How do Categories and Weights Work in Canvas?
Assignment categories and weights are customized according to the particular requirements of each school district. However, you may need to do this customization yourself if your course doesn't match the district requirements. If your course is not already customized to fit a particular district, it will come with a default set of values instead. Some districts are fine with this default preset, but please check with your TLS (Teaching and Learning Specialist) for district expectations.
Default Preset Assignment Categories and Weights
50% Summative (Tests)
40% Formative (Daily Work, Group Work, Small Activities, Labs, etc)
100% Sum Total-no more, no less
*To clarify, these percentages do not represent the maximum number of points students can score or teachers can assign for a particular category. Some people confuse these meanings. You could have any number of tests, with any number of test items, numbering well over 50 items if you so desired. These numbers mean that when all scores are tabulated, like with tests, for example, all those test scores are averaged together and then multiplied by 50% or .5 to account for the portion of the total grade.
Consider the following example:
*Note-There should not be any 0% categories in your Assignments Tab. If you have items in a 0% category, they will not calculate in with your grade calculations until you move each one to a category with a non-zero % value.
Zero % categories should then be deleted (see the bottom of this article for Zero Percent Category removal instructions).
How do I set my Categories and Weights?
Navigate to the Assignments tab for your course, then click the three vertical dots to the right, and select Assignment Groups Weight.
That will open this option where you can toggle Weight Final Grade to the ON position by CHECKING the box.
Now you will need to enter the Category Weights based on the district's requirements.
*Please note, your total weights must equal EXACTLY 100%.
Then select SAVE.
Double-check and verify that the categories and weights match the district's requirements.
If edits are needed, select the three vertical dots to the right and select EDIT.
Then you may change the category weight to a new one. Then click SAVE.
If you find that you need to add a category, go back to the Assignments tab on the left
Select the + GROUP button.
In the group name area, type the name of your new category, for example: "Class Participation"
Give it a percentage weight (keep in mind your total sum of all categories must be 100% -no more or less, edits may need to be made to balance the total sum)
Then click SAVE.
How to Remove the Zero Percent Category Entry in Your Assignments Tab
** When assignments are imported to a course from another source, an “Imported 0%” category will automatically generate in Canvas Assignments.
That 0% Category will be included in the Gradebook and must be removed because any graded assignments in that category will not be calculated toward the student's average. It will, in essence, be useless.
While inside your course, navigate to the Assignments tab. Be sure it shows All Grading Periods.
Then move the contents of the Imported 0% category into a weighted category.
There are two methods to moving assignments in the Assignments tab view:
A) Drag and Drop Method (allows for one move at a time):
B) Move Contents Method (allows for bulk movement):
1- Click the three vertical dots to the right of your Gray area, then select Move Contents.
*Note-Each of these actions (above and below) will have a corresponding effect in your gradebook to remove category columns with 0% weighting.
2- This will create a popup window on the right side of your screen.
Under Assignment Group, choose the destination that you want these assignments to land in.
Then, under Place, select specifically where in that destination you want these assignments to land.
Lastly, click Move.
Once the assignments have been moved into weighted categories, delete the Imported 0% category.