How do I use SpeedGrader?

SpeedGrader makes it easy to evaluate individual student assignments and group assignments quickly.

SpeedGrader displays assignment submissions for active students in your course. However, SpeedGrader displays assignment submissions according to the current Gradebook settings for inactive enrollments and concluded enrollments. For instance, if the Gradebook settings show inactive enrollments, inactive student submissions also appear in SpeedGrader.

You can access SpeedGrader through: Assignments, Quizzes, Graded Discussions, and the Gradebook.

SpeedGrader Performance

In SpeedGrader, all values for an assignment are loaded and saved in the browser, including student submission data, any grades (including original grades for resubmitted assignments), rubrics, and comments. This behavior reduces load time while using SpeedGrader, allowing instructors to grade all submissions quickly without continually refreshing the browser. Advancing from one submission to the next does not dynamically load any updated content.

In large courses, SpeedGrader loading times are affected by a threshold of data points that can be loaded within a 60-second window. This threshold is based on a single submission per student. Multiple submissions by the same student increases the submission threshold. Assignments with more than 1500 submissions may result in delayed SpeedGrader loading times, and assignments with more than 2500 submissions may fail to load at all.

To improve SpeedGrader performance, large courses should be separated into sections, which allows SpeedGrader to display submissions for a specific section and decrease the overall loading time for an assignment's data.

SpeedGrader Users

SpeedGrader is generally designed for one instructor role to grade submissions at a time. Because of how SpeedGrader data is loaded and stored in the browser, multiple users should not grade assignments at the same time since each grader cannot view the most recent information for a submission. Updated grades also affect the Gradebook.

If your course includes multiple graders, graders added to a course can be limited to only interact with users in a section and only grade submissions in the section where they were enrolled. This enrollment option prevents assignment grading overlap so multiple instructor roles cannot grade the same assignment.

An exception to multiple graders is an assignment set up for moderated grading, where an instructor may act as a moderator and allow two additional graders to review a submission independent of each other.

View SpeedGrader

SpeedGrader includes several areas to help you locate and view student submissions, grade submissions, and add comments to submissions.

View SpeedGrader Menu Icons

View SpeedGrader Menu Icons

The SpeedGrader menu includes several tools and resources to assist with grading assignments.

The left side of the menu includes general settings and options:

  • Gradebook Icon: Return to the Gradebook [1].
  • Mute Icon: Mutes or unmutes the assignment [2].
  • Keyboard Icon: Opens a list of keyboard shortcuts for SpeedGrader [3].
  • Help Icon: Opens the Canvas help menu [4]. The help menu icon matches the help icon set by a Canvas admin, so icons may vary across accounts.
  • Settings Icon: Opens the SpeedGrader Settings menu [5], which includes enabling student list sorting options and anonymous grading.

View Assignment Details

The center of the menu bar includes assignment information and overall grading information. Assignment information includes the name of the assignment [1], assignment due date [2], and the name of the course [3].

To view the assignment details, click the name of the assignment. The assignment details page also lets you download all student submissions for the assignment.  

To return to the Course Home Page, click the name of the course.

Grading information includes assignment statistics, including the number of assignments that have been graded out of the total number of submissions [4] and the average score and percentage [5]. You can use this information to keep track of your grading progress.

View Student List

View Student List

The right side of the menu bar includes the student list for the assignment. SpeedGrader opens the assignment for the first student listed in the student list, arranged alphabetically by last name. If you have activated student view, the Test Student will be shown at the end of the student list. The student list also displays the status of each student's submission. Learn how to use the student list to find student submissions.

You can also enable anonymous grading to hide student names in SpeedGrader.

View Student Submission

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

Depending on the assignment and submission type, the SpeedGrader preview window may vary. For example, a website URL submission type will appear in the main body of SpeedGrader with the option to open the URL in a new tab. Some website URL submissions cannot be viewed in Canvas and must be viewed in a new tab. Media submissions may display as an embedded file in SpeedGrader or only display as a downloadable file.

To provide comments on document submissions, you can:

  • Use Canvas DocViewer to mark up .pdf, .doc/.docx, and .ppt/.pptx assignments directly in SpeedGrader. SpeedGrader may take up to ten minutes after an assignment is submitted to display a document that supports DocViewer.
  • Download the submission, put feedback on the document, and re-upload the submission.

View Enrollment Notice

View Inactive Student Notice

SpeedGrader displays assignment submissions according to the current Gradebook settings for inactive enrollments and concluded enrollments. If an assignment includes a submission from an inactive or concluded student, a notice appears at the top of the SpeedGrader window.

For group assignments where students are graded as a group, the group displays as long as there is at least one active student in the group. If there are no active students in the group, the group displays if one group member aligns with the enrollment settings in the Gradebook. For group assignments where students are graded individually, individual student submissions display according to the enrollment settings in the Gradebook.

Inactive student submissions can still be graded in SpeedGrader, but students do not receive any notifications about their assignment and cannot view course grades.

Concluded student submissions are read-only; they cannot be graded or receive comments.

Note: If a student does not have a submission for the assignment, the student may have been deactivated or concluded before being able to submit the assignment.

View Closed Grading Period

View Closed Grading Period

If your course uses multiple grading periods, a notice appears at the top of the SpeedGrader window if an assignment is in a closed grading period. Assignments in a closed grading period cannot be edited.

View Sidebar

The SpeedGrader sidebar provides all the details about the submission for the student shown in the student list.

View the submission details [1], including as the date and time of the submission; if an assignment was resubmitted, you can view previous versions of the submission. If an assignment was submitted late or hasn't been submitted, the submission details will include a label indicating the status [2]. You can also download the submission file [3].

Complete the assessment of the submission by entering a grade or using a rubric for grading, if available [4].

Leave assignment feedback comments for the student in the comments section [5]. Assignment comments also display as a new thread in Conversations.

View Assignment for Next Student

View Assignment for Next Student

Once you grade the submission, the student's assignment indicator changes to a check mark, indicating the submission has been graded.

You can view the next student's submission by clicking the arrow button next to the student list.

View Group Assignments

View Group Assignments

When evaluating group assignments, the SpeedGrader drop-down menu displays the name of each group, unless the group assignment is graded individually. Evaluating group assignments is the same process as individual students. You can mark up documents directly or download them for feedback, enter grades and view the rubric, and post and view comments. Learn more about grading group assignments.

View Moderated Assignment

If a submission is unable to be graded, the submission may be part of a moderated assignment that was not added to a moderation set and does not accept submissions from multiple graders. Learn how to view moderated assignments in SpeedGrader.