show and change them to a specific order. But this allows you to drag them and drop them into different order, if that’s what you want to do.
Brent Warner 22:36
That is convenient. I’ve used it, I use it quite a bit. And like it’s an amazing click the button and move it back to its default order. Right, whatever that is, but like sometimes it’s like, no, I need these little ones grouped together for you know, like I’m doing a handful of assignments that are all connected to each other. And I want to be able to see like, Oh, if you finish this part, then you should be able to, you know, like whatever it is. So yeah,
Tim Van Norman 22:55
well, often I see that when you do like a quiz or test. And then you’re going to do maybe an assignment associated with it or an extra credit or something like that. You want to put the two right next to each other so that you can just see Oh, and scroll down. Yeah. So so it’s a really nice feature that way, by the way, those do not change the order. It shows up for the students. This is only for you.
Brent Warner 23:15
Oh, nice. Okay, good to know. So.
Tim Van Norman 23:19
But there’s a couple of different options that you’ve got there. Under the assignments you’ve got where you can curve grades, one of the most dangerous things you can do. I know there’s lots of most dangerous things you can do. But one of the most dangerous things you can do once you do it, it cannot be undone, curving a grade, curving the rates. So once you hit curve grades, it’s going to curve all your grades, and the only way back is to go back in and manually fix it.
Brent Warner 23:41
Dang, that seems like a mistake.
Tim Van Norman 23:45
Well, for if you truly want to curve your grades, it gives you the option. I don’t know of anybody who has used it. I have recommended that if they’re going to try that. Play with it someplace else first.
Brent Warner 24:02
Yeah. Hey, maybe download that to the Excel and then curve it in Excel. And then it makes sure you get what you want. And then he maybe if it’s really dangerous, you could also then just do the final override get grade the tip that you gave before. Right, right. So there’s some ways
Tim Van Norman 24:21
well, and this is for us an individual assignment that it does the curve. Oh, so. Okay, so you could do it on one assignment accidentally. But it’s, it takes it’s like several steps to do it accidentally if you did it. If somebody actually ever came back to me and said, Oh, I did that accidentally I’d be going but you saw the prompts three times. You know, that type of thing. But
Brent Warner 24:44
you can also the cow walked across the keyboard and that’s how it happened.
Tim Van Norman 24:48
Yes, I’ve heard that too. Or dog or oops or yeah, anyway. Next one I wanted to mention is setting a default grade. So this is when somebody submits this Great I want them to get. Okay. Which is really great for I like to have when I can one or five point assignments that are literally complete, not complete. Yeah. Okay, if they submitted, they got it, they get their points, if they didn’t submit, they don’t have the points done. Okay, this is a great way to just have it be automatic.
Brent Warner 25:22
Yeah, that’s great. I have a lot of completing complete. So I do the check in the Exxon on a lot of my assignments. I do. At this point, I still go in and check everything because I’d say like, Hey, you actually have to fulfill everything. But some of the assignments are like, you know, they could be given credit for doing it. And then I could go back in and give them the feedback on it a little bit later. Or it could just be like a, Hey, this is something it’s a very straightforward just like a completion thing. And so, you know, did you get Did you watch this video? Or did you you know, whatever else it is, right? So, so yeah, I can see that, that’s great.
Tim Van Norman 26:02
Well, and, and it doesn’t mean that once they’ve submitted, that’s their final grade, so you can go in and change that later. So yeah, they put a period in for their discussion post. Okay, now, that’s really not as though Mark that incomplete that, you know, or something like that. So it’s, it’s a really neat way of just quickly, giving, having the grades show up automatically for stuff. If you’ve got a lot of assignments, it’s a great way to handle it. Then we’ve got the grade posting policy. So there’s, under Settings, there’s a grade posting policy for your whole gradebook. So you can have automatic, by default, it’s automatic posting. So when a grade happens, immediately, the student gets a grade. But let’s say you’re doing a writing assignment, that is going to be you know, a five page essay on something, chances are, you’re going to be grading that over the course of a week, for different people, you don’t necessarily want people to have their grades and other people to be waiting a week later, right. So what you can do is on that assignment, change the grade posting policy. And so when you have that grade posting policy, you can have it be manually post for this one assignment, everything else is automatic, but manually for this one. And then when you’re done, you go ahead and post all the grades, and then you can turn that off so that then if somebody comes in late, then you just take care of it. And you don’t have to think about it. You know, it’s a really nice feature that way.
Brent Warner 27:32
Yeah, that’s the one. So you do still have to go in and click a button to say, hey, now go release the grades to the students, right? Yes, I this is just a dream, or, you know, like a little feature that I would love to see, which is I would love it. If when you actually put in your final grade, then it gives a little box or like some sort of notification, because I’ll forget, like, if I just have the one assignment that’s like that, then I just know myself, I would forget about it. And I’d be like, oh, yeah, they already got it right. And then the students will remind you, I mean, they’re like, and they’re going what’s going on with the grade? Right? But like, but I would it would be nice, a nice feature just to say, Do you want to release at the end, like when the final assignment is graded? Or do you like give a little pop up window and say, hey, everything’s been graded? Do you want to release this now? Or do you want to wait? And like maybe even a timer and says, like, No, you can release it on Monday morning, or whatever it is. Right? So there could be a little cool. I mean, it’s, it’s great that it exists, but like, there are a couple little features that they could add on to that in the future. That would be nice, too.
