Original Design by Kristina Wilson
Canvas is a website that many universities allow professors to utilize. This tool makes it easier for students to check their grades throughout the semester, submit assignments, and get updates and messages from professors during out-of-class hours. The website helps students tremendously--but some professors still refuse to take advantage of it, which can be a problem in this electronically-centered age.
Throughout my three years in college so far, most of my professors have thankfully used Canvas to some degree. The sections of Canvas that I find most helpful are definitely the ability to check your grades--both for individual assignments and overall-- submit your assignments, and estimate how a possible grade on any given assignment may affect your future overall grade.
Being able to check your grade throughout the semester really helps students to gauge how well they are or are not performing on tests, quizzes, homework assignments, and in-class projects. With this information, students can also add in what they guess they may get on an assignment and see how it may affect their overall grade. With this information, in turn, students can also plan ahead and reassure themselves. Scared you’ll get a C on that quiz you just took? If you do, your grade will still be a B, don’t worry.
When a professor doesn’t utilize Canvas in any way, students lose all these resources. Sure, students can ask professors what their overall grades are, but that isn’t as easy as checking online. Most of the time, professors aren’t allowed to tell students their grades over email, so students have to meet with professors either before, after, or outside of class. Doing this takes extra time that may interfere with students getting their own work done. Canvas eliminates these issues, as it exists to make everyone’s academic lives easier and more efficient. Not using it erases that possibility makes them more difficult.
Additionally, without Canvas, students are not able to see how estimated assignment grades may affect their total grade. Students can do some math to figure this out, but students already have a lot on their plates, so keeping the process as easy as possible is ideal.
Students should be able to access their grades and assignments with ease in today’s world. With a website like Canvas, which is provided to ease their lives, professors should be required to utilize it, or at least the portion of it that involves grading. I’ve had professors who add in all the grades a week before the final exam, and while that can be helpful to a degree, adding in grades throughout the semester is the most helpful, especially for students who may be worried about how they’re doing in class. Canvas should be required for professors for that reason if no others, as it can ease students’ anxieties.