Setting up assignments correctly from the start of semester is important for both the calculation of final grades in Canvas and students’ understanding of how their grades are calculated.

Canvas Community provides a clear explanation about how to set up weighting for assignments. See below for an excerpt from the Canvas Community guide How do I weight the final course grade based on assignment groups?

You can weight final grades based on assignment groups. Selecting this option assigns a weight to each assignment group, not the assignments themselves. Within each assignment group, a percentage is calculated by dividing the total points a student has earned by the total points possible for all assignments in that group.

For example, if an assignment group included three assignments totaling 25 points, and a student’s scores totaled 15 points, the student would earn 60% for the assignment group (15/25). This percentage is then multiplied by the selected group weight. Each assignment group calculation is added together to create the final grade.

For example, an instructor may create three assignment groups (A, B, and C) weighted at 20%, 50%, and 30%, respectively. The total score equation for a course with three assignment groups would be (percentage A x weight A) + (percentage B x weight B) + (percentage C x weight C) = final course percentage. If a student scores 75% in Group A, 98% in Group B, and 87% in Group C, the final score would be calculated as (.20 x .75) + (.50 x .98) + (.30 x .87) = .901, or 90.1%.

The final score calculation is changed if there are no graded items in an assignment group and the Treat Ungraded as 0 option is not selected. In this case, all assignment groups with graded items will be divided by their combined weight, and the assignment groups without graded items are removed from the equation. If the previous example were adjusted so Group C contained no graded discussions, assignments, or quizzes, the calculation for final score would be [(.20 x .75) + (.50 x .98)] ÷ .70 = .9143, or 91.43%.

Read more about assignment weighting in our resource section Assignment groups and weighting.