Uploading Grades to Canvas

Canvas allows you to use a CSV file to upload grades to the Gradebook. The Canvas Instructor Guide outlines specific instructions for how to do this.

There are some important things to keep in mind when doing this. According to the Canvas Instructor Guide:

  • The Gradebook CSV file downloads complete/incomplete assignments as full or no credit (e.g. for a 10-point assignment, 10 or 0). Scores with full or partial credit upload as a complete assignment; scores with zero upload as an incomplete assignment.
  • CSV file uploads can create assignments and update grades; they cannot update any other area of the Gradebook, such as assignment status or comments.
  • Letter Grade and GPA Scale assignments do not support any entries that are not part of the assignment's grading scheme.
  • Read-only columns are automatically ignored in the upload.
  • When multiple grading periods is enabled, CSV file uploads cannot create new assignments. Currently, new assignments must be created in the Canvas interface. Additionally, CSV files are verified against grading period close dates; grades cannot be changed for any assignment in a closed grading period.
  • An upload will not recognize assignments named Current Score, Current Points, Final Score, Final Points, or Final Grade.

Also, some instructors have noted an inconsistency in the way that the gradebook is exported in Canvas. Here is an example of the first 3 lines from a Canvas .csv file that was shared by an EMS faculty member:

Student,ID,SIS User ID,SIS Login ID,Section,Aggregate Participation,Current Score,Final Score
        Points Possible,"","","","",1.00,(read only),(read only)
"Student Name, PSUID@psu.edu",,,PSUID@psu.edu,My Course,""

You may notice that the 2nd line isn’t consistent with the others. It starts with whitespace and doesn’t have the same number of fields as the other two lines.

If you delete this line, then everything works fine and it’s simple to add a field (column) to the file and upload it to Canvas.