Setting up your grading policies

There are a few things to check at the beginning of the semester to make sure that grading is smooth, and grades calculate correctly.

Set the Grading Scheme

A grading scheme is required for final grades to calculate. It’s important to make sure that the course grading scheme in Canvas matches the one you have in the syllabus. To check and edit the course grading scheme in Canvas, go to the course Settings at the bottom of the left side navigation, make sure you’re on the “Course Details” tab, and scroll down to “Grading Scheme.”

Make sure the box by “Enable course grading scheme” is checked and then click “set grading scheme.”

The IU Default Grading Scheme will pop up. If this matches the one you’re using, you’re done. If it doesn’t, you will need to create a new one. The Canvas Guide “How do I add a grading scheme in a course?” explains how to create and set a new grading scheme.

NOTE: If you are teaching the same course in a following semester, copying the course settings into the next course site will also copy the grading scheme.

Set the Grade Posting Policy

The Canvas default setting is to post grades automatically as soon as they are enteredWith automatically posted grades, each student is notified immediately when a score or comment is entered or changed. If the bulk of your graded assignments are auto-graded quizzes, you may want to leave it this way – particularly if you want students to be able to see their score immediately after completing the quiz. If you have a few hand-graded assignments, you can set them individually to be hidden until you manually post grades.

If you personally grade most of your assignments (or have a TA grade them), you will want to change the default setting to Manually Post Grades. This way, if you’re not grading everything at once, you won’t have some students getting a notification that they have a grade, while others are still waiting. If you have a few auto-graded quizzes, you can set them individually to automatically post grades.

To change the grade posting policy from Automatic to Manual, see “How do I select a grade posting policy for a course in the New Gradebook?”Note that the word MANUAL appears next to the points possible for assignments where grades are set to post manually. If it does not say MANUAL next to the points possible, grades for that assignment will be posted immediately upon entering and students will receive an immediate grade notification.

To override the grade posting policy for an individual assignment,

  1. Go to that assignment in the gradebook.
  2. Click the options menu (the 3 vertical dots to the right of the assignment name).
  3. Select Grade Posting Policy.
  4. Change the default from manual to automatic (or vice versa, depending on your need).

Set the Late Submission Policy

If you have a late submission policy where you would like to deduct a certain amount from the grade for every day (or hour) the assignment is late, you can set the gradebook up to automatically make that deduction. See the Canvas Guide “How do I apply a Late Submission policy in the New Gradebook?” for instructions.


Questions? Talk to your campus teaching and learning center!

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