Tim Van Norman 28:32
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. So, um, just a couple of things that are really handy in the gradebook mentioned one earlier, you can go right down a column of grades, type in a value, enter, type in a value, enter, type in a value, enter, and it just goes right down one after the other. So if you got stuff on a piece of paper, if you are trying to do something like the automatic grades or something like that, and you want to do it manually, it’s a really quick way of just entering the grade.
Brent Warner 29:08
Yeah, it’s a little like almost like a Batch Entry, right? You’re just going, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, right down the line, I use this feature a lot. And we’re talking about and I’m like, I think everybody knows this. And then I’m like, maybe not everybody knows, right? Like, uh, you can just go right in the column. And so what I’ll do, for example, is like, if if people participated in this activity in class time, I’ll just go okay, you all get credit for doing it. And I’ll just run down the line and give it to him. And it’s a real quick way to get it done. And there’s nothing else to do. And you don’t have to go into speed grader and click each student’s name or all all those parts. So, so yeah, this is, you know, I mean, it really is what a great book should be right traditionally on an old paper grade book, like that’s what you do, you just run right down the line, but it lets you do it right in there as well.
Tim Van Norman 29:53
Absolutely. And then the last one is when you have a grade that you don’t don’t want the student to be penalized for nor get. What do I mean by that? Let’s say they’re gone for a week because of a funeral or something like that, well, you might have had assignments that there’s no way they can make up, but you really don’t want to penalize them and give them zeros. But on the other hand, you don’t want to give them credit for getting it for doing it either because they didn’t do the work. There’s a really cool thing, you can click on the Grade and click on excused. Or you can just type in E x, and it will automatically excuse so excused means does not affect the student positive nor negative.
Brent Warner 30:36
Can you set excused as a default grade?
Tim Van Norman 30:42
I’ve not seen that. In fact, default grade to my knowledge has to be a number.
Brent Warner 30:47
Okay. Okay. Just checking to see because, yeah, because I can see that for me, like I’ve got in our adult ESL classes, students join late. And it’s like, Oh, you didn’t do these assignments? And like, I would love to just give them a clear, you know, back, right. Like, it’s just like, oh, it’s already excuse, you don’t have to worry about it when you join, right. But, but yeah, anyways, I mean, it works fine to have a non grade, but it’s, but sometimes students get confused by it. So
Tim Van Norman 31:13
understand. Yep. So just some of those tips on how to do some of the things in assignments. So there’s a couple of things that came out recently, like within the last year or so I believe, for both of these. One of them is called the search. So search, you can search for a particular student by just typing in that student’s name at the top. Otherwise, it’s an alphabetical order unless you change the order. But this will only pull that one student up, and then all of their grades all the way across.
Brent Warner 31:46
That’s important, because it’s actually really nice. When you’re dealing with a student. Yeah, you’re pulling them aside, they don’t see everyone else’s grades, right? So you’re actually protecting yourself.
Tim Van Norman 31:57
Exactly, exactly. And then the other is, you can search for individual assignments. So let’s say you have and I know people who do, you have 100 assignments across 16 weeks, it’s really not that hard to do. Okay, so you have 100 assignments, and you’re never going to find module one, assignment one, or module eight, assignment one, or something like that in there someplace. So you can start typing in module eight. And now you’ll get a list of all the modules eight. And you could just pull up all the module eight assignments, you could click on the one you want, and it just pulls in just that with the totals that are on the right, or the left if you move total over as well. So you get basically it just gives you a segment. And that’s really important. Because as you were talking about before, maybe you have, you just want these assignments that are right next to each other. And it can often do that for you. So it depending on how you’ve named it. So just a really neat thing to do there with the search. A new very new feature is filters. So filters allows you to do to create your own filters, and you can turn them on and off. It works really, really well or really, really badly. And if it works badly, you may have to turn it off in your class. So at least at IVC, we have it optional for you to turn off. We have it on by default, but you can turn it off in your class, if you want. We don’t have it locked. But filters is still like I said it’s really new. But it allows you to do different types of filtering. And so you can see, like, all of the quizzes together, and just pull it do a filter on quizzes and just see all the quizzes, you can just see, you know, certain specific things that you want to see. And it’s just a really neat new tool. They’re constantly developing it constantly working on how do we do a little better filtering and stuff like that. And I’ve it’s neat, because you can set up the filter, and then turn it off, right and go back into filters. And it’s there, you can just turn it back on. So if you have a reason for it over and over again, it will continue to come up for you. So
Brent Warner 34:25
nice. Well, there’s a lot of different things here that Tim sorry to do this. But we I’m going to skip us backwards because there’s one that we skipped that I did want to talk about, which is in the in the view options. The status colors. We we jumped over this one I want to go back because it’s pretty like it’s something worth knowing about. Yes. And this is this is one of the things that you and I kind of discovered together and we’re like, Wait a second. You do this right. So. So tell me a little bit about those status codes. errors.
