Gradescope Instructor Guide

Gradescope is an an application for grading online, designed for easing the challenges of grading collaboratively with a teaching team, particularly on exams. Gradescope supports grading by managing the distribution of assessments and assignments to graders, facilitating the adding of grades and feedback to student work, automating returninf work to students, and providing analytics on the grading outcomes.
Cost Yes Free (funded in response to COVID-19 until at least December 31, 2021)
Bandwidth Yes Low demand
Canvas Integration No In development (Canvas can only help you enrol students)
Privacy Yes Gradescope is FIPPA compliant and data is stored securely in Canada
Similar UBC-Supported Tools Crowdmark is also centrally supported for online collaborative grading.

What can I use it for?

You can use Gradescope for managing the grading process of assignments and assessments:

  • Creating, collecting, and grading fully online assignments and assessments
  • Creating paper-based assessments that are then scanned, graded, and returned to students online
  • Allowing multiple graders to grade the same student submission and even the same question in parallel without overwriting one another
  • Enabling artificial-intelligence grading features to speed up the grading process

What do I need to use Gradescope?

A supported web browser

Gradescope runs in your web browser and supports using Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. For which versions work, check the Gradescope supported browser page.

A Canvas course

Although Gradescope is not yet fully integrated with Canvas, you will still need a Canvas course to enrol students in your Gradescope course.

A Gradescope course

To use Gradescope, you will first need to request a Gradescope course be set up for you, following the instructions below.


  • You and your students can log in to, once you’ve set up the course and the students have enrolled through Canvas, or you can continue to access Gradescope through Canvas.

How do I use Gradescope?

To get started with Gradescope, you will request a course and make Gradescope visible for students in your Canvas course, then set up collection of what you want to grade, and get to work on grading.

Click any bar below for instructions and tips for using Gradescope.

Request and set up Gradescope for your Canvas course

  1. To use Gradescope, you will first need to request Gradescope access for your Canvas course from the LT Hub.
  2. Once we have given you access, you will need to turn on Gradescope in your Canvas course:
    • Log in to your Canvas course, and click Settings in the Course Navigation.
    • Click the Navigation tab.
    • Find the Gradescope menu item, click the options menu (the 3 vertical dots), and choose Enable.
    • Save your setting changes.
  3. The Gradescope menu item will now be available for you and your students. Click Gradescope in the Course Navigation to open a new tab with the Gradescope interface.
  4. You will be prompted to create a new or use an existing Gradescope course to link with your Canvas course. Select A new Gradescope Course, and click Link Course.
  5. A new Gradescope course will be created that is linked to your Canvas course. You can edit details for your course on the page that opens. Once you're done with changes, click Update Course.
  6. Tell students to click Gradescope from the Course Navigation in your Canvas course. Clicking the menu item will automatically enrol them in your Gradescope course.

Create an assessment or assignment using Gradescope

All work collected in Gradescope is called an assignment, whether you want to collect an actual assignment or an assessment (e.g., exam).

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Assignments in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click the +Assignment blue button in the upper right side of the screen.
  3. Enter the assignment name as you want students to see it, the overall point value, and a note about what assignment students should look for in Gradescope (e.g., will the assignment be named the same there as in Canvas?).
  4. Scroll down to submission type and select External Tool from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click Find, pick Gradescope from the list, and click Select.
  6. Check Load This Tool In A New Tab.
  7. Save & Publish the assignment in Canvas.
  8. Click to Load the assignment in a new window to open Gradescope in a new tab.
  9. In your Gradescope course, click Assignments from the left-hand menu, then click Create Assignment to create a new Gradescope assignment.
  10. In the pop-up that appears select the assignment type:
    • Exam / Quiz - For collecting general assessments.
    • Homework / Problem Set - For collecting general assignments.
    • Bubble Sheet - For collecting bubble-sheet-based, multiple-choice assessments or assignments for automated grading.
    • Programming Assignment - For collecting code-based assignments.
    • Online Assignment - For creating questions that students respond to online.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Give your assignment a name and, if prompted, select a PDF template file to act as the assignment's template. A template is a copy of your assessment or a copy of the instructions for an assignment, such as a list of assigned homework problems. The template will be used to build in where you want online grades applied.
  13. If prompted, specify whether you or your students will upload the submissions.
  14. Complete the rest of the assignment details, and click Create Assignment.
  15. The newly created assignment will open and you can begin editing it, including adding questions (for online assignments) or creating an outline (for scanned assignments) to show Gradescope the areas of each page where you want grades applied and where students' names will appear.


  • You cannot link to an exact Gradescope assignment from a Canvas assignment. Instead, the link in Canvas you create by following these instructions will land students on the Gradescope course dashboard. They will need to select the appropriate assignment from there.
  • No grades will be passed from the Gradescope assignment to the Canvas assignment, even when you follow these instructions, because Gradescope does not yet work with Canvas in this way. Use the steps in the later section of this guide to find out how to manually copy and paste grades from Gradescope to Canvas.
  • You can see all currently active assignments on your Gradescope dashboard, but not inactive ones. Assignments become inactive if grades have been published, there are no pending regrade requests, and there have been no updates in a week. But you can access both active and inactive assignments by clicking "Assignments" in the left-hand menu of your Gradescope course.

