How do I curve Grades in the Gradebook?

Canvas recently introduced a new page design called the New Canvas User Interface (UI). Depending on your Canvas view, your page design may vary from the images shown in this lesson. However, the functionality and location of the components remain the same.

You can use the Gradebook to curve grades for an assignment. In the academic community, curving grades is advisable if only a certain number of students can pass, or when you require a fixed distribution of grades distributed throughout the class.

To curve grades, Canvas asks for an average curve score and then adjusts the scores as a bell curve 66% around the average score. For instance, if the average score is the equivalent of a C, Canvas would distribute mostly C- and C+ scores, distributing outward down the curve to Bs and Ds, and then ultimately As and Fs. This type of scoring creates a predictable distribution, but it means that students will compete against their classmates for scoring.  

Note: Grade curving cannot be undone. Pre-curved grade histories will be available, but the curving action is irreversible.

Open Gradebook

Open Gradebook

In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.

Open Assignment Drop-down Menu

Open Assignment Drop-down Menu

Hover over the assignment title and click the drop-down menu.

Curve Grades

Curve Grades

Click the Curve Grades link to set curving options.

Set Curve Score

Set Curve Score

Type a number in the average score field to act as the curve score [1]. The graph above the average score field will change depending on what score is entered and give you an approximation of what the new scores would look like [2]. You can adjust the average score as necessary to produce a desired grading outcome.

You can assign zeros to students who did not submit their assignments by clicking the Assign zeroes to unsubmitted students checkbox [3]. Click the Curve Grades button to curve grades [4].

Note: Grade curving cannot be undone. Pre-curved grade histories will be available, but the curving action is irreversible.

In a pop-up window, Canvas will show you how many scores were updated. Click the OK button.

View Curved Grades

View Curved Grades

View the new grades for the assignment.