Tim Van Norman 35:00
So I mentioned before the excused, there’s also a color for missing assignments. And there’s just a couple of different colors that you can use that give you a visual about what’s going on with a particular assignment for a student, late missing, excused, stuff like that. But those colors are all pastels. Yeah, on a screen, it’s, and especially because the gradebook is malt is white, and then a gray and then white and gray, it can be really weird with the color combinations that come up. So if you’re not getting that, you might want to change those colors to not be pastel anymore, so that you can actually see them. And especially on a screen that’s bright, it can wash it out, make it you can make it whatever color you want. I suggest not using a color like black, or a color like white, white will disappear. Black will make it so that you can’t read the text that’s there. But you can you can even make it black or white if you wanted to. But it’s just a really nice way of changing the color to be meaningful to you.
Brent Warner 36:12
Yeah, so we had talked about this a little bit before. And I think, you know, cannabis, his goal is to not overwhelm or scare students with overly bright red alarm colors or something like that. But you might choose to have that right. You might say like, Hey, a big red thing is a clear indicator that you’re missing an assignment write to a student to go in and look at it. Right. But
Tim Van Norman 36:34
realistically, these are for your view, oh, students will see these aren’t even for the students. Even
Brent Warner 36:39
better for you then even better. So you don’t have to worry about that. You can just say like, Hey, I want to be able to very clearly see what’s going on here.
Tim Van Norman 36:46
Yeah, because they’re late. Their colors are no color. Late is a pastel, pastel blue that’s really, really light. Missing is a pastel pink, and excuse this kind of a pastel yellow. And while they’re different, they’re distinct. It’s just really light. Yeah,
Brent Warner 37:09
yeah. I mean, you can you can see them on there. But also, I mean, that’s not totally fair, because people with you know, colorblind are colorblind, I’m sorry, I’m not sure if that’s the right term anymore. But but, you know, color issues and their vision or, you know, low, low, you know, poor vision issues, whatever else it is, right. Some of these things can be really, really hard to see. And cannabis, we’ve talked about this before, like they did at one point, they activated the higher contrast mode that you can go in and turn on somewhere. But like, yes, Canvas is very washed out, right. Like it is it is not pastels. Yeah. It’s all like, yeah, light pastels, grays, whites and pastels. And it’s like, okay, it’s it’s very, very, it’s not explosive, right in the color palette.
Tim Van Norman 37:57
And also understand that there’s a couple of other colors too, that are automatic, those are options that you can actually choose, there is a resubmitted color, that’s a pastel green. So if students submitted something, you grade it and they resubmit, it’ll come up and you can see that, but the other one is dropped. So if you want to drop a grade for somebody, there’s a way of doing that. But that and the missing are almost the same color. Yeah. And missing and drop. That’s two very different meanings. Yeah. So
Brent Warner 38:31
yeah. So I would actually suggest that people go in and look at it and go, Well, what am I going to see? And what’s this going to help me understand? Right? Because, for example, for me that resubmission maybe I would want to see that in like, a little bit of a richer purple, you know, something like that, because then I’ll go oh, wait a second. I gotta go look at that, because it’s clear that there’s not a lot of those, right? Maybe and then and then that would be a reminder for me to go back in and grade it too. Right. So. So yeah, there’s that that feature inside of there. And you can go use your hex codes. Those are the six letter codes to go customize to whatever color you want. So you’re not limited to those couple of pastel choices.
Tim Van Norman 39:11
Yes. Which is important because they they’re all our choices, our light pastel,
Brent Warner 39:18
right? Yeah. So okay, so we covered a ton of stuff, Tim, we, you know, those are just tips and tips on tips. So, so there’s plenty to look out there. I think we’re gonna wrap things up.
Tim Van Norman 39:33
Thank you for listening today. In this episode, we talked about Canvas gradebook tips. For more information about the show, please visit our website at the higher ed tech podcast.com. There you will find our podcasts and links to the information we’ve covered.
Brent Warner 39:47
As always, we do want your feedback. So please go to the higher ed tech podcast.com and let us know your thoughts. And of course if you have ideas for future shows, there is a link over there where you can give us your topic ideas, or everyone
Tim Van Norman 39:58
at IVC that’s listening If you need any help with technology issues, please contact IVC technical support. If you have questions about technology in your classroom, other than while I’m on vacation right now, please stop by the IVC Training Center at a 322 or contact me Tim Van Norman AT T van firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brent Warner 40:16
And if you want to reach out to me about the show, you can find me over on LinkedIn at Brent G Warner.
Tim Van Norman 40:22
I’m Tim Van Norman,
Brent Warner 40:23
and I’m Brent Warner. And we hope this episode has helped you on the road from possibility to actuality. Take care everybody
Canvas’ Gradebook has a lot of features, both hidden or underutilized, that can help you out in your work. Tim & Brent take a look through a selection of them and discuss how they might be a benefit to teachers. Listen in to get some tips on improving your gradebook game!
Canvas Community Instructor Guide – How Do I Use Gradebook