Grades: About the Tool

Grades Tool

A grade book contains your grading system, grade calculations, grade scheme, grade items, and view and display options. Grade items in your grade book represent all the work that you want to evaluate users on in a course. You can evaluate specific tasks such as assignments, tests, and participation, and you can also create grade items and associate them with course objects such as assignment submission folders, discussions, and quizzes.

You must set up a grade book before you can use the Grades tool. As you plan your grade book, consider:

  • Which grade items you plan to evaluate.
  • Which grading system is most appropriate for your course.
  • How you will allocate points or weights across grade items.
  • Which grade items you want to associate with course objects. Note that only numeric grade items can be associated with course objects.
  • If you want to include a milestone grade at least once during the course.
  • How you want to calculate final grades.

Making changes to a grade book's settings and calculation options after you begin tracking users' grades can significantly affect existing data.

Understanding the Grades Tool

The following video, 2 minutes 43 seconds long, provides a high-level explanation of the grades tool and its features.

Grade Items and Categories

Grade items in your grade book represent all the work that you want to evaluate users on in a course. Grade items can exist independently in your grade book, or you can associate numeric grade items with course objects such as discussions, quizzes, and assignment submission folders.

Each grade item (i.e., assignment) needs to have an entry in the grade book. Depending on the grade item type you want to create, grade items can be graded numerically or based on a grade scheme. 

Bonus grade items are not included in the maximum points for a category or final grade. They are added on top of the calculated grade. Bonus grade items cannot make students' grades exceed the maximum points specified unless the Can Exceed option is selected.

Grade categories are used to organize grade items, which is particularly important when using a weighted grading system.

Best Practices for Using Grades

  • When creating a grade item, ensure that the Maximum Points field for the item is not set to null or zero under the Properties tab.

  • When sorting grade categories and items, ensure they are sorted in the appropriate order. To see the order of your grade items, go to the Manage Grades view.

  • Make sure that you are not creating duplicate entries or blank grade items in the grade book. Blank grade items often occur as a result of a grade item unintentionally being published instead of being saved as a draft. Blank grade items often do not have a name or are oddly named, and they usually do not have an association. Duplicate grade items can occur for a variety of reasons. Duplicates are often similarly titled and either has the wrong association or no association to another assignment tool.

  • Release the Calculated Final Grade so that students can see their final grade average in the course. Without releasing the final calculated grade, students will only see individual grade items - not their overall grade. Also note, the Calculated Final Grade is different than the Adjusted Final Grade, which allows you to manually change the final grade calculation without affecting grade item scores.


Article ID: 73177
Thu 3/7/19 8:06 AM
Mon 4/1/19 10:34 AM