Canvas grade passback is a feature for our Partner schools that allows teachers to return scores from Formative assignments back to Canvas.

There are a few initial steps to ensure the passback feature is available on a formative:

  • You must be a part of your school's Partner subscription with Formative
  • Formative must have been added as an app to Canvas (please refer to these instructions for LTI integration if this is not the case)
  • The formative must have been added as an assignment in Canvas, you must have unchecked the box marked "Load this tool in a new tab," and you must have given the assignment a points value:

In addition, your students must open the formative in Canvas and answer questions within Canvas for grade passback to start working. (They cannot log in directly on the Formative website.)

Ready to get started?

 After your students have started responding to questions, open the formative assignment within Canvas, click on the triple dots near the top right, and select "Canvas Grade Passback:"

You will be presented with an interface where you can choose which students' grades you wish to copy to the Canvas gradebook:

Complete/Incomplete vs. Grades

Enabling complete/incomplete grading is now an option! When enabled, it gives 100% to students who submitted. Teachers can also manually adjust the complete/ incomplete status prior to passing the grades back.


  • You can override the grade on this interface before passing back. This will not affect the grade in Formative, only in Canvas (after clicking "Send").
  • The score in Formative is used only to calculate a percentage.
  • The score in Canvas will be the same percentage shown here, but of the points allocated to the assignment within Canvas.
  • If the assignment has zero points allocated within Canvas, all grades will be set to zero, as any percentage of zero will still be zero.
  • After grades are passed back, you can use the "Speed Grader" feature to review student submissions inside Canvas.

Error Messages

  • Assignment is no longer associated with this tool: this can occur if the assignment the student(s) used to answer the formative was removed or changed not to use Formative. You will likely have to manually enter the grades in this case as Formative no longer has the right information it needs to pass grades to the right place in the gradebook.

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