How do I use a Canvas grading scheme?

How do I use a Canvas grading scheme?

The Grading Scheme in Canvas controls the display of final grades in the Total Column in the Canvas Gradebook. The instructor can opt to display final scores as points or percentages. Toggle the display by clicking on the three dots next to the column’s title and selecting the preferred display from the menu that pops up.


For grade submission purposes, final scores appearing in the Total Column should be paired with letter grades. Letter grades are derived from the course’s letter grade scheme based on student final scores.

total column displaying both percentage and letter grade

Students are able to view both final scores and letter grades. The instructor can opt to hide total scores and letter grades from student view in the following way:

  1. Navigate to the course-specific Settings.
  2. Under the Course Details tab, click more options to expand the menu.
  3. Select Hide totals in student grades summary.
    More options on the Course Details page allows you to choose whether to show students the total scores
  4. Click the button to Update Course Details.

Understand the Letter Grade Scheme

To understand how letter grades are derived from final scores, you must locate your letter grade scheme and be able to change it.

Locate and enable the Grade Scheme

The letter grade scheme is located in the course settings:

  1. Inside your Canvas course, click on Settings in the course menu.
  2. Scroll most of the way down to locate the Grade Scheme section. Check the box to Enable course grade scheme.

Select or alter the Grade Scheme

At Iowa State University, a sample grading scheme is enabled by default.

the default grading scheme at ISU

If you determine this default grade scheme is not appropriate for assigning letter grades in your course, you can do one of the following: