Considerations for Large Courses

Planning and Delivering Your Course

Many of the resources on this site can support the planning and delivery of a large class, whether online or in-person. You could start by reviewing:

Inside Con Hall: In 2016, U of T News interviewed instructors teaching in Convocation Hall about the strategies, challenges and rewards that come with teaching in the University’s largest classroom.

Quercus considerations for large courses

Quercus (Canvas) System Performance

This section provides some information about factors that influence the performance of various tools in Quercus, but it does not include all scenarios that might impact the page response times in Quercus (Canvas) 

Course Weight 

The dimensions that generally affect Canvas performance are student enrollments and assignments. Courses can be large in either or both of those dimensions.  

course weight is calculated as follows: (# of Students)  X  (# of Assignments) 


The Gradebook should render consistently in courses with a course weight of up to 80,000. 


In large courses, SpeedGrader loading times are affected by a threshold of data points that can be loaded within a 60-second window. This threshold is based on a single submission per student. Multiple submissions by the same student increases the submission threshold. Assignments with more than 1,500 submissions may result in delayed SpeedGrader loading times, and assignments with more than 2,500 submissions may fail to load at all. 

Documentation Reference:  How do I use SpeedGrader?

New Analytics 

New Analytics was successfully tested up to a course weight of 50,000.  

Legacy Quizzes 

For optimum course performance in the Canvas interface, quiz statistics will only generate for quizzes with 100 or fewer unique questions or 1,000 total attempts. For instance, a quiz with 200 questions will not generate quiz statistics. However, a quiz with 75 questions will generate quiz statistics until the quiz has reached 1,000 attempts. Results greater than these maximum values can be viewed by downloading the Student Analysis report and viewing the CSV file.

Documentation ReferenceOnce I publish a quiz, what kinds of quiz statistics are available?

Teaching Assistants' Training Program

For information on graduate student and Teaching Assistant professional development and job training, please visit the TATP for resources, events and more.

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