The following items will be explained in this article:

  • View of SpeedGrader
  • SpeedGrader Menu Bar
  • Viewing Student Submissions
  • View Grading Sidebar
  • Using the Annotation Tools

You can access SpeedGrader in Canvas through: Assignments, Quizzes, Graded Discussions, and the Gradebook.

To access through Assignments, click on the name of the assignment you want to grade. Once you are in the correct assignment page, click on SpeedGrader in the right side-bar. This will open up into a new page.

The View of SpeedGrader –


SpeedGrader includes several areas to help you locate and view student submissions, grade submissions, and add comments to submissions. The above image shows a sample of an assignment accessed through SpeedGrader.

The Top Menu Bar Explained –

The Icons listed on the left side of the menu bar allow you to:

  1. Return to the gradebook
  2. Manage the visibility of the assignment (show assignment grades or hide assignment grades). It is recommended to hide the assignment grades until you have completed grading all submissions.
  3. Access additional SpeedGrader settings (includes options for sorting, anonymous grading, shortcuts, and help)

The center of the menu bar includes assignment details and overall grading information.

In this menu bar, you can find:

  1. Assignment name
  2. Due date
  3. Name of the course
  4. The number of assignments that have been graded out of the total number of students in the course
  5. The average score or percentage

On the right side of the top menu bar, there is a drop-down menu where you can access all of the students in your course. The arrows will also navigate you through the students. The image above is a sample test student provided from the Canvas community guide.

Viewing the Grading Side Bar –


The above image shows what the Right-Side Bar will look like for grading. Here you will find assignment details including when the assignment was submitted and the files that were submitted. For assignments that have multiple file submissions, be sure to click through the submitted file links to access them. You can also download each submission file by clicking the down arrow next to each link. You are not required to download each file in order to use SpeedGrader. Next to each link, a percentage will appear if you are using TurnitIn. You can click on the percentage total to redirect you to the TurnitIn details.

Complete the assessment of the submitted assignment by entering a grade or using a rubric for grading (if applicable).

Note: this specific assignment does not have a rubric associated with it.

Leave assignment feedback by adding your comments to the comment text box. Be sure to click the blue submit box for your comments to appear.


Unless your assignment is muted, these comments will appear automatically to the students’ grade page. It is encouraged to mute your assignments until you have completed the grading for all students for that assignment. Your students can respond to these comments in their grade details.

You can also include annotations to the submission. To do this, you will need to use the tools listed on the toolbar attached to the top of the submitted assignment.

Using the Annotation Tools –


The available annotation tools explained (numbers are associated with the numbers in the image):

  1. To download a PDF of the annotated submission, click the download button.
  2. If there are multiple pages to the submission, you can go directly to the page you need.
  3. Or, you can advance through the arrows. Scrolling through the document is also an option.  
  4. To rotate the page, use the rotate button.
  5. To zoom in or out, use the + and – symbols.
  6. To view the submission in full screen, click the double arrow full screen button.
  7. To annotate the submission, the remaining tools can be used. Simply click on the tool you would like to use, then click in the assignment where you would like to annotate. You can also choose through various colors when using the annotation tools. The available annotation tools allow you to:

 Add a point


 Add Text

 Add Strikeout

 Draw in the Submission

 Add Area Annotation

  Color Selection

The following image is an example of what the point annotation could look like in a submission. This image comes from a more in depth guide on using SpeedGrader from Canvas.


An interactive tutorial on using SpeedGrader is coming soon…

For additional support, please contact otl.du@edu.


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