Quick Tips: SpeedGrader Warm-Up

Man stretching before a run along a river in a city.

You wouldn’t run without stretching first, so don’t start grading without this SpeedGrader warm-up!

Grading Season Has Begun!

With the drop period ending February 19th, many instructors are in the process of collecting the first major assignments of the semester. Before rolling up your sleeves and digging into the papers or exams you need to grade, we suggest slowing down for a moment to learn a little about the Canvas SpeedGrader.

SpeedGrader is a tool that lets you comment on online assignment submissions, quizzes, and graded discussions directly in Canvas. No downloading, exporting, or other complicated processes required! So if you’ve had students submit papers, take quizzes (could be a test or an exam, too; “quiz” covers these in Canvas), or a graded discussion, and are considering using this tool, get ready for a quick SpeedGrader warm-up!

Anything I Should Know Before I Get Started with SpeedGrader?

  • Use a recent version of Google Chrome when working in SpeedGrader. We have found that Chrome is the most stable browser for this tool. While we have not receive recent reports of issues with updated versions of Safari and Internet Explorer, we have heard about issues with Firefox. Click here to learn about about Firefox-SpeedGrader issues.
  • We do not recommend keeping the SpeedGrader view of a submission open for more than 60 minutes, as there have been issues in the past where graders have lost feedback because they have kept the tool open for more than 60 minutes. Click for more information about this issue.

What Do Students See When I Use SpeedGrader?

In SpeedGrader, all content you add to a student’s assignment submission is immediately visible to that student. This content includes:

  • Any grades you enter into the “Grade” field (please see “Assign a Grade” in this link for an example of this action). This content saves after you add it and click on Enter or Return. No additional steps are necessary to save it. The grade appears in the Canvas gradebook since it is synced with SpeedGrader; any changes you make in one place appear in the other.

Click to see how students access grades and feedback.

What If I Don’t Want Students to See Their Grades Yet?

If you don’t want students to see any of your grading-and-feedback content, you can mute the assignment, which is a Canvas feature that lets instructors, TAs, and graders hide all grades and feedback for an assignment from students until it is unmuted, making all of this content visible to students. Click for instructions on how to mute and unmute Canvas assignments.

Anything Else?

Check out SpeedGrader’s other features. Email canvas@pobox.upenn.edu if you have a question. Register for a Canvas Help appointment if you want to meet with a Canvas Specialist.