Re-grading Quizzes in Canvas: Tips and Workarounds

“Can I re-grade a quiz question in Canvas?” It’s an excellent question, and one that doesn’t always have a satisfying answer. The goal of this post is to clarify what can and can’t be re-graded and to offer some solutions when re-grading by hand becomes necessary. It’s always preferable to completely preview your quiz before assigning it to students; sometimes, however, problems with a question aren’t discovered until students have already taken the quiz.

There are three types of questions in Canvas that can be re-graded: multiple choice, multiple answer, and true/false. Re-grading applies when you change the correct answer to a question. It does not apply when questions are added or deleted; deleting questions can have unexpected effects. It also does not apply when changes are made to questions linked from a question bank. See this guide on re-grading options for more details and step-by-step instructions.

But what about numerical answer or formula questions? Unfortunately, Canvas does not automatically re-grade those questions. There are a few options to consider in that case.

  1. Consider how important the question really is. Will this information be assessed again later? Is it a small piece of a very large assessment? If so, you may just want to make like Elsa and Let it Go. You can quickly adjust scores on a quiz using Fudge Points in SpeedGrader. Or you can create an extra credit assignment and give everyone a few points to compensate.
  2. Depending on the length of the assessment, you may want students to re-take it. After updating the incorrect question, you can add attempts to the quiz using the Moderate Quiz page.  (Note: this is also the feature you would use to add extra time or extra attempts for students with accommodations through the McBurney Center.)
  3. If you are re-grading submissions individually, there are a few tips that can help. The grade by question feature in Speedgrader will allow you to choose which question you want to grade so that you can more quickly flip through the class. We always recommend muting the assignment while working on grades.
  4. Another technique is to download a .csv of students’ responses to the quiz.  Generate the report with the Student Analysis button on the Quiz Statistics page. There will be a column with students’ responses for each question and a correct/incorrect indicator. You can skim this information to decide which grades to update in Canvas.

We know this isn’t ideal and are working with Instructure, the company that makes Canvas, to improve the re-grading options for the future.