Canvas - Importing Scantron Test Scores into the Gradebook [UW-Madison]

This document describes the process at UW-Madison for importing Scantron exam scores into the Canvas Gradebook.
The process for using Scantron tests with Canvas involves the following steps:
  1. Submit exams to UW-Madison's Testing & Evaluation (T&E) group for scoring. 
  2. Receive results file.
  3. Upload Scantron grades to the Canvas gradebook.

Submit exams to UW-Madison's Testing & Evaluation (T&E) group for scoring

  1. Deliver the completed Scantron "bubble sheets" to Testing and Evaluation Services
  • Fill out the intake form, being sure to indicate that the results need to be formatted for Canvas. 
  • It will help you to know your Canvas course ID because Testing & Evaluation will ask you for it. This is the URL when you access your Canvas course. For example, if you access your course and your browser address is "" your course ID would be "38971."
  • Staff members at Testing & Evaluation are there to assist you if you have questions.

Receive Results File

Testing & Evaluation processes your Scantron tests and generates an import file for Canvas, which will be in a .CSV format. The file is automatically uploaded to your Canvas course Files area into a folder named "TE_Exams." An example filename for this .CSV file is canvas70260_20170921_1136_te123.csv. The format includes your Canvas course ID, the processing date, and a unique T&E identifier which represents the processing job number. 
The "TE_Exams" folder and the .CSV results file are both automatically set to "Unpublished" in Canvas, meaning that they are not visible to students. The process to upload your .CSV results file will NOT complete if the folder settings are not set to "Unpublished." You should NEVER set the Scantron results folder or the files within it to "Published" in Canvas.
To access the Scantron test results file in Canvas:
  1. Access your Canvas course and access the Files area. 
  2. Open the folder called "TE_Exams," which will contain the .CSV test results file. (Both the folder and the file are "Unpublished," meaning they are not visible to students. DO NOT change this setting.) If you have more than one results file, you can tell which is the most recently processed file by looking at each file's "Date Created" value in Canvas. 
  3. Click the gear icon to the right of the .CSV file to download it. 
NOTE: To download the .CSV results file without going to your Canvas course you can click the link in the notification email you received from Testing & Evaluation. 
  1. Open the results file in Excel to review the results of the Scantron exam.

Uploading Scantron grades to the Canvas gradebook

After you download the .CSV file and review its contents, you can upload it to your Canvas gradebook. By default, your scores will be visible to students once you upload the file to the gradebook, so if you aren't ready for students to see the scores you will need to take action to hide the grades in Canvas (instructions below). Please be aware that for large courses, the upload can take a couple of minutes. 
  1. In your Canvas course, go to Grades. 
  2. Click the Import button.
  3. Click the Choose File button and locate the Scantron results file you previously downloaded. 
  4. Click the Upload Data button. Canvas will ask you whether the grades are for a new assignment or an existing one.
Canvas will prompt you to add the data to an existing assignment
  1. Click the Choose Assignment drop-down menu and make a selection. If you want to create a new assignment to which to upload the grades, select the A new assignment option. Otherwise, select an existing assignment. 
  2. Enter a Points Possible value. 
  3. Click the Continue button to continue with the import. 
  4. On the next screen, review the grades and click the Save Changes button to continue with the import. You will see a message telling you that the import is beginning and may take a while. After the processing has finished, the Canvas gradebook will be displayed. 
  5. If you aren't ready for students to see the scores, you can do the following:
  • In the current/legacy Canvas gradebook, mute the assignment by going to the desired grade column, hovering your mouse over the title of the column and clicking, and selecting Mute Assignment.
  • In the new Canvas gradebook, hide the grades by going to the desired grade column, hovering your mouse over the "kebab" menu (three vertical dots) and clicking, and selecting Hide Grades.  
  1. After you've completed the upload process, delete the local, downloaded copy of the Scantron results file from your device, as retaining local copies of files containing student information can put student data at risk. 
NOTE: Canvas will match the students in the file with those in your course. In rare cases, if a student mis-enters their Student ID on the Scantron sheet, it's possible the student will not appear as the correct person in the Scantron results file. If there should happen to be a mismatch, Canvas will prompt you to match the student in question with one in your course, or to simply ignore that row in the file.
Canvas displays error message prompting you to select a student. The prompt lists the student's name and a drop-down menu to select the student from a list

Retain Physical Scantron Sheets

After Testing & Evaluation processes the Scantron documents, professors or TAs can collect them from the Testing & Evaluation services office.

Per UW Policy UWUGS901, The physical documents must be retained for 5 years after the end of the semester when the exam took place. This is because Scantron forms are considered confidential source documents for submitted official grades. 

Keywordscanvas scantron test bubble sheets tests exams import gradebook grades scan testing evaluation T&E   Doc ID75452
OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2017-08-14 10:33:08Updated2024-04-17 14:55:35
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
Feedback  0   0