Canvas Transition: Setup the Grading Structure for Activities

The grading system in Canvas is much simpler than in Moodle. While this makes it easier to setup from scratch, it makes it more difficult to mimic a complex Moodle gradebook.

This article covers:

Creating and Populating Assignment Groups

  1. Create the assignments groups needed for your course. For how-to instructions, see Add an assignment group in a course.
    1. Enter the same category name used in Moodle.
      • For subcategories, prepend the category name followed by a dash.


        Categories and Subcategories


        Assignment Groups


             Weekly Journals

             Group Projects



        Final Presentation


        Assignments: Weekly Journals

        Assignments: Group Projects



        Final Presentation

    2. Create assignment groups in Canvas that were uncategorized individual assignments in Moodle. 
      • Use the name of the assignment for each group.
  2. Drag and drop the imported assignments into the correct assignment groups.
  3. Optional: If any categories in Moodle were setup to drop scores, setup the corresponding Assignment Group to do the same:
    1. Go to the Assignment Group.
    2. Select the Options icon (3 vertical dots) to the right of the group title and select Edit from the drop-down menu.
      Section of Assignments page highlighting an assignment group, assignment group settings icon with drop-down menu Edit option highlighted
    3. Ensure the number of Lowest Scores and Highest Scores for each group aligns with Moodle .
    4. Click Save.

Creating Manual Grade Items

For each manual grade item (an assignment that doesn't require a submission) that was in Moodle, you need to create an assignment in Canvas.

  1. Go to the Assignments area.
  2. Find the Assignment Group where you want to add a manual grade item.
  3. Click the + button.
    Section of Assignments page highlighting an assignment group and Add Assignment to Assignments button highlighted
  4. Enter the assignment name from Moodle in the Name box.
  5. Set the Points to be equivalent to the points in Moodle.
  6. Click More Options.
  7. Use the Rich Content Editor to enter the assignment details.
  8. Use the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor.
    Rich Content Editor, Accessibility Checker button highlighted
  9. Click Save & Publish

Weighting Assignments and Assignment Groups

If you used any weighting in Moodle, you will need to set those weights in Canvas.

  • If you had any uncategorized individual Moodle assignments, you will need to create an Assignment Group for them. Use the name of the assignment for each group.

To enable weighting in Canvas:

  • For the Assignment Groups created based on categories WITHOUT subcategories, you will fill in the same weights used for the Moodle course.
  • For Assignment Groups that were created based on a Moodle subcategory, you will need to calculate percentages of percentages. For example, if you had a category in Moodle weighted at 20% with 2 subcategories worth 50%, you would set the weight for each of the corresponding Assignment Groups in Canvas to 10%.

Moodle: Category & Subcategory Weighting

Canvas: Assignment Group Weighting

  • Assignments (50%)
    • Weekly Journals (40%)
    • Group Projects (60%)
  • Quizzes (20%)
  • Exams (20%)
  • Final Presentation (10%)
  • Assignments - Weekly Journals (20%)
  • Assignments - Group Projects (30%)
  • Quizzes (20%)
  • Exams (20%)
  • Final Presentation (10%)

For how-to instructions, see Weight the final course grade based on assignment groups