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How to use SpeedGrader in Canvas for scanned documents

This guide will show you how to manage student assignments in Canvas when you are dealing with submitted documents that have been scanned, for example handwritten documents that is uploaded as a PDF. This works the same way in general for all assignments where the uploaded file is possible to preview in SpeedGrader.

The guide is divided into 3 parts: The first part holds instructions on how you hide the grades until you are finished grading. Second part contains instruction on how you find SpeedGrader followed by how you use SpeedGrader. Particularly interesting for scanned documents is the notes and annotations that can be considered to resemble how many teachers work with handwritten exams. The third part shows how you make the grades visible for the student, i.e. after you are done with grading.

How to make the grade temporarily invisible for the students

What you first want to do is to temporarily hide the grades for the students. This is managed in the Canvas Gradebook, which you find by clicking on “Grades” in your course room.

To the right in Canvas Gradebook view, click the cog-wheel and in the window that appears choose the tab “Grade Posting Policy”. Choose the option “Manually Post Grades”. Now the student will not see any new grades, annotation or comments that you make on their submission.

Screenshot "Grade Posting Policy" tab with "Manually Post Grades" checked.

How to find SpeedGrader and how to find scanned documents

Canvas allows you to access SpeedGrader from an assignment. 

Open Assignments

In Course Navigation, click the Assignments link.

Screenshot Course meny with Assignment highlighted.

View Assignments

Screenshot Module with 2 assignments. One of the assignments name is highlighted.

Click the name of the assignment.

Open SpeedGrader

SpeedGrader will be available in every graded assignment, including quizzes or graded discussions.

Open SpeedGrader from a Graded Assignment 

Screenshot Opened assignment with SpeedGrader highlighted in the sidebar.

Within a graded assignment or quiz the SpeedGrader link will appear in the sidebar under Related Items.

Use SpeedGrader

Use SpeedGrader to view submitted assignments, comment on student submissions and grade assignments. 

View Student list

The right side of the menu bar includes the student list for the assignment.

Screenshot Chosen student in Speedgrader with arrow pointing to button to open the drop-down menu.

To open the list of students, click the drop-down menu.

Screenshot Drop-down menu of student names. 1 show order of last names, 2 show 1 of 7 students.

SpeedGrader opens the assignment for the first student listed in the student list, arranged alphabetically by last name [1]. When you view a submission, you can see which student submission you are viewing in the student list compared to the total number of students [2].

View Student Submission

Screenshot Overview of entire preview window in Speedgrader.

Once you have selected a student, the student’s submission displays in the preview window.

Screenshot Student name on top, submission time and 2 submitted files as downloads below.

If the students have uploaded several files you can see them under Submitted Files. The file you select will be the file that displays in the preview window. Here you can also find the students scanned documents.

How to make notes in the document

In SpeedGrader you can make notes in the document. You have different options to choose from. At the top from left to right you will find the options.

Screenshot Annotation menu for submitted documents. Numbers 1 to 6 placed at different buttons.
  1. Point annotation: point out a place in the document where you can add a comment.

  2. Highlight annotation: highlight a word or sentence and add a comment.

  3. Freetext annotation: add a comment anywhere in the document.

  4. Strikeout annotation: mark a place in the document and add a comment.

  5. Free draw annotation: add a comment using your own handwriting.

  6. Area annotation: mark a specific area in the document and add a comment.

Below you can see an example of 6, i.e. where an area in a document has been marked and a comment has been added.

Screenshot Comment in Speedgrader correcting a formula. The comment has a reply button.

How to assign a grade

To assign a grade go to Assessment in the right hand field in SpeedGrader. Depending on which grading scheme you have chosen for the assignment you assign a grade.

Example of fail (F) (0, 1, 2 or 3 out of 5) and pass (P) (4 or 5 out of 5):

Screenshot 2 assessments in Speedgrader. One 0 of 5 giving the grade F, the other 4 of 5, grade P.

How to make a comment

Open SpeedGrader from any assignment, graded discussion, or quiz. Use the list of students ( see description here ) to locate a student submission. 

Screenshot Assignment comment box in Speedgrader. Files and videos can be attachments.

In the Assignment Comments, you can post comments to the student. Any comments that have been made by the student also appear in this section. To add a comment to the assignment, enter the text in the Add a comment field. To expand the size of the comment field, click and drag the corner of the text box.

When you are done grading

After you are done grading you can choose to reveal the grades to the students together with the notes/annotations that you have done in their documents. This is done in SpeedGrader and by clicking the symbol that looks like a crossed over eye in the top right corner and choose the option “Post grades”. After that choose the option Everyone and click the button labelled Post. Now the grades and your annotations are visible to the students.

Screenshot Speedgrader with menu under the crossed out eye. Post grades is highlighted in the menu.
Screenshot Post grades options and number of hidden grades. The option Everyone is selected.