One of Canvas’ differentiators is their powerhouse of a tool: SpeedGrader. As they share in the Canvas Guides:
As an instructor, SpeedGrader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place using a simple point scale or complex rubric. Canvas accepts a variety of document formats and even URLs as assignment submissions. Some document assignments can be marked up for feedback directly within the submission. You can also provide feedback to your students with text or media comments.”
In this post, we answer the question of how to save time when using SpeedGrader to provide feedback to students.
Leverage SpeedGrader Buttons
The five buttons in the upper left-hand corner of SpeedGrader provide a few ways to really speed up your time in grading.
Mute and Unmute Assignments
The one that looks like a bell lets you mute/unmute assignments. When you mute an assignment, students don’t receive notifications about the assignment as you enter their points and share other types of feedback with them. Then, when you unmute it, all the students receive a single notification that the assignment feedback is available.
This is helpful if you want all the students to see their feedback and/or grades on an assignment at the same time. It also is useful if you are grading over a weekend, but would prefer to actually have students see the feedback during a normal weekday.
Return to the Gradebook
The first button that looks like a gradebook with a checkmark on it takes you back to the gradebook.
Once you are in the gradebook, there is the option to mute / unmute assignments straight from there, as well, without having to return to SpeedGrader to do it.
Access Keyboard Shortcuts
A list of keyboard shortcuts can also be accessed from the upper-left, as well. Not having to reach for a mouse to access a rubric, enter points, compose a written comment, or move to the next/previous student really does make grading faster.
It does take some repetition to get accustomed to keyboard shortcuts. However, considering the time it cuts off grading time, it is worth it to grab a screenshot of them to print out, or even to jot them on a sticky note.