The University of Iowa

When selecting the best technology to fulfill your course objectives and best suit the assignments for your course, you may have questions regarding when to use Gradescope versus when to use SpeedGrader. In addition to the information below, we offer consultations for members of the University of Iowa community. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

SpeedGrader, the default feedback and grading tool in Canvas Assignments, is well-suited for:

  • Grading short answer and essay questions
  • Individual, sequential graders
  • Providing audio or video feedback
  • Syncing with particular Canvas assignment types (like Discussions and Quizzes)
  • Ungraded quizzes and surveys
  • Question banks and randomized questions on quizzes
  • Applying basic rubric standards to student submissions

Unlike SpeedGrader, Gradescope must be set up for a particular assignment before it is open to student submissions.

Gradescope is well-suited for:

  • Grading student submissions that may have written-out work or complex answers
  • Assignments with sub-questions
  • Allowing multiple graders to evaluate an assignment at one time
  • Grouping student answers for more efficient, consistent grading
  • Retroactively applying changes to or adjusting grade points on the dynamic rubric
  • Grading hand-written and/or programming assignments

Both platforms allow for repeating comment feedback (in the “Apply Previously Used Comments” dropdown menu for Gradescope and the Comment Library for SpeedGrader) and annotation on student submissions as well as viewing submission details for each student, including resubmitted assignments.

General troubleshooting questions regarding either tool can be communicated to the ITS Help Desk. For questions regarding course practices and pedagogical methods, submit a request through the Center for Teaching consultation request form. More in-depth, technical questions can be answered through our SITA team at Book a SITA.


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