LMS Update

Desire2Learn 

Preparing for the Purging of Courses in D2L (April 21, 2014)

Preparing for the D2L Upgrade (May 10, 2014)

What's New in D2L 10.3

Online Rooms (Blackboard Collaborate)

D2L Quickstart (PDF)

D2L FAQ

D2L Goes Mobile

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Instructional Design & Web Technologies Workshop Schedule

Instructional Design & Web Technologies department offers a wide variety of workshops. Please  let us know if you have a specific topic you would like covered!

REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Register via email at idwt@ship.edu. Please include the name and date of the workshop in your email.

We're available for individual consultations!

Need help? Please call and we will schedule a session with you.

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Grades Tool: Process Overview

Grades Area Overview and Terminology

The Grades area has two major views: the Enter Grades view and the Manage Grades view.

The ENTER GRADES area has two views, Standard view and Spreadsheet view.

Standard View

The Standard view, shown below, displays students grades based on the settings that instructors choose under the Grades Settings area.

grades_standardview

Spreadsheet View

The Spreadsheet view allows instructors to enter grades as if using an Excel spreadsheet. It is one of many ways to enter grades.

grades_otherview

Manage Grades

The Manage Grades area allows instructors to add categories and items to the Grades area.

grades_managegrades

 

Grades Tool: Terminology

Bonus Item
Offers an opportunity for students to earn additional points towards the final grade. For example, each week students may take a two-question current events quiz.  Students who opt to take the quizzes receive one point for each correctly answered question.  These points add to their final grade.  Students who opt not to take the quizzes will not be penalized.

Calculated Type Grade Item
This type of grade item is not included in the final grade; it is another form of reference.  This type of item calculates the total of selected grade items (e.g., all assignments leading up to the midterm).

Checkbox Type Grade Item
Gives full or no credit (e.g., a student did or did not attend a guest lecturer's presentation).

Extra Credit
Provides an opportunity for a student to earn additional points beyond those assigned to that grade item.

Formula Grading System
Allows instructors to create a grading system based on a custom-defined formula that the instructor creates.

Formula Type Grade Item
Gives credit based upon pre-determined formula.

Grade Colors
When creating a grade scheme for the Grades Tool, instructors can assign colors for the various grade levels.  Student's grades will appear with a color cue when viewed in the User List.

Grade Scheme
Relates percentages to letter grades (e.g., 60% = D).  Instructors may create multiple grade schemes for use within a single course.  (e.g., a grade scheme for quizzes and a separate grade scheme for exams).

Numeric Type Grade Item
Assigned point value (e.g., an exam worth 100 points).

Points Grading System
Under the 'points' system each grade item is assigned a point value.  If categories are used, they are for organizational purposes only.

Selectbox Type Grade Item
Graded manually using a pull-down menu.  The letter grades in the pull-down menu are based on a grade scheme that the instructor creates (the grade scheme for Selectbox grade items should be distinct from other grade schemes).

Text Type Grade Item
Provides brief comments rather than a letter or percentage grade.  This type of item serves more as a reference for instructors who may want additional criteria when deciding borderline grades.

Weighted Grading System [D2L Definition]
"Under the 'weighted' system grade categories are assigned a weight as a percentage of the final grade and grade items are assigned a weight as a percentage of their parent category (or of the final grade if they have no parent category)."  All categories must total 100% and all items within a category must total 100% of the category. 

Instructors have many options in the Grades area. The chart below shows the options available and a recommended order of implementation.

