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How to assess anonymously in Canvas

KTH recommends anonymous assessment when possible and appropriate, in order to give students an equivalent and legally secure assessment. In Canvas, there are two simple methods for assessing both assignments and quizzes anonymously. This page explains how to set up anonymous assessment, how to carry out the assessment and how to de-anonymise assignments.

When and why you should use anonymous assessment

​You can read more about why anonymous assessment is useful, when it is suitable and what difficulties can arise on the pages about Anonymous assessment .

Method 1: Hide student names only in SpeedGrader

If you want to grade anonymously, you can hide the students' names in SpeedGrader. This will only affect SpeedGrader, you can still go to "Grades" to see submission status and grades. This is also a personal setting, the names will only be hidden for you.

Before starting the assessment, do the following:

  1. In SpeedGrader, press “Settings”, the gear-shaped button in the top menu.
  2. Select "Options".
  3. Check the box for "Hide student names in the SpeedGrader".

The students will now be placed in a random order where the first student in the list is called "Student 1", the second "Student 2" and so on. However, the student's ID in the address field will be the same as before the names were hidden, so this option is not completely anonymous.

Plagiarism review

If an assignment is to be checked for plagiarism using Ouriginal, you as a teacher must select "Anonymous plagiarism check" in the settings before the students submit. It is not possible to change this after the students have submitted (because the texts have already been sent for analysis). If this is not set before then, the students' email address will appear in the report.

Read more about Using Ouriginal in Canvas .

Method 2: Fully anonymous assessment

Canvas has the function "anonymous grading" which affects the teacher view in both the Gradebook and in SpeedGrader, as well as anonymizes the student's ID in the address field. To make an anonymous assessment, you need to set it up when you create an assignment or a New quiz (Classic quiz cannot be anonymised).

To set up anonymous assessment, do the following:

  1. Create an assignment or quiz (with New Quizzes).
  2. Find the “Anonymous grading” option.
  3. Tick the box "Graders cannot view student names".
    The option for anonymous grading in an assignment with a checked box.
  4. Save.

The anonymization affects SpeedGrader and the Gradebook

When you anonymize an assignment or quiz, it affects what you see in SpeedGrader and in the Gradebook. In SpeedGrader, students' names are hidden just like in method 1, and student IDs are anonymized in the address field, unlike method 1. In the Gradebook, all information about the anonymized assignment or quiz is hidden, except for its name. The column for the assignment or quiz becomes gray and empty, you see neither the status of the students' submissions nor their grades.

The Gradebook with two assignments, one with submission statuses and one empty and anonymous.

If you enter SpeedGrader you will always end up at Student 1, you cannot select a specific student's submission via the Gradebook.

Return to a previous assessment

The name of an anonymous student in SpeedGrader (for example, “Student 3”) can change, so it may refer to a different student the next time you grade. If you need to return to a student's submission, you can use the student's anonymous ID in the address field.

You can find the student's anonymous ID at the end of the address field in SpeedGrader: "canvas.kth.se/[…]&anonymous_id=NNNNN". Copy the code that stands in place of "NNNNN" and save it to be able to return to the same student's work at a later time.

Clipped address field ending with 6cr94.
Example of an anonymous ID.

Limitations on anonymization of New Quizzes

The moderation tab inside the build settings for the quiz does not become anonymous. There, as a teacher, you can see the results of the quiz for each student. To maintain anonymity, manual grading of quiz questions should be done via SpeedGrader and not the moderation tab.

In addition to this, it is not possible to turn off the anonymization of a quiz.

De-anonymization takes place when grades are posted

When the assessment is complete and you post the grades, the results are de-anonymised. You will see the results in the Gradebook and if you go into SpeedGrader, the students' names will be visible.

De-anonymize assignments manually if necessary

If for some reason you need to de-anonymize an assignment before the assessment is complete, it is possible to do so. Go into the settings for the assignment and uncheck the box "Graders cannot see the students' names" and then press save. The students' names will appear as usual.

Note! Not applicable for quiz, they can only be de-anonymized by posting the grades.

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Last changed: Feb 28, 2024