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Canvas - Faculty Center Grade Prep Tool and Final Grade Preparation [UW-Madison]

This document discusses FERPA-protected content that identifies students, or content contributed by students. You must have student consent to share original work, or student-identifying information, outside of class, due to FERPA regulations. This includes the following scenarios:

  • Do not store student data on a local device/computer. If you need to download content with student-identifying information, delete files after using them.
  • To post student work online, you must have permission from the student, or provide an opt-out option for individual students.

Please see the Office of the Registrar's resources on FERPA for more information.

This document provides instructions on how to transfer final grades from Canvas to the Faculty Center.


Before You Start

As a reminder, please only use browsers supported by Canvas. See: Which browsers does Canvas support?.

The Faculty Center Grade Prep tool is designed to help instructors submit final grades for high-enrollment courses with many diverse grades assigned to students. If you have a small course and/or you do not have many different grades assigned to students, we recommend that you manually enter grades into Faculty Center. For more information on manually entering your grades see: Entering and Submitting Final Grades.

Note that the tool has been designed to help transfer final grades only. It is not intended to transfer midpoint grades or other partial grades to the Faculty Center.

There were several changes to the gradebook this year, which can be detailed here.

Step 1: Enable Grading Scheme in Canvas

Use Valid Grades (A, AB, B, BC, C, D, F) as defined by the Office of the Registrar. 

You can control how grades are displayed by setting up a Grading Scheme. For instructions on how to set up a grading scheme in your course, see How do I enable a grading scheme for a course?.

The default grading scheme is not currently set to the valid instructor assigned grades. When following the tutorial above, select the grading scheme using A, AB, B, BC, C, D, F. The screenshot below shows the UW-Madison grading scheme that contains the valid instructor assigned grades.

You may also create your own grading scheme as long as it uses valid instructor assigned grades. Instructions on creating grading schemes can be found here: How do I create a grading scheme for a course?.


Step 2: Verify Students Final Grades in Canvas

By default the Canvas Gradebook does not display students final grades.


The total column in Canvas Grades is the current or working grade. It is not the final grade.

NOTE: Students do not see their final grades by default in courses with ungraded assignments

Students default view is their current or working grade which disregards ungraded items. To see their final grade in a course with ungraded items, students should check Calculate based only on graded assignments as described under the View Current and Total Grades" section of this document: How do I view my grades in a current course?. If the instructor manually changes all ungraded items to zeros, the current grade will be identical to the final grade. For more information on calculating final grades see Canvas - Calculating Final Grades

Recommendation: Make sure you change ungraded assignments to zero as you teach your course and assignment deadlines have passed so students have an accurate default view of their grade. If it is the end of the semester you should still change ungraded assignments to 0 (zero) before uploading the Faculty Center file into the Grade Prep tool. You may hear from students who thought they had a higher grade because their default view wasn't taking the ungraded assigments into consideration. See more information below on how to change ungraded items to 0.

To see the final grade, an instructor should do one of the following procedures:

  • Manually change all ungraded assignments to 0 (zero). You can change all ungraded assignments to 0 (zero) by using the "Set Default Grade" feature described in this document: How do I set a default grade for an assignment in the Gradebook?. It is highly recommended that you save a backup of your Canvas gradebook before making bulk changes.
  • NOTE: Muted assignments may cause issues with the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool and grades to not match

    Graded, muted assignments are used in the calculation of students total grades in the instructor's view of the gradebook. If your assignments are muted, the Grade Prep Tool will treat them as 0s and adjust every students grade accordingly. From students point-of-view their current total grade does not include a muted assignment. If you use the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool while an assignment is muted, you run the risk of submitting a final grade that is not the same as the total grade students see in Canvas.

    Recommendation: Make sure to unmute assignments before uploading the Faculty Center file into the Grade Prep tool.

  • Export a CSV spreadsheet of Canvas Grades by clicking Actions > Export. The final grade is displayed in the last column of the spreadsheet.

    Location of Export button within the Canvas Gradebook

Step 3: Faculty Center Export

For instructions on exporting grades from Faculty Center, refer to the Office of the Registrar's Export and Import Grades. Follow instructions under the header "Exporting & Entering Grades in Excel: Step-by-Step".

After exporting the faculty center grade roster file, return to Canvas.

Note: If you encounter any issues with Faculty Center, please contact the Office of the Registrar at:, or 608-262-4859.

Step 4: Faculty Center Grade Prep Tool (in Canvas)

  1. Return to your Canvas course.
  2. In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.
  3. Click the Faculty Center Grade Prep button.
    Screenshot of Canvas gradebook. Faculty Center Grade Prep button is outlined.

  4. Click the Browse button.
  5. Use your computer's file browser to select the file you just downloaded from Faculty Center.
  6. Click the Process File button.
  7. Depending on the size of your course, it may take some time to process the file. You should see screenshot while you wait.
  8. The tool should inform you of any issues you need to address in the Results, Warnings, and Errors sections.

  9. Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the Download button to download the file you can upload into Faculty Center. Be sure to open and review the file before submitting to Faculty Center.

After you have the newly updated grade file from the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool, return to Faculty Center to import your file.

Step 5: Faculty Center Import

Once you have downloaded the grades file from Canvas, continue with the Office of the Registrar's Export and Import Grades. Follow instructions under the header "Importing from the Exported Spreadsheet: Step-by-Step".

Final housekeeping items

Now that your Canvas course is concluded, it's recommended that you do the following:

  • Keep an offline copy of the final exported grades from the Canvas gradebook for your records.
  • Export your Canvas course to keep as a backup copy. For instructions, see How do I export a Canvas course? from the Canvas Community help center.

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OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2016-12-07 09:11:20Updated2023-12-20 17:08:29
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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