Set custom rubrics for grading with Gradescope

Once your students have completed an assignment, you can create question-level rubrics in Gradescope for your entire grading team to use in grading. These rubrics can be applied in combination with submission-specific adjustments (to change points for individual answers, outside the rubrics) and written comments, when grading student work.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Gradescope in the Course Navigation.
  2. In your Gradescope course, click Assignments from the left-hand menu, then click the assignment name.
  3. Rubrics in Gradescope are created as part of the grading process. Click Grade Submissions in the left-hand menu, and click the question that you would like to set rubrics for.
  4. Click Grade at the bottom of the screen, and the grading rubric will be displayed in the right-hand panel. The rubric default is always a simple rubric for correct (students earn full marks) / incorrect (students get zero marks).
  5. By default, Gradescope also sets up your rubrics to use a negative scoring scheme. Click Rubric Settings to change the default:
    • Positive Scoring - start from zero and add points (positive or negative) by clicking rubric items
    • Negative Scoring - start from the total points available for the question and subtract points (positive or negative) by clicking rubric items
  6. Click +Add Rubric Item to create a single rubric or Create Group to create a group of similar rubric items together. For each rubric you add, set a description and the points.
    • You can use what's called Markdown syntax in rubric items to insert images, links, code blocks, tables, lists, bold or italic text, and more. In the description box, select one of the icons or use a Markdown command.
  7. If you have rubrics in Gradescope, you can reuse them instead of adding new ones. Click Import to select from your pre-existing rubrics.
  8. After you complete setting up rubrics for a question, you can use the question navigation menu at the top of the rubric panel to move to a different question. Click the question title and a drop-down menu of questions will appear, allowing you to jump to another part of the assignment. Continue through the assignment until you've added all the custom rubrics you'd like the teaching team to use.


  • You can change your Gradescope rubrics at any time. For example, if you'd like to increase the weight of a rubric, you can change its points and Gradescope will automatically apply the change to all students to whom the rubric was applied.
  • Modify rubric descriptions as you go to reflect how the rubric is being applied. Updates to make descriptions more specific will help the grading team be more consistent in how the rubric is applied.
  • When choosing rubrics, consider what rubrics would be meaningful to view, both for the students trying to understand their grades and for your teaching team in looking at class-wide analytics. Try to avoid rubrics that are points-based (e.g., one item wrong, three items wrong) rather than descriptive as well as rubrics that force graders to choose from a group (e.g., which of the following items best applies), since students won't be able to see the non-chosen rubrics.
  • Keep in mind that Gradescope requires assigning at least one rubric item for each question, to consider it graded. Therefore, you will always need a rubric item to indicate when an answer in positive scoring is entirely incorrect (i.e., add no points) or an answer in negative scoring is entirely correct (i.e., subtract no points).
  • When practical, choose a positive or negative scoring scheme based on what will be fastest for the teaching team to enter, especially in large courses. For example, use negative scoring if students are expected to do most of the questions right, to save on clicks/keystrokes needed when grading.
  • For further efficiency, break any question with ten or more rubric items into two parts, so half the rubric items appear on the screen at a time and graders won't need to scroll.

Grade student work in Gradescope

Once available, student submissions will be organized by question in Gradescope. You can divide up work between a team of graders to grade one specific question at a time.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Gradescope in the Course Navigation.
  2. In your Gradescope course, click Assignments from the left-hand menu, then click the assignment name.
  3. Click Grade Submissions in the left-hand menu, and click the question that you would like to grade.
  4. Click Grade at the bottom of the screen to begin grading. The student's submission will be displayed on the left and the grading rubric(s) will be displayed in the right-hand panel. You can click any rubric item to apply it, but you may find it faster to use the corresponding keyboard number or letter (whichever is in the box).
    • Note that you will need to apply at least one rubric to each question for Gradescope to consider the student's submission graded.
  5. Add any submission-specific adjustments (to change points for individual answers, outside the rubrics) and, if appropriate, write a custom comment or add a pre-existing comment from the drop-down.
  6. If a student wrote an answer on a different page than expected for a question, you can hover over the submission and use the left and right arrows to navigate to other pages of the submission.
  7. PDFs and images also include annotation tools for grading, in the top right when you hover over the submission:
    • Navigation icon - allows you to click and drag to move around the submission.
    • Text icon - allows you to type comments directly on the submission.
    • Pencil icon - allows you to mark directly on the submission.
    • Box icon - allows you to draw boxes by clicking and dragging to highlight areas of the submission.
    • Eraser icon - allows you to click any annotation to remove it.
  8. Click Next Ungraded to see the next student’s submission for the same question and continue until you've completed the available submissions.


