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Using outcomes to assess assignments

Once outcomes are in Canvas, you can align them to assignments and set up how you want them to be used to suit your course. The settings allow you to use the outcomes as an indication, but also as a final assessment. You can choose to remove the levels of the outcomes and only use comments, and in a similar way use them for peer review.

More about "Rubrics"

When you are going to assess an assignment using your outcomes, you first need to align them to the assignment. The alignment is made through the "Rubrics" function, directly in the assignment. You can read more about rubrics on Canvas’ guide pages , but here you can think of it as an area for the outcomes that you have added to Canvas.

In Rubrics you can create Criterion, which function as outcomes in the rubric, but only in the rubric they are created in. If the same criterion are going to be used in several places, it is more effective to use Outcomes in the rubric.  

Align outcomes to assignments

To add one or more outcomes, you select "+ Rubric" from the overview of the assignment you want to assess with outcomes.

Screenshot of assignment view with "Rubric" button to connect outcomes to the assignment.
Align an outcome to an assignment.

Find an outcome to add

Add an outcome by choosing "Find outcome" and selecting the outcome you want to use from the list. Remember to remove the empty default criterion from the rubric. If you want to add more outcomes, choose Find outcome again and select a new outcome from the list.

Screenshot of matrix view with search function highlighted for finding outcome for the assignment.
Add an outcome and select alternatives that are suitable for the assignment.

Editing the grading scheme to correspond to the levels of the outcome

Sometimes you may need to edit the grading scheme if it does not correspond to the levels of the outcome. If, for example, the highest assessment for an assignment is a C, then that also needs to be reflected in the grading scheme. You can adjust your settings by editing the assignment and changing the grading scheme. See the heading "Select or create your own grading scheme" on the page The Gradebook in Canvas .  

Select alternatives for the rubric aligning the outcome to the assignments

Below, the settings for common ways to work with rubrics are described. You can use rubrics with or without points for assesment of work, and you can use them to give feedback that isn't part of the final assessment.

Assessment without points in the rubric (recommended)

Select "Remove points from rubric". If you want to asses only with outcomes and without summing up, you can in the settings for the assignment select "Not Graded". If you still want to sum up the assessment, you can in the assignment settings select "Points" or "Letter grade".

Assessment with points in the rubric

It is easier to use points directly in the assignment than through the rubric, and points in the rubric can easily be confusing for the student. If you still want to use points in the rubric, it is recommended that you set it up so that the results from outcomes aren't added together to a total result. The algorithm for how rubrics are totaled seldom work as planned, so select "Hide score total for assessment results" and fill out the assessment total manually.

Feedback without assessment 

If the rubric is going to be used to, for example, give feedback on an assignment draft, you may not want to publish the results. Then select "Don’t post outcomes results to learning mastery gradebook". Also select the appropriate assignment settings.

Assessment with free-form comments or peer review

You can also use rubrics with outcomes without levels, and only give feedback and assessment through comments on each outcome. The same rubric settings are also good to use for peer review of assignments

Alternatives to select for assessment with free-form comments or for peer review:

  • "I’ll write free-form comments when assessing students"

  • "Remove points from rubric"

  • "Don’t post outcomes results to learning mastery gradebook".

Finishing the rubric

Create the rubric when you are satisfied with your selections.

Screenshot of Rubric and the button "Create rubric”.
Finish the rubric by clicking “Create rubric” when you are satisfied with your selections.

Now the rubric is connected to the assignment.  

Grading with outcomes in the SpeedGrader

When you are going to assess an assignment with outcomes, it can only be done through the SpeedGrader. When you are in the SpeedGrader, choose "View rubric" in order to fill out the student’s mastery. You can use "view longer description" to see the full description of the outcome.

Screenshot of SpeedGrader with the button "View Rubric" highlighted.
View and add the result.

Select the level that the student has achieved for each outcome and remember to save. You cannot remove filled out boxes from a rubric after you have saved, which is important to note if the assessment is set to be visible to the students. See the heading "When you are done grading" on the page Assess documents in Canvas .

Screenshot on filled in rubric and the Save button.
Remember to save after filling out the outcome ratings and any comments.

If you have chosen to remove the points from the rubric, you have to fill in the assessment manually in the box for assessment.

Screenshot on box for fill in assessment manually.
Assessed assignment.

Assessing at the same time in SpeedGrader with a rubric for outcomes

Note that if you have chosen to add a rubric with outcomes for the assessment in SpeedGrader, only one teacher at a time can handle the students' rubrics. The assessment rubrics are saved with the save button, but the page must be reloaded in the browser in order to be updated. Anyone who writes in a rubric without first updating the page will delete everyone else's notes in the rubric. Updating the page takes different amounts of time depending on how many students need to be assessed, which means that it is not always a sustainable way of working. The recommendation is that you and assessing colleagues decide the time when each person can edit the students' rubrics.

Assessing with SpeedGrader's other notation tools works for co-assessment at the same time.

Keep reading to learn to activate the Gradebooks for learning mastery for both teachers and students .

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Last changed: Oct 28, 2021