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How do I use a Grade Posting Policy in my Gradebook?

The Grade Posting Policy feature is an update that expands Canvas's old grade muting feature to allow you greater control over when assignment and assessment grades are released to students. There are two Grade Posting Policy options: "Automatic Posting" and "Manual Posting."

  • Automatic Posting: Your students' grades will be visible to them as soon as you enter their grades into the Gradebook or Speedgrader.
  • Manual Posting: Your students' entered grades will be hidden from them until you manually release the grades to them via the Post Grades function.

These policies can be applied to an entire course Gradebook as well as to individual columns within the Gradebook.

Keep in mind:

  • By default, your Canvas site's Grade Posting Policy is set to Automatic Posting at both the course level and individual assignment level. This means that when a new course or development site is created, it is automatically set to Automatic Posting. The default Automatic Posting Policy will continue to be applied even after you have copied content over from other Canvas sites that contain Manual Posting policies. This means that you will need to recreate your preferred Grade Posting Policies in your current semester course site, even if you copy course content over from a previous semester's course site.
  • The Grade Posting Policy selected for an individual column will override the Grade Posting Policy that is applied at the course level. For example, selecting "Manual Posting" for a single column will apply the manual posting policy to that column even though "Automatic Posting" may be selected at the course level. Similarly, if you choose "Automatic Posting" for an individual column, then that will override the "Manual Posting" option you selected at the course level for that specific column. This flexibility allows you to "mix and match" Grade Posting Policies as needed to optimize the Gradebook for your course.
  • If opting to use a Manual Posting Policy, when posting the grades be sure to select the "post for everyone" option. This will ensure that both current grades and any grades you enter in the future after originally posting the grades (e.g., for a student who received an extension) will automatically be released to students.

Using course level Grade Posting Policies

Setting a Grade Posting Policy at the course level applies that policy to all the columns in your Gradebook. By default, Canvas sites are set to the Automatic Posting policy, so you do not need to adjust this setting unless you wish to manually release the majority of your course grades to your students. 

Best practice: Decide which policy you want to use before the semester begins and student grades are entered.
Even if you have not made all the assignments that will be submitted during the semester, setting the desired course-level Grade Posting Policy at the beginning of the course will ensure that your preferred policy will be applied to any new assignments you create.

Using individual assignment Grade Posting Policies

Depending on your grading preferences you may not need to assign a Grade Posting Policy at the individual assignment level. For example, if you never wish to hide grades from students, you will not need to adjust your gradebook column settings. Similarly, if you have already opted to apply the Manual Grade Posting Policy at the course level and you want to manually release grades to your students for all assignments, then you will not need to use an individual assignment Grade Posting Policy.

Keep in Mind: Grade Posting Policy changes are not applied retroactively. Make sure you have selected the desired posting policy before you start entering grades.

For example, if your assignment had been set to Manual Posting, and you entered in grades for a few students, those grades would be hidden from students. If you then changed that assignment to Automatic Posting, only grades entered after the change would be automatically posted. You would still need to manually post the grades (selecting the "everyone" option) for the students whose grades you entered prior to changing the policy to be able to view their grades.

Similarly, if your assignment had been set to Automatic Posting, and you entered in grades for a few students, those grades would be visible to students. If you then changed that assignment to Manual Posting, those grades would remain visible to students and only grades entered after the change would be hidden from student view. You would still need to use the "hide grades" option to hide the grades you had already entered prior to changing to a Manual Posting Policy.

Any time you are manually posting grades, we recommend using the "Post to Everyone" option in the menu that appears on the right-hand side of the screen. This will allow you to both release all currently entered grades and any grades you enter in that column in the future without having to re-post the grades.

Additional Resources

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  • 09-Sep-2019