Step 1:
Grades Setup 
  • Gather all supporting documentation.
  • Set up the gradebook in the Grades >  Grades Settings area (This must be done every semester for every class even if you have copied the Grades area from a previous course.)
  • Establish a grade scheme [93 - 100 = A, etc. ] - optional
Step 2:
Create Categories
  • Use categories to group items if using a points grading system (optional)
  • Use categories to weight items if using a weighted calculation system
  • Use categories to drop the hightest and lowest grade values from a category such as quizzes.
Step 3:
Create Grade Items
  • In the Manage Grades area, add a grade item (s)
  • Select a grade item type
  • Assign the grade item to a category, if desired
  • Assign points
  • Determine whether the item is a bonus item or contains extra credit
  • Assign a grading scheme if not using the default
Step 4:
Maintain Grades List
  • Modify grade items / categories
  • Grade certain items manually
  • Change grades
  • Delete grades
  • Export grades for backup
Step 5:
Final Grades
  • Calculate the final grades
  • Release the final grades

Step 1: Grades Setup

We recommend that course instructors gather all course materials (syllabus, list of assignments, grading plan) before beginning the grades setup process. Even if copying a gradebook over from a previous semester, instructors need to set up the grade book using the Grades Settings area. Follow the steps listed below to set grade calculation system, scheme, and display options. Instructors who follow these steps in setting up their grades have are less likely to forget any important grading details which may cause problems when it comes time to submit grades.

Selecting a Grade Calculation System

  1. From the Course Home page on the Navigation bar, click on the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  2. In the Grades Area box on the left-side of  screen click on the GRADES SETTINGS button  grades settings. The Personal Display Options pane appears.
  3. Click on the CALCULATION OPTIONS button calculations 1 .
  4. In the Grading System section select desired grading system (Points, Weighted, or Formula) by selecting the radio button next to the word.

    Points System

    Instructors can use the  Max. Points assigned to a grade item to be equal to its contribution to the final grade. Final grades are calculated by adding a user's score on all grade items together and dividing by the sum of the Max. Points values. The final grade is becomes the total number of points of all the grade items.

    grades points

    Weighted System

    Instructors can use the weighted system to calculate grade items as a percentage of a final grade worth 100%. Grade items are assigned a weight as a percentage of their parent category (or final grade if no parent category exists). The Max. Points you assign to individual grade items can be any value, but their contribution towards the category they belong to and the final grade is the percentage value (weight) assigned to them.

    • Since it is a category's weight and not an individual grade item's weight that counts toward the final grade, the final grade is inaccurate until all the items in the category are graded.
    • D2L will display a warning message if your grade items and categories do not add up to 100%. You can choose to ignore this warning; a balanced grade book is not required however, final grades will be calculated with the assumption that everything sums up to 100%.
    • If the weights assigned to grade items do not sum to 100%, the weight of each item is adjusted.

      grades_weighted
  5. In the "Final Grade Released" section, select the radio button next to the Calculated or Adjusted Final Grade option. The Adjusted Final Grade option provides the most flexibility by allowing instructors to make changes to the final grade. Selecting a Final Grade Release option does NOT automatically release the Final Grade to students.

    grades final
  6. In the Grade Calculations section, the radio button next to the desired option.

    calculations 2

    IMPORTANT: If the Drop ungraded items or Treat ungraded items as 0 option is changed after any scores have been entered in the Grades area, all final grades will become out of date and will require recalculation. 

    Choice Drop ungraded items Treat ungraded items as 0
     
    Option Meaning

    The Drop ungraded items selection ignores ungraded items and displays the current points out of the scored items.

    Creates a running total of the grade book.

    The Treat ungraded items as 0 treats any non-graded items as zero and displays the current points out of the total possible points.
    Insure gradebook accuracy When recording grades enter zeros for any grade items that a student did not complete.  This insures that the gradebook will calculate accurately.
    No additonal information needs to be entered. All ungraded items are automatically given a 0.
    Final Grade Example - after completing two assignments Jane Doe has a 89/100. The total points available for the semester is 600. Jane's final grade would show a running total of 89/100. Jane's final grade would show a total of 89/600.

  7. To keep final grades updated after entering/changing grades or grade options (bonus setting), click on the checkbox next to the words, "Automatically keep final grades updated." Leaving this option unchecked will improve the speed with which the gradebook loads during the semester however, the final grade will need to be recalculated. A small calculator icon indicates that final grades are out-of-date and need to be recalculated.  
  8. Click on the SAVE button.

