Canvas's gradebook can be a great place to check the health of your overall course and how it's been set up. Here's a brief overview of how to navigate through it:
With some exceptions, your course will have the district's grading periods attached to it. You can toggle between grading periods by clicking View, then Filters, then checking Grading Periods. This selection will cause the drop-down menu to appear in the top right to toggle between grading periods. If you don't have this filter on, it will automatically only show you assignments in the current grading period.
In the Grading Periods drop-down, there is a section called "Undated Assignments", this is where assignments that do not have a due date are found. It is a good idea to check this section occasionally; If you have published/graded assignments in 'Undated Assignments', they will not count towards the student's grades.
Assignment Groups and the Total Column
At the very end (right side) of the gradebook, you can find your assignment groups, what percentage they count for, and the current total. When hovering over the Total column, three dots will appear. Clicking the three dots will let you sort the grades from high to low or low to high. You can also opt to move the Total column to the front of the gradebook.
The View Menu
In addition to the Grading Periods, you can tailor the gradebook to your liking in other ways.
This allows you to change what order assignments show up in, from left to right. Most are self-explanatory, with the exception of Default Order. That is the order in which they appear in the Assignments tab, from top to bottom.
In addition to filtering for specific grading periods, you can also filter by Assignment Groups, Modules, and Student Groups. Much like Grading Periods, selecting them causes a drop-down menu to appear where you can switch between different sections.
In the View menu, you can also toggle to view the Notes column, and Unpublished Assignments. The Notes column can be edited whenever, and has a 225 character-limit. Unpublished assignments will be obviously labeled as such.
Gradebook Color Codes
Depending on your school, you may want to set Late and Missing Policies for your gradebook to automatically follow. To do that, click the gear in the top right to open the Gradebook Settings menu.
In that menu, you can set what missing and late submissions are graded as, and if they are graded automatically or need your approval.
After entering that information, click Apply Settings to save the changes.
If you ever need to, you can find historical information in Gradebook History. Gradebook History records all changes to the gradebook, including grades for students who are no longer in the class.
As previously mentioned, the gradebook is a great place to spot mistakes that need to be fixed in other parts of your course. Below are a few possibilities, but for a more in-depth look, see Troubleshooting Gradebook Issues.
If an assignment is nowhere to be found in the gradebook, but you can see it in the Modules/Assignments tab, check its due date. Assignments need a due date to show up in the gradebook. You can also make sure that it's published, since unpublished assignments can be hidden if you uncheck them in the View menu.
Totals column has an exclamation mark
You may also notice an exclamation icon in the Total column. If you click it, it will tell you what is off. For example, this is a warning that there is an Assignment Group in the Assignments tab that has no points possible in that quarter. That means there are no published assignments in that group that are set to be due in that quarter, which could affect the students' grades.
The Assignment Groups do not add up to 100%
If you see a column marked as "0% of grade," or add the percentages and realize that they are adding up to something other than 100%, that means you need to check your Assignments tab in the course. As you can see, these can cause the students to not get the grade they earned.
Whenever you import shared content, check the assignments tab for an Imported Assignments group. If the assignments are in an Imported Assignments group, you can move them one-by-one to your other groups, or move them all at once.