Lesson 4: Grading and Learning Standards

In this lesson you’ll learn how to create grading scales, learning standards, rubrics, and question banks for users in your account.  The items you create in this lesson standardize learning expectations for student growth and learning measurements. Instructors, course designers, and others who manage course content in your account will have access to these items for use in their courses.

Grading Schemes

What is a grading scheme? 

A grading scheme is a set of criteria used to measure student achievement in a course. Without a grading scheme, student scores are not measured against a specific standard.

Account Grading Schemes

Account Grading Schemes

To access your account grading schemes page, click the Grading link in Account Navigation [1]. Then click the Grading Schemes tab [2]. 

Create a Grading Scheme

Create a Grading Scheme

To add a grading scheme, click the Add grading scheme button.

Create a Grading Scheme 2

Grading schemes are built based on percentage ranges, which are each assigned a name value. To create your grading scheme:

  1. Enter a name for your grading scheme
  2. Edit the name for each percentage range
  3. Edit the percentage range for each item
  4. Click the Save button

Once a grading scheme is created for your account, it can be linked to courses. However, once a grading scheme has been used to assess a student, the scheme cannot be edited. 

Learn more about adding grading schemes and managing grading schemes in an account. 


What are outcomes? 

Outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge and skills that learners will develop during a course or program. As an admin, you can create outcomes at the account level that instructors may use to measure student progress in a course in your account.

Account Outcomes

Account Outcomes

To access the Outcomes page, click the Outcomes link in Account Navigation.

Create Outcome Groups

Create Outcome Groups

To create an outcome group for your account outcomes: 

  1. Click the Add Group button.
  2. Type a name for the group in the New Outcome Group field. 
  3. Provide a description for the outcome group in the Describe this group field.
  4. Click the Save button.

Add Outcome

Add Outcome

To create an outcome within your outcome group: 

  1. Click the Add Outcome button.
  2. Type a name for the outcome in the New Outcome field.
  3. Type a description for the outcome in the Describe this outcome field. 
  4. Click the Edit icon to edit criterion rating names and points. 
  5. Enter a Mastery at value.
  6. Set Calculation method options. 
  7. Click the Save button. 

Learn more about creating an outcome.

Import Outcomes

Import Outcomes

You can also import outcomes to your account using a CSV file upload. View the required Outcomes CSV format

Once your CSV file is correctly configured, click the Import button.

Import Outcomes 2

Drag and drop your CSV file to the upload area or click in the upload area to choose a file from your computer.

Learn more about importing outcomes to your account.


What is a rubric?

A rubric is an assessment tool for communicating expectations and measuring student mastery on a course assignment or assessment. Rubrics are typically comprised of rows and columns. Assessed criteria are defined in rows. Columns are used to define levels of performance for each criterion.

Account Rubrics

Account Rubrics

To access the rubrics page in your account, click the Outcomes link in Account Navigation [1]. Then click the Manage Rubrics button [2]. 

Create Rubric

Create Rubric

To create a rubric: 

  1. Click the Add Rubric button. 
  2. Enter a title in the Title field.
  3. Click the Edit icon to edit criteria names and ratings
  4. Click the Add Criterion link to add new criterion or duplicate existing criterion in the rubric. 
  5. Click the Find Outcome link to add outcomes to the rubric. 
  6. When done, click the Create Rubric button. 

Learn more about creating rubrics and managing rubrics in your account. 

Question Banks

What are question banks?

Question banks are quiz question repositories. When creating a quiz, users can access question bank questions, making it easier to offer the same quiz questions to students in different courses.

Account Question Banks

Account Question Banks

To access the Question Banks page in your course, click the Question Banks link in Account Navigation.

Add Question Bank

Add Question Bank

You must create a new question bank before creating quiz questions.  

  1. Click the Add Question Bank button.
  2. Enter a name in the Bank Name field. 
  3. Press Enter on your PC or Return on your Mac. 

Add Questions to Question Bank

Add Questions to Question Bank

To add a question to your question bank, click the bank name. 

Add Question to Question Bank 2

From the question bank details page: 

  1. Click the Add a question button in the sidebar. 
  2. Enter question details. 
  3. When done, click the Update Question button. 

Learn more about creating a question bank

Learn more about managing account level question banks.

Additional Resources

Canvas Guides

For more in-depth information about the topics covered in this chapter, check out the Canvas Admin Guides chapters on Terms and Grading.

You can also watch the Canvas Admin overview videos about Terms and Grading Periods

Canvas Community

The Canvas Community is an online community of Canvas users from around the world. It houses a space for Questions and Answers about Canvas and a variety of groups, including the Canvas Administration group

Up Next in Lesson 5: My Account's Brand and Functionality

In the next lesson, you’ll learn about how you can customize the look and functionality of your account for all users. 

Custom Branding

  • Canvas can be customized to the look and feel of your institution. 
  • Using the Canvas Theme Editor, you can give Canvas the facelift it needs to fit in with your institution either by manually updating branding themes or with CSS or JS uploads. 

Canvas Feature Options

  • Each institution is unique, and Canvas functionality should match the needs of your institution. 
  • You can enable Canvas feature options for accounts and courses at your institution. 

Eternal Tools

  • Canvas can integrate with a variety of specialized teaching and learning tools to make education more fun, interesting, applicable, and memorable. 
  • You can enable external tools for your entire account.