New year different system

School switches to using Canvas for grades

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Photo by Sophia Babcock

In Taylor Nowak’s opinion, “the canvas grading system is okay, but it can be a little difficult to navigate.”

Sophia Babcock, Magazine Editor-in-Chief

This year the district switched from having Home Access as the home place for grades to Canvas. Administrators believe Canvas will be the most accurate and timely system for grading moving forward. 

This system is not completely new, according to Ashley Weltler, assistant high school principal, academics, assessment, and innovation. The school has “used Canvas now for quite some time,” Weltler said. Now the District is maximizing the grading features that Canvas offers by keeping grades within the system instead of Home Access, Weltler said.

 “Canvas [offers the] grading feature where you have direct access to your current grades and all of the details of those grades the second they’re put in the system by our teachers,” Weltler said. “Prior to this year teachers would have to transfer grades to Home Access, and sometimes there was a lag time with that to where the student or family didn’t have access to see the grades in real time. With Canvas, students and families [can] see grades in real-time, and get the most accurate representation of [their grades].”

Since teachers are used to transferring grades over to Home Access, it has been an adjustment for some, according to Melissa Touvannas, choir teacher. Touvannas says although she feels she has gotten a hang of grading all assignments within Canvas, “there’s been a bit of a learning curve.” 

“I’m also a parent so I’ve seen [the grades] from the parent’s perspective, and teachers who are used to doing things a certain way in Canvas, [have] had to sort of relearn the process, and so I’ve seen some mistakes in Canvas grading,” Touvannas said.

Taylor Nowak, senior, sees these mistakes being made firsthand. According to Nowak, some of her recent course grades have been inaccurate. Additionally, some overall grades are locked from the student’s perspective making it difficult to gauge how well they are doing in a class. 

Ian Silverman, english teacher, says he is experiencing issues with grades deleting and having to go back multiple times to enter an individual’s grades. He says he feels as though this is “one of the rougher transitions I’ve seen from one grading system to another.” 

“What I’m struggling with, and I can’t be the only one, is reporting and recording. Canvas is good for many things, but I don’t think the grade part of it is all that good because it’s not as easy to use if it’s an assignment outside of Canvas (on paper instead of online); then you have to work around it,” Silverman said.

Touvannas finds that the biggest difference between Canvas and Home Access is the extra step of making assignments to put into Canvas, and accounting for everything. 

“I personally liked the older system because I could choose [whether] to test or not in Canvas, and I could choose what things went into home access,” Touvannas said. “I liked the old system, but you know you got to give it (the new system) time. I do like [that] once it’s in Canvas and graded [I do not have] to go over to Home Access. [As of now] I am still sort of a fan of the old system, but we’ll see.”