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Canvas - Examining the Grade Posting Policy

The Canvas gradebook has three commands that work together to give instructors control over how and when students can see their grades for an assignment. These commands are Grade Posting Policy, Hide Grades, and Post Grades. This document explores in detail all three commands.

Note: These commands replace and augment the commonly used commands Mute Assignment and Unmute Assignment. For details on how to make the transition from Mute/Unmute to these new commands, see Canvas - How to Mute/Unmute Assignments in the New Gradebook

The Grade Posting Policy

Every assignment in the new gradebook has an option called the Grade Posting Policy. This option is accessed by selecting the ellipsis button (three dots) in the header of the assignment column.

Grade Posting Policy

For vendor documentation on the Grade Posting Policy, refer to the Canvas Guide, How do I select a grade posting policy for an assignment in the New Gradebook?

The grade posting policy for an assignment can occupy one of two settings: Automatically or Manually. When the policy is set to Automatically, (which is the default) students instantly see, and are instantly notified of, every new or edited grade, and every new comment that is entered for that assignment. When the policy is set to Manually, Canvas gives the instructor another layer of control over when grades are made available to the students. See "Post Grades" below.

Grade Posting Policy options

Note: Setting the grade posting policy for an assignment to Manually will not hide grades that have already been entered into the gradebook. It will simply prevent new or edited grades from being posted or notified out. If you wish to hide grades that have already been enter (and possibly seen by the students), use the Hide Grades option, explained below.

Hide Grades

To hide grades that have already been entered and posted, select the ellipsis button in the header of the column, and then select Hide grades.

Hide grades

For vendor documentation on hiding grades, refer to the Canvas Guide, How do I hide grades for an assignment in the New Gradebook?

Please consider:

  • Selecting Hide grades will hide all grades at this very moment.
  • This command alone will not impact any new grade entries or edits, that are performed after selecting Hide grades.
  • Whether or not students see new or edited grades is controlled by the Grade Posting Policy. (See above)

Post Grades

Once the grade posting policy for an assignment is set to Manually, students will not be able to see newly entered or edited grades for that assignment. To reveal these newly entered or edited grades, please return to the ellipsis button in the gradebook and select Post Grades.

Post Grades

In the panel that appears to the right, you will have two options to consider.

First, do you want to post the grades for Everyone (i.e. all the students) or only for those students who currently have been Graded.

Post Grades Options 1

For both options, the following actions will happen next:

  1. Canvas will post the grades for your selected group of students (either Everyone or those who have been Graded).
  2. Canvas will toggle the grades for this selection of students into an auto-update state. This means, once you select the red Post button to complete this task, all future edits to those grades (Everyone or only those Graded) will be automatically posted for the students to see. In other words, even though the grade posting policy for this assignment is set to Manually, these selected students' grades now actually will auto-update if you enter or edit their grades.

The second option in this panel to the right allows you to select specific sections to be posted. If a TA is only responsible for one section, they can enter grades for that one section and post the grades for only that section. (This is a great, new, long-awaited feature in the new gradebook.) 

Post Grades Options 2

For more information, refer to the Canvas Guide, “How do I post grades for an assignment in the New Gradebook?”

Global Grade Posting Policy for the Course

In addition to the assignment-specific grade posting policy, (explained above) there is also a course-wide grade posting policy. 

To access the grade posting policy, select the Settings command (the gear icon) in the upper-right corner of the Grades screen.

Grades settings

This policy has the same two settings as the assignment-specific policy: Automatically and Manually.

Grade Posting Policy

For more information, refer to the Canvas Guide “How do I select a grade posting policy for a course in the New Gradebook?”

Warning: Changing the grade posting policy for a course will push that setting down to every existing assignment, quiz, and graded discussion in the course.

New Functionality

With this new Grade Posting Policy, instructors can now do the following:

  1. Whichever setting is selected for the course-wide grade posting policy, that same setting becomes the default and will be applied to every new assignment created in the course.
    “How do I select a grade posting policy for a course in the New Gradebook?”

  2. When posting grades, instructors now have options to release grades on a section-by-section basis.
    “How do I post grades for an assignment in the New Gradebook?”

  3. Instructors can now hide grades that have already been viewed by some students.
    "How do I hide grades for an assignment in the New Gradebook?"

Instructure has posted a discussion regarding this change in the new gradebook. To see what people are saying, and to be part of the conversation, go to Post Policy Updates Feedback. Based on this blog discussion, it appears Instructure is still “working out some kinks”.

Instructure Resources




Keywords:Learn@UW, Canvas, Grade Posting Policy, muted, hide, muting, unmuting, un-muting,assignments, quizzes, grades, gradebook, post   Doc ID:94443
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW-Madison
Created:2019-09-11 15:48 CSTUpdated:2019-11-21 14:58 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, Learn@UW-Madison
CleanURL:https://kb.wisc.edu/luwmad/canvas-grade-posting-policy
Feedback:  1   1