Even with a well-prepared syllabus, it’s not uncommon to be concerned that the connection between your individual assignments and the overarching goals for your class is getting lost in communication with your students. Canvas Outcomes can not only help you remedy that, but they can also help you and your students track their progress toward the most important skills you want them to build over the course of the term.

Canvas Outcomes can function as you would use the criteria on a rubric, but they have the added benefit of being trackable across multiple assignments, quizzes, and discussions. If the activities in your class have any skills or competencies in common, you can use this to adjust your approach or flag difficulty students may be having in those areas.

Additionally, Outcomes can be particularly useful if you’d like to look back at the development of certain skills or understanding of subject matter across different iterations of your course. If your department or program has specific outcomes common to multiple courses, you can also import them into Canvas using a CSV file and save the time spent on manual entry. You’ll also have a variety of options for calculating Learning Mastery scores, which you can share with your students to help them monitor their progress.

To Create an Outcome in Canvas

  1. Click Outcomes in your vertical course navigation menu.
  2. Click the + Create button
  3. Enter a name for your Outcome. Note that you can also create a “friendly display name” if the outcome has any sort of technical name or number code that would confuse readers.
  4. Enter a description of the Outcome that explains what is being assessed. It should be inclusive enough to be applicable across the variety of quizzes, assignments, and discussions you might be associating it with. Here you will also have a section to write a “friendly” version of description that may be more appropriate for student purposes than an administrative description.
  5. Under Proficiency Rating, you can re-title proficiency levels, adjust point values, and add or remove levels as desired. These will function somewhat like the rating levels in a Canvas rubric would, but without space to write a detailed description. In this case, you’ll have room to provide a sufficiently informative, but brief name. As such, you may want to make sure your main description contains enough detail for your students to understand their performance.
  6. Select a Calculation Method. You’ll have five options available to calculate mastery scores across grades items:
    1. Most Recent Score
    2. Highest Score
    3. Average
    4. Decaying Average: In this calculation, you can specify a weight for the most recent score in this outcome, and all previous scores will comprise the remaining percentage.
    5. n Number of Times: Using this setting, you can specify a number of times the student must achieve a minimum score that you’ve set. Those scores are then averaged.

Add an Outcome to a Rubric

  1. When you’re editing a rubric, click Find Outcome.
  2. In the new pop-up window that appears for you, select the outcome you’d like to apply from the vertical list on the left side.
  3. The details of the outcome will be displayed, and you’ll have a checkbox to use the criterion for scoring, if desired. When you’ve selected the appropriate outcome, click the Import button.
  4. Repeat this process if you’d like to add multiple outcomes to one rubric.

If you would like to create different sets of outcomes for different courses, you can also create outcome groups in the Outcomes page. We hope this tool proves useful for both you and your students to see the progress within their work articulated across the various weeks of your course.

For additional information, see Canvas’ knowledge base article on Outcomes or ATS’ brief instructional video on Canvas Outcomes. You can also consult with ATS or drop by our Office Hours.

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