Canvas Grading and Testing FAQ for Faculty

Overview: Your first resource when you need help with using Canvas in general, or when you would like to learn how to use a Canvas feature is the Canvas Instructor Guide which contains extensive tutorials and explanations for teachers. If you are using a mobile device or tablet, please begin by consulting the Canvas Mobile Phone Instructor Guide. This FAQ page only contains answers to questions that are specific to Colorado Mountain College or that are not easily answered via the Canvas Guides. For more general questions and “how-tos”, please consult the Canvas Instructor Guide or the Canvas Mobile Phone Instructor Guide.

Canvas provides a “gradebook” feature that enables instructors to share grades for individual items over the course of a semester with their students, and which students can use to monitor their progress in their courses. Canvas enables instructors to test students. Canvas also has a tool named the SpeedGrader, which facilitates the grading of work submitted through Canvas Assignments, discussion posts, and of tests taken online in Canvas.

WebAdvisor remains the only way for faculty to issue final grades for students and for students to review their final grades each semester.

Canvas Gradebook & SpeedGrader

Testing in Canvas

Canvas Gradebook & SpeedGrader

How do I issue final grades?
WebAdvisor continues to be the sole way for CMC faculty to issue final grades at the end of each semester. Final grades cannot be issued via Canvas. The Canvas Gradebook provides the instructor a means of easily inputting and distributing grades for students as the semester progresses. The Canvas Gradebook can serve as a communication tool between students and instructors and allows the instructor to monitor the activity of high-risk students.

I have a question about Assignments.
Please click here for a video overview of Assignments, which includes an explanation of how Assignments integrate with the Gradebook. For more, please visit the Canvas Instructor Guide and consult the Assignments section.

How can I add columns to the Gradebook?
In Canvas, you can only generate more columns in the Gradebook by creating new graded items, such as tests, assignments, and graded discussions. You can however create assignments that are set to not require any submission by students and manually input grades into the column that is generated.

I have more questions about the Gradebook.
For more help with the Canvas Gradebook, please visit the Canvas Instructor Guide and consult the Grades section.

How can I set up extra credit?
One way to do this is to use Assignment Groups and make sure that the Assignment Groups total more than 100%. You could create a special Assignment Group whose worth increases the total percentage value of all Assignment Groups combined above 100%. For example, if all of your Assignment Groups total 100%, add an additional Assignment group labeled “Extra Credit” worth 5%. Now each time you create an extra credit assignment, make sure that it’s categorized in this Assignment Group.

I have a question about the Canvas SpeedGrader.
For a video overview of the SpeedGrader, please click here. For the Canvas Instructor Guide’s section on the SpeedGrader, please visit this page.
The Canvas SpeedGrader™ is a tool that enables teachers to quickly and easily grade a particular assignment, which can be launched from within the Gradebook or by visiting that assignment. Inside the SpeedGrader you will see each individual submission for that assignment, the date and time that it was submitted (students can submit their work multiple times and each version will be stamped with the date and time), and an alert if the assignment was submitted after the due date. Canvas accepts a variety of document formats and even URLs as assignment submissions. SpeedGrader automatically converts these various online submission types into a format that can be displayed by a web browser for your review. Within one frame, you can view, grade, start discussions, and provide students with written, video, and audio comments.When you have finished with one student, you can jump right to the next student without leaving SpeedGrader. Your private feedback to the student, through text, audio, or video, will be sent via the communication channels that they prefer. SpeedGrader also supports the use of Canvas’ Rubrics, which can help you communicate your expectations for any given assignment.

How do I use Crocodoc in the SpeedGrader?
Please click here for a tutorial on using Crocodoc in the SpeedGrader. Here is a list of the file types that are compatible with Crocodoc. Please note: the comments you write using Crocodoc are not always obvious to students. We suggest notifying your students that they must seek out the Crocodoc comments.

I’m having trouble previewing files in the SpeedGrader or in my Canvas course.
On Sept. 29, 2012, Canvas switched from the Scribd tool for previewing files to Crocodoc. Crocodoc currently can convert PDF files, Microsoft Word files (.doc, .docx), Microsoft PowerPoint files (.ppt, .pptx), and Microsoft Excel files (.xls, .xlsx) Crocodoc currently does not display images (.png, .jpg, etc.) Files generated by Microsoft Works, the free office suite on some PCs, are not accepted by Crocodoc. For more information regarding Crocodoc and Crocodoc tech support, please click here.

Testing in Canvas

How do I build a quiz in Canvas? (Canvas calls all tests, exams, etc. quizzes)
Please click here for a tutorial from the Canvas Instructor Guide on how to create a quiz in Canvas via the Quizzes section of your course. Canvas calls all tests, exams, etc. “quizzes,” by the way.

How can I give a student a second attempt or more time to take a test?
This is called “moderating” a quiz in Canvas. Please see this tutorial for instructions regarding how to permit a student to take a test again. Quizzes in Canvas can be set to allow multiple attempts for all students; this tutorial addresses how to give an individual student one more go at the test.  Please note, Canvas does not permit students to resume a previous attempt and pick up where they left off–i.e., if you give a student more time or another attempts, it’s an entirely new test-taking attempt, and no previously submitted answers are visible.

Can students save their answers while working on a test?
Students cannot save individual answers to test questions currently, but Canvas does save the chosen/inputted answers should the browser close or crash. While students are taking a quiz they will see a “Saved at” indicator at right, underneath the quiz information and due date, showing them when their work on the test was last backed up.

Can I add extra credit questions to my quiz?
Currently, there’s no automated way to incorporate extra credit on a quiz in Canvas. However, here is a workaround you can use if you wish to add extra credit questions to a quiz: set up the quiz with the extra credit questions included, making sure that those questions are worth 0 points each so that the quiz’s total number of points is not impacted by the extra credit questions. Include specific instructions to guide students. Then after the students take the quiz, you must check their answers to those extra credit questions and manually override the scores generated by Canvas in the Gradebook to award extra credit points as appropriate.

How can I enable Respondus LockDown Browser for my Canvas quiz?
Begin editing your quiz; you will see a set of options under the heading “Quiz Restrictions.” Check the checkbox for “Require Respondus LockDown Browser.” Your students will be required to use that software to take the quiz.

I would like to use the Respondus 4.0 test authoring software with Canvas.
Please visit this page on Respondus 4.0 software at CMC; you can also find the link for this page at
CMC instructors and staff can obtain a license from CMC to install Respondus 4.0 for one year on their computers by registering for and completing the Respondus 4.0 Licensing course offered by the Office of Innovations. Please consult the training calendar at for that course’s details and WebAdvisor registration information. You can also download a free 30-day trial version of Respondus 4.0 online at the Respondus website here.