Carnegie Mellon University

Create Assignments in Canvas

A variety of assignment types are available in Canvas and to link from external resources. View how-to guides of these resources to help build your assignment.

Add a new Canvas assignment:

Assignments created in Canvas are automatically created using simple steps and include available and due dates, assignment types, student or group assignment selections and more. Follow the steps below to begin building an assignment.

Note: All assignments are tied to columns in the Canvas Gradebook. So, when you create a new assignment you also create a new column automatically in the Grading area. 

  1. Go to the Assignments area of your course.
  2. Click the + Assignment button.
  3. At minimum, specify the name of the assignment (this will become the grade column name in the gradebook) and the point value for the assignment.
  4. If you are weighting your assignments by assignment group, you can also use the Assignment Group drop-down menu to set which group this column counts towards.
  1. Set the Submission Type for the assignment:
    1. “No Submission” and “On Paper” create a grade column but do not allow students to upload any materials to the assignment in Canvas.
    2. “Online” creates a grade column and gives students an area to submit their work to you through Canvas.
  1. Finally, click Save & Publish to publish the new assignment and column to your gradebook.

Create a weighted assignment:

Weighting assignments as a percentage of the final grade can be done easily through the assignments area of your course. To set up weighting, you will need to:

  1. Set up assignment groups
  2. Organize assignments into the assignment groups
  3. Set assignment group weights
  4. View assignment groups

Step 1: Set up and organize assignments into assignment groups

  1. Go to the Assignments area of your course.
    assignments area

  2. Add assignment groups (weighting categories) by clicking the + Group button at the top of the page.
    assignment groups

  3. Enter a name for the group and click Save.
    name for group

  4. Once you have groups set up, you can organize assignments into the groups by drag-and-drop

Step 2: Set assignment group weights

  1. Click the gear icon at the top of the Assignments page and select “Assignment Groups Weight”.
    Assignment Groups Weight Selection
  2. Check the “Weight final grade based on assignment groups” box and enter the percentage that each group should count towards the Total grade.
    Click Save when you are finished.
    Checked “Weight final grade based on assignment groups” box

Step 3: Weight an individual assignment

If you would like to set an individual assignment to contribute towards a certain percentage of the Total grade, you will still need to create an assignment group for this assignment. This will be an assignment group of 1 assignment.
setting an individual assignment

Step 4: View assignment groups in the Grades area

When assignment groups are set up in your course, you will notice columns corresponding to each assignment group appear in the gradebook. These columns will keep track of student performance in each assignment group.

NOTE: You can weight final grades based on assignment groups. See the Canvas website for more information on weighting final assignments here.

Set Up a Peer Review Assignment

Peer review assignments provide students with the opportunity to give feedback on each others’ work. With a Canvas peer review assignment, student names may be displayed to each other or you may opt to make the peer review process anonymous. You can also opt to provide students with a rubric they can use to grade and provide feedback on each others’ work.

  1. You start the process of creating a peer review assignment by creating an assignment in your Canvas course. You can create an assignment either in the Modules area or Assignments area of your Canvas site.
  2. When editing your assignment, check the box next to “Require Peer Reviews” 
    Require Peer Reviews
  1. You will be presented with the option to Manually Assign Peer Reviews or Automatically Assign Peer Reviews
  • Manually Assign Peer Reviews - requires you to manually assign students to review other students’ work
  • Automatically Assign Peer Reviews - Canvas will randomly assign students to review as many peers as you specify
  • NOTE: If the option to Automatically Assign Peer Reviews is selected, these assignments will be generated once the submission/assignment due date has passed. If you would like peer review to occur later, you can specify this date in the “Assign Reviews” field
    “Assign Reviews” field
  1. If you select the “Peer Reviews Appear Anonymously” option, students will be able to see the feedback their reviewers left them, but will not be able to see the names of the peers who provided reviews on their work.
     “Peer Reviews Appear Anonymously” option
  1. Once you “Save” your changes to the assignment, you will see the option “Peer Reviews” on the far right side of the page.
    peer reviews option
  2. From this page, you can assign students peers to review, monitor the status of peer reviews, remind students of the peer reviews they still need to complete (by clicking the bell icon that appears on hover), and view students’ reviews (by clicking on the names of students they were assigned to review)
    student reviews
Special Considerations

Currently, a peer review assignment does not carry separate points or due dates for the peer review portion of the assignment. The points for the assignment encompasses both the assignment submission and the peer review process. If you would like separate points for the assignment submission, you may choose to create a separate assignment that students submit their work to in addition to submitting it to the peer review assignment. Another benefit of creating a separate assignment is that you could then attach a separate rubric to this assignment in the instance when a different rubric is used for Instructor and TA grading than is used by students for peer review.

 If a rubric is attached to a peer review assignment, students must complete the rubric in order for their review to be considered complete.