Best Practices: Downloading the Gradebook at the End of the Term

The Best Practices series focuses on what instructors and students can do to effectively use Canvas. You’re welcome to contact Courseware Support at if you have any questions about best practices.

Why Should You Download and Save Your Canvas Gradebook?

Here are two scenarios that answer this question–

Finger turning back minute hand on a clock.
Because you can’t turn back the clock to undo a mistake, you should download and and save the gradebook to prevent one from happening.

1. Grade Offline: I’m an instructor entering grades into the Canvas gradebook. All of a sudden, my browser crashes. When I open the browser again and navigate back to the gradebook, I find that none of the grades were saved. At first I panic because I need to submit grades to Courses InTouch (CIT) in a few hours. Then, I remember that I had downloaded and saved a copy of my gradebook a few minutes before the browser crashed. I learned in a Canvas Workshop that I should always download and save a Canvas gradebook when making substantial changes to it, so I decided to do this after I had finished entering grades for an assignment. I’m relieved to find that the most recent version of the gradebook I saved contained all the grades I entered, and I’m able to upload this saved gradebook to restore them.

2. Fix Major Errors:  I’m a TA who misread the instructor’s rubric and wound up grading assignment submissions incorrectly, and I’ve caught my mistake 3/4s of the way through grading. I learned from a Canvas Workshop that it’s a good idea to download and save a copy of a Canvas gradebook before making major edits just in case something like this happens, so I made sure to do this before I got started. It’s a good thing I did, because now all I have to do is upload the saved gradebook copy to Canvas to restore the original gradebook.

How Do You Download Your Canvas Gradebook?

You can follow these instructions to download your Canvas site’s gradebook:

How do I bulk download Assignment submissions in Canvas?

When Should You Download and Save Your Canvas Gradebook?

  • Before you make substantial edits to the gradebook (adding new grades, changing grades, deleting grades, etc.)
  • When you want to edit the gradebook in the future but won’t have Internet access
  • At the end of the semester before you submit grades to Courses InTouch (CIT)

What Can You Do with a Saved Copy of Your Canvas Gradebook?

  • Upload it to Canvas after making edits offline or to restore an earlier version of a gradebook by following these instructions:

How do I bulk upload Assignment submissions in Canvas?

  • Save it at the end of the semester for academic-records-keeping purposes.

 Want Learn More about Grading in Canvas?

We’re happy to answer any grading questions you have. Please email or click on Help > Report a Problem from inside Canvas for assistance.  If you’d like in-person assistance, then please sign up for our Canvas Office Hours. Instructors, TAs, graders, and staff who are new to grading in Canvas are encouraged  to sign up for our next Assessment and Grading in Canvas Workshop, which is on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 10:00am – 11:30am. For documentation on grading in Canvas, please see Grades in the Canvas Instructor Guide.

Last Updated: 15 Dec 2014

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