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Setting Up the Gradebook

Setting Up the Gradebook

Background: In EEE GradeBook, you typically created a gradebook, along with a number of columns in it representing assignments, quizzes or other activities. Once completed, you would either upload csv files containing the students’ scores, or manually enter the grades one at a time.

In Canvas, your gradebook is in the Grades area. Yet unlike EEE GradeBook, you don’t create columns from within it; the columns can be thought of as a byproduct of creating Assignments, Quizzes, or graded Discussions. Once you create something that is grade-able in any one of these related tools, an associated column will automatically be created in the Grades area. Not only that, but there are multiple places in Canvas where you can enter grades, and if you do so those scores will appear automatically in the associated gradebook column.

Adding a Gradebook Column

Remember we said above that if you want to create gradebook columns, you need to create assignments. Therefore we’ll take you through configuring a basic assignment to be turned in on paper and graded manually.

  1. In your Canvas course space, open the Assignments tool and click Edit
    Open Assignments tool and click +Assignment to create a new assignment
  2. Once you are on the assignment’s settings page, you’ll need to give the assignment a title. It’s optional (but recommended) to fill in some details about the assignment in its description box. This is a great place to give important information about the assignment or any other relevant details a student needs before they participate.Add a title and desciption for the assignment in the assignment editor
  3. In this example we are creating an On Paper assignment. This will tell the Canvas system not to prompt students to turn anything in online.
    set points possible box and submission type to "On Paper"
  4. Finally, we need to set a Due date and Save & Publish the assignment.
    set due date box and click "Save and Publish" button

    NOTE: Clicking Save & Publish insures that assignment is in a “published” state and able to be accessed by the students. If you were to instead choose Save, the assignment and it’s settings would save, but would be in a “draft” state. Not only would students not be able to see the assignment and it’s Due date, it would also not show up in the Grades area.
  5. Repeat the above steps to add additional assignments.

Entering Grades

Now that you have an assignment, and its corresponding gradebook column, take a look at Canvas' guide on entering grades.

(Optional) Importing Grades from a Spreadsheet

Some of you prefer to keep grades in a simple CSV file throughout the grading process. The good news is Canvas can accommodate this approach. Importing grades into Canvas is a two step process: The original CSV spreadsheet will need to be formatted in a particular way, then converted to a Canvas friendly format using our EEE+ Grade File Conversion Tool. Once converted, the file can then be imported into Canvas' Gradebook. We’ll cover all that below.

Part 1: Converting a Grades CSV

NOTE: The CSV must be formatted exactly as shown in the screenshot below. The converter tool is case sensitive, so the “P” in “Points” and “Possible” must both be capitalized. Additionally, while the screenshot above uses UCInetIDs for each student, the converter will also accept Student ID numbers.

example grades csv file showing Points Possible being case sensitive, assignment name goes in cell B1, and that you can use Student ID numbers, or UCInetIDs


  1. In your Canvas course space, open the Grades area and click the Convert files for import button.
    Open grades area and click convert file for import
  2. You should now see the EEE+ Grade File Conversion Tool. Next, in the “File to upload” box, click the Choose File button to open the file browser window.
    click choose file button
  3. Once you have selected your grades CSV and click Open.
    choose file for conversion and click open
  4. Click Next
    Click the "next" button
  5. If all goes well your file will convert and will be available for download. Click the Download your file button. Did you see an error message instead? Contact us.
    click the "download your file" button

Part 2: Importing the Converted File

Once you have a converted grades CSV, you can use Canvas' comprehensive step-by-step guide on importing grades CSVs to guide you through the process.

Canvas Guides: How do I upload changes to the Gradebook?

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