Gradebook Examples

Columbia College Chicago Gradebook Examples 

At Columbia College Chicago, faculty across the college have used Gradebook in a number of different ways that also reflect the flexibility of the Canvas interface. For example, in both Cinema and Television Arts students have created videos and posted on their YouTube channels or through Canvas Studio. The videos are watched through Speedgrader where feedback can be given. If using Canvas Studio, feedback can be provided directly over the video. As another example, in both Photography and Art and Art History, students have been required to upload their images as an Assignment in Canvas. The instructor views the work through Speedgrader, and the faculty can mark directly on image, or comment on it in a textbox. 

If you’re unsure as to how you might set up your Gradebook, please contact our Academic Technology team at any time: canvaslms@colum.edu. Our team is staffed with experts and professionals in instructional design who have worked with faculty across the college on a range of interactive, multimodal, performative, and visual arts assignments.  

When asked how they approach non-traditional and non-graded means of offering feedback in Canvas, members of our Faculty Online Pedagogy Team offered the following: 

Elizabeth Davis-Berg, Professor, Science and Mathematics 

"I use the gradebook for grade for completion assignments like drafts of papers and peer review.  I give them feedback and comments, but the grading is “completion” for points.  I’ve also done similar grading on reflection journals where students got full credit for an entry (length/spelling/etc) didn’t matter. 

I’ve assignments and quizzes (and therefore) SpeedGrader to grade labs which were mostly images as well. 

The trick I’ve found is to think about how you would grade it on paper or in person and then design it for the online environment so that your life as the instructor is as easy as possible. So, if there are questions and an image, then make on item in a quiz “upload a file” and make the ones with text “essay or fill in the blank” so that they’re each their own item in speed grader."

---Elizabeth Davis-Berg, Professor, Science and Mathematics 

Taylor Hokanson, Associate Professor, Art & Art History 

"I'm going to experiment with a structure that is specific to classes with art/design critiques. It goes like this: 

---Taylor Hokanson, Associate Professor, Art & Art History 

Jane Jerardi, Dance Department 

"I’ve used the gradebook to provide extensive feedback to students on creative projects (videos primarily). I also have used it in the context of yoga classes. Even if this was technically graded – this was more about creating a feedback loop with students in order to see what and how they were thinking about the class, their ‘at home’ practice, and have more of a sense of dialogue. A student would submit a short journal and I would use the feedback area of the grading to write in return, ask additional questions, and create prompts for them to deepen their practice. This was particularly helpful for students who are less verbal in class and could express themselves in different ways.   

If faculty find this type of feedback time consuming (which it definitely can be!) it’s nice that Canvas has the option of including transcription of your comments via audio or a video comment. This can also create more connection between an instructor and a student."

---Jane Jerardi, Dance Department 

Lauren Liss, Associate Professor, Interactive Arts and Media 

"I have a class where there are several assignments that are components that lead up to the midterm and final project. They receive a grade on these larger assignments, but drafts of the components are due throughout the semester as assignments - usually weekly. I use Credit/No Credit grading. The submissions are marked and Credit/No Credit and the feedback box is used as needed. I find that this helps students tremendously with expectations and anxiety, as it makes it very difficult to procrastinate on the larger project. "

---Lauren Liss, Associate Professor, Interactive Arts and Media 

Onur Ozturk, Assistant Professor, Art & Art History 

"I use Canvas grading to give feedback for forum posts, assignments, papers, and video presentations. In addition to detailed written feedback, I utilize highlighting, draw, and add comment options for all docs and PDFs. I also provide audio and video comments as needed."

---Onur Ozturk, Assistant Professor, Art & Art History 

Clayton Smith, Associate Professor of Instruction, Business and Entrepreneurship 

"When I’ve used the gradebook for non-graded assignments in the past, I’ve typically done one of two things; made the assignment worth zero points, or made it worth a nominal number of points (to give the students a nudge of motivation) but included the assignment in a weighted grade type that was weighted to 0%, so the points are not calculated into their grades."

---Clayton Smith, Associate Professor of Instruction, Business and Entrepreneurship 

Hilary Sarat-St. Peter, Associate Professor, English and Creative Writing

"I use Gradebook and SpeedGrader to provide feedback on non-alphabetic works such as images, video, and even musical compositions that students produce for multimodal assignments.   

The biggest challenge for me is creating rubrics with mode-agnostic criteria.  

The theme of my Writing & Rhetoric II course is conspiracy theories, and one assignment invites students to compose an academic paper or multimodal work exploring the topic. Since the purpose is to invite students to make effective rhetorical choices with respect to mode, I have to make sure I don't inadvertently undermine those choices with overly restrictive grading criteria. 

For instance, the rubric includes a category for 'topic or focus' of the work. Most students think of an academic paper as having a thesis statement, but a video might not have a clear thesis -- it might instead explore a theme or question that provides a thread of continuity throughout the work. (Of course, many scholarly papers also lack what students would recognize as a clear thesis!)  

So, I have to write the 'topic or focus' criterion in a way that accommodates different modes. The last iteration looked something like this:  

Your project should raise or engage with an open-ended question, and take a clear stance or position on the topic that someone else could refute or argue with.  

When I comment on the student's work with respect to 'topic or focus', I will have to use clear and explicit language to make obvious which part of the work I'm referring to. My comments will look something like this "You started to lose me when you introduced 'ancient alien conspiracy theories' at 10:05. How is this relevant to your analysis of Qanon, which is the stated topic of the paper? For example, do you think these 2 conspiracy theories are analogous in some way?"  

---Hilary Sarat-St. Peter, Associate Professor, English and Creative Writing  

Jesse Seay, Associate Professor, Audio Arts & Acoustics 

"Students make and turn in audio projects. We have a rubric for grading them, and faculty typically provide comments on top of that. Moving it online, faculty put the comments in the Gradebook instead of writing them on paper.  

Same thing applies for my electronics classes where students build and submit circuits. I put the rubric online and use it through the gradebook."

---Jesse Seay, Associate Professor, Audio Arts & Acoustics 

Ryan Smith, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Business and Entrepreneurship 

"In my Accounting courses, aside from the usual Accounting simulation exams, I have students complete a video-based exam. I provide them with a variety of topic options, they pick one or two, and using their webcam they record themselves speaking about these topics for a very short period of time.  

I started adding this as a part of their exam as a way of providing a bit more of a holistic evaluation."

---Ryan Smith, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Business and Entrepreneurship 

Philip von Zweck, Art & Art History

"I have taught/team taught classes where I/we graded documentation, either photo or video. I wouldn’t want to show them as an example because there wasn’t always a formal rubric so I would do it differently now.   

In a sculpture class I taught last year I required students to post three process photos every week: 

It was a three-point assignment, one for each photo. They either submitted the appropriate photos, or they didn’t."

--- Philip von Zweck, Art & Art History