Grades Settings FAQ
How can I show my students how they are doing at any point in the semester?
Once you know the trick, this is an easy matter. The trick is to use a combination of settings and to be sure you grade missing assignments with a zero or the grade will look artificially inflated:
From within your grade book (Assessments/Grades) click the Settings link at the upper right of the page.
Go to the third tab, Calculation Options.
Scroll to the Grade Calculation heading and set Ungraded items to Drop ungraded items.
Under Auto Update check the box to Automatically keep final grades updated.
The students will now be able to see how they are doing on those assignments that you have graded.
Be aware that the Quizzes will not give an automatic zero grade so those must be manually entered into the Grades tool.
What is the difference between Drop ungraded items and Treat ungraded items as 0?
There are benefits and drawbacks to each setting, depending on your grading preferences.
Drop ungraded items
With this setting, the most common and the default setting, D2L Brightspace will treat any ungraded assignment as if it didn’t exist. The benefit to this is that as long as you enter a grade (even if it is a zero for someone who did not turn in an assignment or take a quiz) D2L Brightspace can present the student with a total that tells them how they are doing at the current point.
The downside being that if a grade is not entered for a student, D2L Brightspace will treat that assignment as if it should not count towards the total and the student will think they are doing better than they are.
Treat ungraded items as 0
With this setting, D2L Brightspace will treat any ungraded assignments as if you had scored them as zero points, so for the majority of the semester the grade book will display artificially low totals for the students until those grades are input and D2L Brightspace can calculate them.
The downside being that at the start of each term, all students are shown getting an “F”, which then raises as grades are entered.
How can I export my Grades to submit at the end of the semester?
To export your grades as an Excel spreadsheet:
From within your grade book (Assessments /Grades) go to the Enter Grades tab at the top of the page.
Use the Export button at the top of the page. (This is located under the tab headings for Enter Grades and Manage Grades)
Under Export Options you have several choices but here are some common choices:
Grade Values: Points grade and Grade scheme to show both points and letter grade (if you have created a scheme for letter grades)
User Details: Last Name, First Name
Choose Grades to Export: Select all by using the check box at the upper left of the list of grade items
Use the Export to Excel button.
Click the Download button and the spreadsheet is saved to your local computer. This is the file you can attach to an email to submit it.
How do I give extra credit?
In D2L Brightspace-speak extra credit is called bonus and you can make any grade item set as bonus. Something to think about is that your students now have the ability to earn more points than the course’s total points. In order to let their actual points be reflected you should set the Final Calculated Grade and/or Final Adjusted Grade to allow those extra points. The same goes for a category, if you have bonus points within a category. These steps will be shown after the steps to edit and add an extra credit item.
Edit an existing grade item:
From within the grade book (Assessments/Grades), click the link for the grade item you want to turn into extra credit.
Scroll to the middle of the settings, under the Grading heading, and check the box under Bonus.
Save and Close and you are taken back to your Manage Grades page where there should be a gold star next to your extra credit column.
Create a new extra credit/bonus grade item (for this example I will assume a point-based grading system):
From within the grade book (Assessments/Grades) use the New button at the upper left to open its drop down menu.
In the grade item type page, you generally want to choose Numeric so that D2L Brightspace will keep a running tally of the students’ scores.
In the Name field, type the column name. I strongly recommend you name it the same as the assignment you will relate to it so you know for sure that they are a set.
Here comes the magic. Scroll to the middle of the settings, under the Grading heading, and check the box under Bonus.
Save and Close and you are taken back to your Manage Grades page where there should be a gold star next to your new extra credit column
To allow students to earn points in excess of total points:
While still in the Grades tool, click the category or final grade column you wish to edit.
Under the Grading heading, check the box next to Can exceed.
Save and Close.
Can I display the students’ letter grades in my grade book?
It takes a little bit of preparation, but this is very possible.
First, we need to tell D2L Brightspace how to calculate the letter grades, for that, let’s set up a Scheme.
From within the grade book (Assessments /Grades), go to the Schemes tab at the top of the page.
Use the New Scheme button to open a new blank scheme.
In the Name * column, enter the name of this scheme. I am using “Letter Grades” in my example.
4. There are only three rows, so let’s first add two more so we can include A, B, C, D, and F. Under the Ranges table enter a “2” into the Add Ranges field then use the Add Ranges link to add them to the table above. We now can start entering the data.
5.In the Symbol column enter F, D, C, B, A, from top to bottom.
6. The Start % column is where we set the lowest grade in each range. The F is done for us and starts at zero. Below that enter 60, 70, 80, and 90 for D, C, B, and A.
7. The Color column lets you color-code your grade book which is handy to spot trouble at a glance.
8. The Assigned Value % us where we set the highest points in each grade range. For most Pima programs, these values are, starting from the top: 59, 69, 79, 89, and 100 for F, D, C, B, and A.
9. Save and Close and you now have a letter grade scheme that you can apply to your grade book. Verify that the Default Scheme check is next to your new scheme
B. Next, let’s link it to the Final Calculated Grades column.
Go to the Manage Grades tab and use the Final Calculated Grade link.
Under the Grading heading, change the Grading Scheme to the new scheme you created. Mine is “Letter Grades”.
C. And finally, let’s verify the settings for the grade book as a whole.
Use the Settings link at the upper right to get to the display options for the grade book.
In the Personal Display Options tab, under Grade Details, check the box for Grade scheme symbol (and color, optionally).
In the Org Unit Display Options tab, under Grade Details, check the box for Grade scheme symbol (and color, optionally).
Save to return to the grade book.
How do I associate a third-party assignment to the grade book?
Navigate so that you can see the assignment you have linked in Content. In my example I’ll use a Video Assignment.
Click the page in Content.
Look at the bottom right for the Assessment heading and use the Look at the bottom right for the Assessment heading and use the Add a grade item link to open a list of grade book items you can associate to this assignment. link to open a list of grade book items you can associate to this assignment.
4. If you do not yet have a grade book column created, you can use the + button to create one here.