  • As you grade, you can get an overview of how the grading is progressing for the question, by clicking the total submission number in the lower left corner. This overview lists all the submissions for the question, including their status, grader(s), and score.
  • You can view student answers by rubrics applied, to check your consistency as you go. In the right-hand rubric panel, hover over any rubric item, and click the magnifying glass icon to see which student answers the rubric item has so far been applied to.
  • Highlight time savers for any teaching team members new to Gradescope, to improve their efficiency. Demonstrate how numbers and letters can be used to select rubrics, rubrics can be reordered, and hotkeys can be used to speed up grading. Additionally, comments can be reused for multiple students, if entered without too much specificity initially.
  • Caution your teaching team to stay aware of what's happening on their screen when grading with shortcuts, since small adjustments to hand placement on the keyboard can result in not clicking the right rubrics.
  • Be clear in training teaching assistants about your expectations regarding the feedback they leave for students (i.e., how much, how often, what kind of content), as students may expect more detailed feedback using this digital medium, especially if they will not be meeting with you otherwise to go over the results.
  • Gradescope offers artificial-intelligence features for grading, which can be useful to try, when available for a particular question.

Review and release Gradescope grades to students

After grading is complete, you can review and return the graded submissions to students.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Gradescope in the Course Navigation.
  2. In your Gradescope course, click Assignments from the left-hand menu, then click the assignment name you'd like to release grades for.
  3. If there are submissions that have not been matched to a student (i.e., you uploaded scanned exams and these have not yet been identified), click Manage Submissions in the left-hand menu. You can try to auto-match submissions or match them manually.
  4. Once all submissions are matched and graded, click Review Grades in the left-hand menu.
  5. At the top of the page, you will see a histogram and basic statistics that give an overview of how your students did on the assignment. Below this, you can click any student name to view that student’s graded exam. This view is mostly the same view that the student will see, once you publish grades.
  6. For students to see their grades via Gradescope, grades must be published. From the "Review Grades" interface, click Publish Grades at the bottom.
    • You will be able to unpublish grades, if you change your mind, by clicking Unpublish Grades, an option which will appear after you publish.
  7. Publishing grades allows students to view their graded work, but publishing does not notify students that their graded work is available to view. To notify students who submitted work, click the Compose Email to Students option (which appears after you publish), customize what will be sent, and click Send Email.
  8. Gradescope will send an email to each student containing a link to their score page, which includes their work, scores, and feedback.


  • Once grades are published, you can see which students have viewed their grades by looking at the "Viewed" column on the "Review Grades" page.
  • By default, all rubric items are shown to students, to help students learn from their work and assure them that grading was fair and accurate. You can choose to hide rubric items, if there are any rubrics that were intended for internal use only.
  • Gradescope allows students to make regrade requests, so you may want to consider formalizing the process of asking for a regrade—for example, requiring a clear written justification in addition to making the requests in the application.
  • You can download assignments where students submitted PDFs or images, if you prefer to email graded submissions back outside of Gradescope. When viewing any student's graded submission, select from the download options at the bottom of the page.
  • Publishing grades for students has no impact on Canvas. To share grades in your Canvas course, follow the instructions in the section below.

Use Gradescope grades in your Canvas course

Grades cannot be automatically passed from Gradescope to Canvas, because Gradescope does not yet work with Canvas in this way. To post grades from Gradescope in Canvas, you will need to manually export the grading spreadsheet from Canvas, add the grades from Gradescope, and import the updated spreadsheet back into Canvas.

  1. Log in to your Canvas course, and click Grades in the Course Navigation.
  2. Click Actions and select Export. When the export is completed, Canvas will download a CSV file automatically to your computer that can be opened with spreadsheet software like Excel.
  3. Click Gradescope in the Course Navigation.
  4. In your Gradescope course, click Assignments from the left-hand menu, then click the assignment name you'd like to download grades for.
  5. Click Review Grades in the left-hand menu.
  6. Click Download Grades from the bottom, and select Download CSV.
  7. Open the files you downloaded from Gradescope and Canvas.
  8. Copy your students' grades from the Gradescope file, paste these grades into the appropriate assignment column in the Canvas file, and save the updated Canvas file.
  9. Back in Canvas, click Grades in the Course Navigation.
  10. Click Actions and select Import.
  11. Click Choose File or Browse (depending on your browser), locate the file you edited on your computer, and click Open.
  12. Click Upload Data. The grade columns will be updated.


  • Although you will see an option in Gradescope to post grades to Canvas, this option does not currently work. UBC has only a partial integration of Gradescope and Canvas, and grade syncing is not yet part of that integration.
  • Advise your students that they must use the same name in Gradescope and Canvas for grades to work. Once they have a Gradescope account, students can change their name in Gradescope. But if student names do not match in both platforms, then student grades will be difficult for you to add properly to Canvas.
  • In Excel, you can try using the VLOOKUP function and matching on student IDs to sort your Gradescope and Canvas spreadsheets similarly for copying and pasting grades over.

Where can I get more support with Gradescope?

Technical support

If you have trouble with Gradescope:

For supporting your students:

Learn more

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