GLOW Assignments (faculty)


Assignments in GLOW (Canvas) are a versatile element of the course tool suite. Faculty can build Assignments to suit many specific requirements, from traditional paper-based work to file uploads to media to integrated software (e.g. Google Workspace, Panopto). Faculty have fine-grained control over important elements such as grade weighting, access and resubmission, late policies, grading notifications, and more. Your department’s Academic Technology Consultant can be an excellent partner in implementing your specific pedagogical designs in the GLOW environment.

Assignments are immediately connected to both the SpeedGrader and the Gradebook in GLOW. Thus, faculty always have a unified interface to view, annotate, provide feedback, and grade student work; and both students and faculty have immediate, accurate access to grades and feedback at all times by default. Of course, faculty have the flexibility to change the visibility defaults to better suit their pedagogical preferences.

N.B.: Confusingly, the term “Assignment” is used in GLOW as both genus and species. For clarity, in this guide we use the specific sense of the word except if explicitly noted in context. Within the category of “Assignment”, GLOW contains Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes, as illustrated below. Please see our Discussions guide and Quizzes guide for more in-depth information about those elements.

Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions within the category of Assignments
The GLOW category ‘Assignments’ contains 3 types of item.
  • Clicking Assignments in the course navigation presents the Assignments Index. Here, faculty can create both individual Assignments and groups in which to organize them (e.g. Essays, Labs, etc.), with the +Assignment and +Group buttons at the top of the Index. Groups can be purely organizational, or can be weighted to calculate percentages of the total grade, using the vertical ellipses button and selecting Assignment Groups Weight. All content, structure, and weighting built in the Assignment Index are automatically reflected in the Gradebook.

  • Among the many available options, these 6 are the most common settings faculty use to make GLOW Assignments highly effective and functional.

    • Access dates and due-dates. The Available from and Until date fields enable faculty to set specific windows for students to submit work. The Due date field places the Assignment on students' calendar and dynamic To Do list, and the Course Summary table on the Syllabus. For faculty, the due date enables the automatic application of a Late Policy (if defined).
    • Point value. Insert any numeric value greater than zero to ensure reliable grade calculations, and to prevent students from receiving error alerts. This point value may, but need not, be identical to how students see their grades (see Display Grade as, below).
    • Display Grade as. The default Points option shows students their grade as a number based on the specified point value. However, faculty may display students' grade using several other scales (e.g. letter grades, GPA scale), as preferred. N.B.: regardless of the display setting, grade calculations are always based on the Point value.
    • Submission Type. The default Online option enables faculty to specify and/or constrain the specific types of digital content students may submit. However, faculty may also select the No Submission or On Paper options (functionally identical), or the External Tool option which enables specialized integrations.
    • Submission Attempts. By default, students can resubmit work an indefinite number of times (within any access date constraints). However, faculty can stipulate a specific number of allowed attempts when appropriate.
    • Differentiated assignments ("Assign to"). By default, a published Assignment is visible to all students enrolled in the course, and is calculated in everyone's grade. However, faculty can specify individual students and/or sections instead, for work which should only be available to a subset of students.
  • Use the SpeedGrader link in an Assignment to open the SpeedGrader. This tool displays a student's submission on-screen, without the need (but with the option) to download. It provides annotation tools (for marking and commenting directly on a document); faculty can also type, or record audio or video comments, use an integrated Rubric, and assign a grade, all in the same browser tab. Use the dropdown menu to easily advance to the next student's submission. Grades entered in SpeedGrader automatically flow into the Gradebook.

    By default, students are notified immediately when grades are entered. However, faculty can temporarily hide grades during the grading process, and manually release them later, using the "eye" icon to select Hide grades. This functionality is also available in the Gradebook.

    SpeedGrader environment displaying a student submission with faculty feedback tools highlighted.
    Green outlines call out SpeedGrader elements referred to above.