Knowledgebase: Canvas
Canvas: How do I set assignment weights?
Updated: 02 September 2014 02:53 PM

This guide provides three approaches to setting up your course assignments so that they are weighted properly and will result in a correct final grade. You should choose the method that best matches how you want to grade each assignment – out of 100, out of the assignment’s weight, or out of an arbitrary number.

Download this guide (PDF).

An assignment’s mark is the number grade you give to students. An assignment’s weight is the portion of the final grade that the assignment represents. Canvas doesn’t have separate field for these values, but it does allow you to set both up to your liking, depending on how you want to mark each assignment. 


I want to mark my assignments based on their weight.

Assignment 1 is worth 25% of the course’s final grade, and I want to give students a mark out of 25.

This is the most straightforward method of setting up your grades. If you don’t mind the assignment mark being the same number as the weight, then this is the method you should choose. When creating the assignment, set the ‘points’ field to the weight of the assignment. That’s it! When you mark the assignment, just give students a mark out of that number.


Canvas screenshot


I want to mark my assignments out of 100.

Assignment 1 is worth 25% of course’s final grade, but I want to mark it out of 100. 

This method requires one extra step, but it’s still straightforward. When creating your assignments, set the ‘points’ field to the weight of the assignment. Then edit the assignment. There is a field called ‘grading by’ (You may have to click ‘more options’ to see it). Set ‘grading by’ to ‘percentage’. You can now assign grades out of 100 for this assignment, but the weight will still be the number that you set in the ‘points’ field.


Canvas screenshot


There is one snag here – Inputting a percentage on the ‘Grades’ page will not work as you expect. You must explicitly type the percentage sign, or Canvas will misinterpret the grade. This doesn’t apply to the SpeedGrader.


I want to mark my assignments out of a number that is neither 100 nor the assignment’s weight.

Assignment 1 is worth %25 of the final mark, but I want to mark out of a different number. 

This method requires more work - you have to create an assignment group for each assignment, and attach the weight to the group, rather than the assignment.

On the assignments page, make sure the ‘Weight final grades based on assignment groups’ option is checked. Then, create a group for each assignment. You will see a list of groups on the right side of the page - assign the weights to the groups here, so that the total is 100%.

When you create your assignments, make sure you are creating them in the correct group, or move them into the right group afterwards. Set the ‘points’ field to the number that you want to mark out of. 

You can now grade using the number in the ‘points’ field, and Canvas will determine the assignment weight based on the group’s weight. 


Canvas screenshot


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