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R-MC Faculty Teaching Toolkit: Assessment and Grading


Assessment & Evaluation


Prior Knowledge and Formative Assessment

Assessing Prior Knowledge and Formative Assessment 

Assessing students’ prior knowledge allows an instructor to adjust the teaching plan; it also helps students recall prior knowledge in order to make connection with the new material. Low-stake, frequent formative assessment facilitates student engagement and learning. We recommend these types of assessment be graded for Complete/Incomplete or ungraded.




Systems Integrated in Canvas

  • Canvas Studio: Embedding quizzes in the media timeline
  • Active reading and annotation, allowing students to annotate text and media, individually and collectively.



Student Response Systems



Assessing Student Learning

canvas logo  Canvas Tools: Assessing Student Learning and Communicating Student Progress


Please refer to the self-paced course "Create Your Canvas Course" for pedagogical considerations when using the Learning Assessment tools.


Annotate Student Submissions

Canvas has a robust annotation tool called DocViewer that is part of SpeedGrader. DocViewer allows the instructor to review student submissions and annotate them using comments, multiple colors of highlighting, strikethrough, and free draw. Comments and annotations can be easily edited and deleted.

Learn how to annotate (text)



While you can use SpeedGrader for grading student submissions and for giving feedback, you don't have to. Speedgrader allows you to grade using rubrics, and will automatically update the Gradebook with grades given to individual students or groups. SpeedGrader can also be used for grading an offline assignment (assignment or test which students do not submit through Canvas) -- simply create an "Assignment" and choose the submission type "On Paper".

If you are not very familiar with SpeedGrader, a quick orientation might be useful (video | text

Learn how to:

  • Get to SpeedGrader from an assignment, quiz, or graded discussion (text)
  • Enter and edit grades in SpeedGrader (text)
  • Leave feedback comments for student submissions in SpeedGrader (text)
  • Use a rubric to grade in SpeedGrader (text)
  • Learn more about SpeedGrader (text)



The Instructor may set up the Gradebook to include all assignments, which can be organized by assignment, due date, points, or module. If you are not very familiar with the Gradebook, a quick orientation might be useful (video | text

Instructors can:

  • Post grades for assignment (text)
  • Apply a late submission policy in Gradebook (text)
  • Change the color for a grading status in Gradebook (text)
  • Override a student's grade in Gradebook (text)

Learn more about grades in Canvas (video | text)


Canvas Assignments


Canvas Quizzes

The Canvas tool "Quizzes" is only for online quizzes and exams. Grades of an online quiz are calculated by Canvas based on the points the instructor assigns to the quiz questions.  Use "Assignments" for paper-and-pencil quizzes and exams. 

  Create or Edit a (Classic) Quiz

   Preview a Quiz

Before publishing the quiz, the instructor should use the Preview button (see the screenshot below) to preview and try taking the quiz; we do not recommend trying out the quiz in Student View.

  Grading a Quiz


Canvas Discussions

  Canvas Discussions can be ungraded, graded, assigned to groups, and even peer reviewed.