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Curving Grades in the Canvas Gradebook
Canvas allows instructors to curve grades for individual assignments. Canvas asks for an average score and then adjusts the scores along a bell curve around that score. Student grades will be impacted differently based on where they are in the distribution of scores. Perfect scores will not be affected by curving grades.
In the academic community, curving grades is advisable if only a certain number of students can pass, or when you require a fixed distribution of grades distributed throughout the class. Pre-curved grade histories will be available, but the curving action is irreversible.
- Grade curving cannot be undone. Pre-curved grade histories will be available, but the curving action is irreversible.
- Student grades will be impacted differently based on where they are in the distribution of scores. Perfect scores will not be affected by curving grades.
- When Multiple Grading Periods are enabled in a course, you cannot set a default grade for any assignment that has at least one student in a closed grading period.
- When Moderated Grading is enabled for an assignment, the Curve Grades option is not available before grades are released.
How to Curved Grades are Calculated
To curve grades, Canvas asks for an average curve score and then adjusts the scores as a bell curve 66% around the average score. For instance, if the average score is the equivalent of a C, Canvas would distribute mostly C- and C+ scores, distributing outward down the curve to Bs and Ds, and then ultimately As and Fs. This type of scoring creates a predictable distribution, but it means that students will compete against their classmates for scoring.
To learn more about how curved grades are calculated, view the Curving Grades in Canvas PDF.
How To Curve Grades in the Gradebook
You can use the Gradebook to curve grades for an assignment. For step-by-step instructions on curving grades, see the guide How do I curve grades in the Gradebook? – Instructure Community (canvaslms.com)