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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 using the "Faculty Center Grade Prep" tool, found in the Canvas gradebook.

The Faculty Center Grade Prep tool is located in the Canvas gradebook. It is designed to lighten the load of instructors of high-enrollment courses. Rather than manually entering hundreds of grades into the Faculty Center, this tool automatically populates a .csv file that can then be uploaded into the Faculty Center. Some instructors find this process to be complicated enough that it may not be useful for low-enrollment courses. The alternative is outlined by the Office of the Registrar, Entering and Submitting Final Grades.

Overview of the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool

As a broad overview, the process of using the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool involves three key steps.

  1. Exporting a grade roster from the Faculty Center as a .csv file.
  2. Processing that .csv file within Canvas, using the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool. This step generates a new-and-improved version of that .csv file, populated with letter grades.
  3. Importing that new-and-improved .csv file back into the Faculty Center.

These steps are outlined in the collapsible sections below.


Before You Start

Before engaging the Faculty Center Grade Prep Tool, please review the following.

Set a grading scheme for your Canvas course

For the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool to work, your Canvas course must have an active grading scheme. That grading scheme needs to adhere to the Valid Grades policy put forth by the Office of the Registrar. For instructions on setting up a grading scheme in your course, see Canvas - Grading Schemes.

Give ungraded assignments a zero

For Canvas to accurately calculate a final grade, there should be no blank or null fields in the gradebook. 

In most cases, a blank cell in the gradebook indicates the student did not complete that assignment, thus earning a zero. If that is the case, you should enter a zero into that cell (or whatever numeric value is appropriate). You can enter zeros manually, one student at a time. Or you can enter zeros for all ungraded cells in an assignment by following this Canvas Guide, How do I Set a Default Grade for an assignment in the gradebook? Repeat this process for each assignment.

Alternatively, if a student has been excused from an assignment, you should enter Ex into the cell. Doing so removes that assignment, and the associated points, from the calculation of the student's final score.

Ensure all assignment grades are posted (not hidden)

Canvas allows instructors to hide existing grades for an assignment. This is usually employed as a temporary tactic, to enable notifying all students of their grades for a given assignment at the same time. However, instructors may inadvertently leave some assignment grades hidden, or unposted. Before running the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool, it is imperative to ensure all grades have been posted.

The best way to determine whether any grades are currently hidden is by looking for the hidden grade icon. (See image.) If this icon is present in the header of any assignment, it means at least one student's grade for that assignment has been changed in the instructor's gradebook but has not been posted and shared back with the student.

Canvas gradebook, hidden grades

To post grades for a single assignment, go to the gradebook. Find the assignment in question. Select the ellipsis button (three dots) in the header. In the resulting pop-up menu, select Post grades. (See image.) There will be additional options in this process. For a detailed breakdown of all options, refer to this Canvas Guide, How do I post grades for an assignment in the Gradebook?

Canvas gradebook, post grades

If Post grades is not available, then there are no grades for this assignment that need posting.

Export the gradebook

You may wish to export a copy of the Canvas course gradebook before running Faculty Center Grade Prep tool. This exported copy allows you to review the final course grades before starting the process, and it gives you a reference document by which you can confirm success after completing the process.

To export the Canvas gradebook, go to the Canvas course Grades tool, and select Export, Export Entire Gradebook. (See image.)

Canvas gradebook, export entire gradebook


  • Use browsers supported by Canvas. See: Which browsers does Canvas support?.
  • Note that the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool is designed to transfer final grades only. It is not intended to transfer midpoint grades or other partial grades to the Faculty Center.

Step 1: Faculty Center Export

In this first step, you will need to log into the Faculty Center, and download (that is, export) the grade roster.

  1. Login to MyUW.
  2. Select the Faculty Center tile. (The main page will display your schedule for the current term. To view the schedule for a different term, click the Change Term button.)
  3. Select the class for which you are submitting grades.
  4. Select any of the following options: (Different options are available depending on how the course was configured in SIS.)
    • Grade Roster icon Grade Roster
    • Packaged Grade Roster icon looks like wrapped package Packaged Grade Roster
    • Xl-MW Grade Roster icon XL-MW Grade Roster
  5. On the grade roster page, select Export.
  6. On the File Download dialog box, select Save.
  7. In the Save As dialog box:
    • Change the file name to whatever you want.
    • Manually change or add on the File Name extension to be .csv (not .xls).
    • Select the desired Save in location.
    • Select Save.

We will use this exported .csv file in Step 2 (below).

Note: Do not modify any internal component of this .csv file. Both of the last two steps in this process depend upon the organization of columns, column headers and student identifiers. 

Note: These steps are extracted from a KB document maintained by the Office of the Registrar. If you experience any complications with these steps, please consult the original KB document, Export and Import Grades. If problems persist with this export effort, contact the Office of the Registrar at, or 608-262-4859.

Step 2: Faculty Center Grade Prep Tool (in Canvas)

After successfully downloading the grade roster from the Faculty Center (Step 1, above):

  1. Return to your Canvas course.
  2. In the course navigation bar, select Grades.
  3. In the upper-right corner, select Faculty Center Grade Prep.
    Canvas gradebook, Faculty Center Grade Prep tool
  4. In the resulting new screen, click the Browse button.
  5. In the resulting window, locate and select the .csv file you downloaded from Faculty Center in the previous section.
  6. Select Process File.
  7. Depending on the size of your course, this step may take 30 seconds to complete. 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, and select the Download button. This saves a local copy of a new-and-improved course grade roster file. This new file now has grades in it for all the students. Be sure to open the file and review the grades before submitting to Faculty Center. (If the Download button is not present, contact

Step 3: Faculty Center Import

By this point, you have:

Step 1: Exported the empty course grade roster, and

Step 2: Run that file through the Faculty Center Grade Prep tool, which populated the grade roster (the .csv file) with final grades.

To complete this 3-step process, we now need to upload this new-and-improved grade roster into the Faculty Center.

  1. Login to MyUW.
  2. Select the Faculty Center tile. (The main page will display your schedule for the current term. To view the schedule for a different term, click Change Term.)
  3. Select the class which needs grade entry
  4. Select any of the following options:
    • Grade Roster icon Grade Roster
    • Packaged Grade Roster icon looks like wrapped package Packaged Grade Roster
    • Xl-MW Grade Roster icon XL-MW Grade Roster
  5. On the grade roster page, click Import.
  6. From the Choose File dialog box, locate and select the .csv file you saved in Step 2 of this KB document.
  7. Select Upload.
  8. From the Grade Roster page, select Save.
    • When you select Save, your imported grade entries are validated. If an invalid grade was entered, an error displays and invalid entries are uighlighted in red.
    • If the grade roster names no longer match your extracted roster, an error will display. Contact the Registrar's Office.
  9. When satisfied with the grades given per student, select Submit or Submit to Registrar.
  10. If available, select Save.

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OwnerLearn@UW MadisonGroupLearn@UW-Madison
Created2016-12-07 10:11:20Updated2024-03-05 16:44:29
SitesDoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
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