Posting Feedback and Grades in Canvas

Once students start completing quizzes and assignments in your course, you may start wondering how students access this feedback. You may also be wondering if you need to do anything to release the feedback. You may also wondering, to be frank, about a lot of things.

Grade Posting Policy for an Individual Assignment

By default, feedback, comments, and grades in Canvas are automatically shared with students as soon as they are generated. This means that as soon as you grade an individual student’s submission, these details will become visible to them. Students may even receive an email notification about this, depending on their notification settings. If you want to keep all of this hidden until you have finished grading all of the students, you will need to manually hide it. This can be a bit complicated to do as you can’t hide grades in SpeedGrader until grades exist. Your best way to hide grades for an individual assignment is to go to Grades, navigate to the assignment column, click on the three dots beside the name, and click Grade Posting Policy. Here you will be able to switch to Manually post the grades. Once you complete grading, come back here and post the grades.

Grade Posting Policy for the Course

If you know that you will always want to keep feedback, comments, and grades hidden until you manually release them, you can change the default course Grade Posting Policy. Here’s a guide to that: How do I select a grade posting policy for a course in the Gradebook?

Grade Posting Policy for a Quiz

These same grade posting policies apply for quizzes. If you leave do not change the grade posting policy to manually, students will be able to immediately see their score after submitting the quiz. This is the case even if you have chosen to not “Let Students See Their Quiz Responses” in the quiz settings (see this post for more details). You likely have a personal preference for one way or the other.

One important caution is that if your quiz contains any manually graded questions, students will see a total quiz score that is allocating a zero for all of the manually graded questions until they have been graded. This may frighten your students! In these cases, it’d be better to keep the quiz grades hidden until all of the questions have been graded.

Student Access to their Grades

Once grades are posted (either automatically or manually), they become visible to students when they navigate to the assignment or quiz. They also become visible with Grades. When students go to Grades, their view looks similar to the image below. An individual student will only see their own grades. If you have Assignment Groups set up, students will see the weighting [1] and their score so far on that group [2]. To see their feedback and comments on each assignment or quiz, they click on the name.

Student Access to the Grade Distribution

By default, students have access to box-and-whisker plots of the class’s grade distribution on assignments. If you prefer to keep this hidden, here’s a guide: How do I hide grade distribution scoring details from students?

Student Access to their Total Course Grade

Another default setting is for students to have access to their Total course grade in Grades. This can be helpful for students to track how they are doing and allows them to use the What-If Grades function to predict their grade and set goals for assignment grades. Luckily, this is only available to students in you have set up weighted Assignment Groups because if you had not, the Total score could be meaningless. If you would prefer to keep the Total hidden, here’s a guide: How do I hide totals in my students’ grade summaries?

For help with these options and settings, please access Canvas Help within the global navigation menu on the left-hand side of Canvas. If you are experiencing technical issues, the first line of support is Canvas Help and then