About assignments in Canvas

Last updated: December 1, 2021

Watch a video overview of Canvas assignments

Why do I have to re-create my assignments in Canvas?

If you already have assignments created in Word or Google docs, Catalyst tools, or posted online, you might wonder, “What’s the point is of recreating them in Canvas?” Not only does Canvas make it easy to create assignments with lots of options (selective release, group assignments, peer review, submission type) it also adds convenience for you and your students.

What are Assignment Groups?

Like Catalyst Gradebook, Canvas prefers for you to create assignment groups for organization. The groups you create control how the gradebook is structured and you can choose to weight final grades based on those groups. By default you begin with a group called Assignments. You can choose to keep all of your assignments in this one group, or create as many new ones as you like.

Where do I create assignments?

You can create assignments in the Assignments area of Canvas or in the Calendar. Your Assignments page will show the work you have assigned. In student view, the Assignments page will show all assigned work and the point value of each (if you set point values when setting up an assignment). Any graded activity (such as a discussion, quiz, essay or project) can be an assignment.

When you create an assignment in your Canvas course it is automatically added to the assignment list on the Syllabus page, the course calendar, and your gradebook. If you change the due date for an assignment, Canvas updates it course-wide. If you alter the assignment you can have Canvas notify your students.

What can I do with assignments?

Assignments can be used to:

  • Set up online submissions that can be quickly graded in the SpeedGrader™
  • Grade online submissions work submitted on paper
  • Set up peer review
  • Grade Discussions, either among the whole class or student groups
  • Open Quizzes for a limited amount of time
  • Create ungraded activities that align with course outcomes

Assignments and Grading

Having your assignments in Canvas and automatically linked to the gradebook means you can take advantage of SpeedGrader and rubrics to make the grading process faster and more efficient. Canvas communication tools allow you to provide your students with text or multimedia feedback on all assignments.