How to Capture Student Learning Data in Canvas

Setting up Your Course

The capture, organization, and analysis of SLO data is easy using Canvas tools

Timothy S. Brophy, Director of Institutional Assessment

To download this as a PDF, click Setting up Canvas to Capture Student Learning Outcome Achievement (this version presents helpful screenshots that are not in the web-based article.)

If your course includes an assignment or assignments that are used to measure a program level student-learning outcome, Canvas can technologically facilitate this process and streamline it. You need to take a few steps to do this, but one once you do, this tool makes the program outcome data collection much easier and manageable. You can modify t rubrics easily in Canvas to capture program Student Learning Outcome information for your assessment reports. You must first import the outcomes into your course, then associate them with rubrics for grading your assignments.

Importing Program Outcomes into your Canvas Course

To associate a program outcome with an assignment or a question set (in an exam or quiz), you must first import the outcomes into your course so they show up in your course Outcomes folder. Here is how you do this:

1. On the left side of your course, click “Outcomes.”

2. At the top of the page, click “Find.”

3. Click “Account Standards.”

4. Open the “University of Florida” folder.

5. Here you will find the list of program outcomes for each college. 

6. Scroll down to find your college. When you open your college’s folder, you will see a list of program folders and a certificate folder. In the picture below, I have opened the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences folder:

7. Next, find your program and open that folder. There you will find another set of folders, one for each degree offered in your program. 

 8. When you find the degree you are interested in, open the folder. There you will find the outcomes for the program. In the picture below, I have opened the BS folder.

9. Open the folder of the outcome(s) you wish to associate with your course. Select the appropriate outcome(s), and import them into your course by clicking the “import” button at the bottom of the rubric.

10. Do this with each outcome you wish to associate with your course.

Reminder: These are program outcomes, and the rubrics and calculation methods associated with them are fixed. Programs can change outcomes and methods by submitting a request through the AAP/ALC path in the UF Academic Approval Tracking System at > Start New Request > ALC/AAP.

Associating Program Outcomes with Rubrics in Canvas

Now that you have imported the outcomes into your course, you can associate them with your existing rubrics. Here is how you do that:

  1. Open an existing assignment rubric with which you wish to associate the outcome.
  2. Put this in ‘edit’ mode by clicking the pencil at the top of the rubric.
  3. At the bottom of the rubric, click “Find outcome.” This opens your course Outcomes folder, which now contains the general education outcomes that you imported.
  4. Click the outcome that is appropriate for the rubric.
  5. UN-check the “Use this criterion for scoring” box. This will keep the program outcome from being part of your scoring for the assignment.
  6. Click “import” at the bottom of the outcome box. This associates the outcome with the rubric. Do this for each outcome that is appropriate for the assignment [be sure to import that Institutional outcome(s) as well as the Subject Area outcome(s)].
  7. Once you see the revised outcomes(s) in the rubric, delete any old general education outcomes that were there before.
  8. Do this for any remaining rubrics that you use for assessing general education outcomes.


Associating Program Outcomes with Question Banks

You can also associate the new outcomes with existing quizzes or question banks. Here is how you do this.

  1. Open your quizzes folder (click Quizzes on the left of your course).
  2. In the upper right, click on the ‘gear’ symbol, which opens a dropdown box to the link “Manage Question Banks.”
  3. Click “Manage Question Banks.”
  4. Find the question bank you with which you wish to associate the outcome(s). Open the question bank.
  5. On the right side of the question bank, find the “Align Outcome” button (it has a staple next to it). Click that button.
  6. This opens your outcomes folder. Click the outcome you wish to add. This opens the rubric.
  7. You will see that you can set the percentage for mastery for the question bank. This is the percentage of correct answers that you wish to set for students to have achieved mastery of the selected outcome. Most set this between 70-90%, but this is up to you. Canvas automatically calculates the score percentage and associates the appropriate mastery-non-mastery level in the rubric.
  8. Once you do this, click import and this aligns the outcome with your question bank.
  9. Repeat this with as many outcomes and question banks as you deem necessary

How to Enable the Learning Mastery Gradebook

The Learning Mastery Gradebook (LMG) collects the learning outcome information from the outcome rubrics for you separately from the assignment scores (this is why we un-check the “use this criterion for scoring” box in the rubrics associated with assignments.) Once you have all of your outcomes entered and you have updated your rubrics/question banks, you must enable your Learning Mastery Gradebook to use it. Here is how to do that:

  1. Open “Settings” on the left side of your course.
  2. At the top of the page, click the “Feature Options” tab.
  3. Find “Learning Mastery Gradebook.”
  4. Click the button to enable this feature. You also have the option to enable a student learning mastery gradebook. (NOTE: I have never used the Student LMG in my online course. Students can see their assignment grades in the “Grades” file, so I never found it necessary to share the mastery gradebook with them.)
  5. When your course is completed (or at any time during the course) you can export the Learning Mastery Gradebook to Excel. The LMG places the outcome title at the top of a column, and enters the student’s achievement level for each assignment associated with that outcome. If you use more than one assignment to assess the outcome, the decaying average calculation method will adjust the score accordingly.