Hiding Grades from Students

With final grades due next Friday, you’re probably spending long hours in the Canvas Gradebook. In addition to eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and the allure of warm weather, one of the potential distractions from grading you might be facing is anxious students contacting you about their grades. Fortunately, the Canvas Gradebook has features that can help you hide grades from students until you have finished grading for the semester, which you can use by following these steps:

Step 1: Mute All Assignments in Need of Grading.

In Canvas, “muting” means “hiding.” When you mute an assignment, the following information is hidden from students:

  • Their grade for the assignment
  • Grade change notifications
  • Submission comments
  • Curving assignments
  • Score change notifications

Whenever you mute an assignment, students see the following message for it in their “Grades” area:

“Your instructor is working on grades.  While your instructor is working on grades, grade and comment information is unavailable.”

You can mute assignments by following the instructions in either of these links:

How do I mute or unmute an Assignment in SpeedGrader™?
How do I mute an assignment in the Gradebook?

Step 2: Hide the Total Course Grade in Your Students’ Grade Summaries

By default, the total course grade appears for students in their Canvas “Grades” area. The total course grade automatically re-calculates whenever you add or change an assignment grade. Thus it’s a good idea to hide the total course grade in your students’ grade summaries when you’re finishing your grading for the semester.

Your students will see this message in the “Grades” area of your Canvas site when you hide the total grade summaries:

“Calculation of totals has been disabled.”

You can hide the total course grade in your students’ grade summaries by following the instructions in this link:

How do I hide totals in my students’ grade summaries?

Step 3: Grade the Muted Assignments

Here are suggestions for working with the Gradebook settings and display:

What do the icons and colors in the Gradebook represent?
How do I hide and filter students in the Gradebook?
How do I sort my Gradebook?
How do I use the Notes column in the Gradebook?

Here is information on how to access and give feedback on assignment submissions in the Gradebook:

How do I view assignment details in the Gradebook?
How do I leave comments for students in the Gradebook?
How do I bulk download Assignment submissions in Canvas?
How do I bulk upload Assignment submissions in Canvas?

Here is information on how to grade using the Gradebook:

How do I enter and edit scores in the Gradebook?
How do I use grading history in the Gradebook?
How do I download scores from the Gradebook?
How do I upload changes to the Gradebook?
How do I set a default grade for an Assignment?
How do I treat ungraded assignments as zero in the Gradebook?

Step 4: Unmute Assignments and Unhide Total Grade Summaries

Unmute assignments if you want students to see their assignment grades (follow instructions in either link for Step 1) and unhide the total grade summaries if you want students to see their final course grades in your Canvas site (follow instructions in the link for Step 2).

Important: If you do decide to make total grades available to students after you have finished grading, make sure you unmute all muted assignments first. If you do not, your students will not see an accurate total grade; they will see a grade that does not include the muted assignments that you have graded. For more information and examples, please see the “Make Sure to Unmute Assignments before the Semester Ends!” section in this link:

http://guides.library.upenn.edu/content.php?pid=542232&sid=4647222

Please note that you do not need to do the opposite—make total summaries available for students to see their unmuted assignment grades. In fact, if you’d prefer that students not see their final course grades in Canvas and only have these grades viewable in Courses InTouch (CIT), you should keep the total grade summaries hidden.

By following these simple steps, you can prevent students from seeing their assignment and course grades before you have finished grading for the semester.

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