Frustrated by your Canvas Gradebook? This new feature can help you organize your grades to see exactly what you need to see when you need to see it.
Frequent, low-stakes, formative assessments are good teaching practices in all classes, online and in-person. Assessments such as activities, weekly quizzes, peer reviews, scaffolded assignments, reflections, and group discussions all allow you to evaluate where students are at and provide feedback to help them improve their learning. In fact, a recent literature review found that students were 2.5 times more likely to pass courses in which low-stakes quizzes were used to test knowledge.
One of the biggest frustrations of this approach, though, is managing these items in the Canvas Gradebook. Having dozens of small assignments can make navigating the Gradebook a pain. Canvas has introduced a new Feature Preview that makes Gradebook much easier to organize.
With Enhanced Gradebook Filters, you can sort and organize Gradebook. Even better, you can save these views so you can quickly and easily return to them whenever you want. Here’s everything you need to know about this exciting new feature!
Setting Up Filters
Open Gradebook by selecting Grades in the course navigation. Along the left side is a new “Applied Filters” area that tells you what filters you have on. On the right side is a new “Filters” button. Select this and you’ll see a quick message about the new feature. Select “Create New Filter” to get started with your first filter.
Filters can have one or more conditions. Click the “Select condition type” dropdown and select which type of condition you want.
- Assignment Group: Shows only assignments from that group.
- Module: Shows only graded items from that Module.
- Section: Shows only students in the selected Section.
- Student Group: Shows only students in the selected Group.
- Submissions: Can show items with ungraded submissions or items with submissions.
- Start Date: Shows only items with a due date at or after the start date.
- End Date: Shows only items with a due date at or before the end date.
After you select one condition, click “Add Condition” to create more conditions. Conditions can be combined for a wide variety of uses. For example:
- Module + Submissions to show only items from your current module that have ungraded submissions. This allows you to quickly see only the current items that need graded instead of seeing all assignments in your course.
- Assignment Group + Start Date + End Date + Submissions to show only weekly quizzes with submissions in a particular time range. This would let you assess students’ performance on specific quizzes, such as for preparing your instruction after a quiz.
- Student Group + Submissions to show any ungraded group work. This could help you when working with student groups to fill them in on what they have done and what they still need to do.
As you can imagine, the possibilities are almost endless! Enhanced Gradebook Filters gives you the ability to create personalized “dashboards” to view your Gradebook in a wide variety of ways.
Applying and Saving Filters
Once you’ve set up the conditions you want, you’ll need to select the “Apply filter” toggle to turn on the filter.
To save your Filter, give it a name and click “Save.”
After you’ve saved a Filter, you can reapply it at any time by selecting the “Filters” button along the right side and toggling “Apply filter” to the saved Filter. You can even apply multiple saved Filters at the same time! Click the pencil next to a saved Filter to change its name.
Now that you’ve seen how Gradebook filters work, we hope that you have ideas about how to use them in your course. Here’s a quick recap to get you up and running with the new filters ASAP.
- Turn on Enhanced Gradebook Filters for each Canvas course under Settings > Feature Options > Enhanced Gradebook Filters.
- Create filters with one or more conditions. Apply those filters and save them for easy access at any time.
- Combine conditions or filters in different ways to have dynamic “dashboards” for your course Gradebook.
- Consider your most common problems with grading: How could you begin to fix them with a customized view that would show you exactly what you need?
What are you excited to do with Enhanced Gradebook Filters? Weigh in below in the comments!
Edit (11/7/22): Section about how to enable Enhanced Gradebook Filters removed from article. Previously, this feature was optional and had to be enabled, but it currently is automatically enabled on all Canvas courses at Ball State University.
Morris, Rebecca, Thomas Perry, and Lindsey Wardle. “Formative Assessment and Feedback for Learning in Higher Education: A Systematic Review.” Review of Education 9, no. 3 (2021): 1-26. https://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3292
Sotola, Lukas K. and Marcus Crede. “Regarding Class Quizzes: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis of Studies on the Relationship between Frequent Low-Stakes Testing and Class Performance.” Educational Psychology Review 33, no. 2 (2021): 407-426. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-020-09563-9
Eva joined the Division of Online and Strategic Learning in 2021. Previously, she taught professional writing courses in the English Department, including graphic design and web development. She launched Jacket Copy Creative (now known as Compass Creative), an immersive learning course in which students helped market the English Department (and now the entire College of Sciences and Humanities). She also served as a director of advertising at a social media advertising agency in Muncie. Her interests include UDL, digital accessibility, and design. She’s often busy “hacking” Canvas to do cool things.