The next step after selecting the grade scheme is to set display options.

Select Display Options

  1. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click on the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  2. In the Grades Area widget, click on the GRADES SETTINGS button. grades settings The Personal Display Options pane appears.
  3. From the "Managing View Display Options" section, select the the desired options:

Display Options include:

User details
By default the students' first and last name appear in the Enter Grades area. Additionally, instructors can select the username, email address, or Org Defined ID to also display in the Enter Grades area.  

Grade details
Points grade displays the total number of points accrued for each grade item (e.g., 9/10).  Grade scheme symbol toggles whether or not a Grade scheme symbol is displayed in the user list when associated with a grade item.  Any custom grade schemes will also appear in this list.  Grade scheme color displays colors that are associated with a letter grade in any given grade scheme.

Characters displayed
By entering a number in the adjacent text box, an instructor can set how many characters of a grade item or category will be displayed on the User List.  The value set must be between 0 and 50.

Repeat user details every ___ items
This is the number of grade items that appear consecutively before the student information is repeated.  About 5-7 is recommended.

Repeat grade item details every ___ users
This is the number of users that appear before the column header is repeated in the User List.

Repeat final grades
These options allow instructors to repeat the calculated final grade at the start of the User List, repeat the adjusted final grade at the start of the User List, or both.


EXAMPLE:

grades display options

  1. To set course level or student view of the display options click on the ORG UNIT DISPLAY OPTIONS button. grades display org
  2. Select from the following options:

Managing View Display Options
**Decimals displayed
Specify the number of decimal places visible to instructors.

Submissionn View Display Options
**Decimals displayed
Specify the number of decimal places visible to students.

**It is important to keep these numbers the same as different decimal places can give the impression of different grades and affect the . For example: D2L will round down an 89.4 to a B while and 89.49 will be rounded to an A.

Submission view display options
Everything in this section pertains to the students' view.

Grade details
Points grade displays the total number of points accrued for each grade item (e.g., 9/10). Grade scheme symbol toggles whether or not a Grade scheme symbol is displayed in the user list when associated with a grade item. Any custom grade schemes will also appear in this list. Grade scheme color displays colors that are associated with a letter grade in any given grade scheme.

Characters displayed
Specify the number of characters displayed for a text grade item.

Final grade calculation
This option shows the final grade calculation formula to the students, and is ignored when the Formula grading system is used.
EXAMPLE:

grades org display

        3. Click on the SAVE button.

After selecting the grade calculation system, create a grade scheme.   

Create A Grades Scheme (Optional)

Creating a customized grade scheme is a two step process: (1) create the scheme (2) select it as the default scheme for the course. 

  1. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click on the GRADES link. The User List screen appears.
  2. In the Grades Area widget on the left-hand side of the browser window, click on the GRADE SCHEMES button.grades schemes
  3. Click on the NEW COURSE SCHEME button. grades new
  4. In the Name text box, type a name for the course scheme, like "ENG101" If desired, type an abbreviated name for this course scheme in the Short Name text box.
  5. In row 1 go to the Symbol text box and type the lowest letter grade that can be earned. If desired, select a color from the color pull-down menu to specify a color code for each grade. Place the highest grade in the Assigned Value % text box. 
  6. To add additional grade ranges in the Add Ranges text box type the number of desired additional ranges and click. grades add range
  7. Follow this steps 5 and 6 until complete. 
  8. After entering all of the grade ranges, click on the SAVE button.

    gradescheme

Setting the new Grades Scheme as the Course Default

  1. Click on the SCHEMES LIST button. grades schemes list
  2. Under Course Schemes, find the newly created grade scheme and select "Set as Default." The grade scheme is selected when a checkmark appears in the Default Scheme column.

    grades scheme default

    Note: If you are creating a scheme after Grade items have been created, instructors will need to go into individual items and choose the new grading scheme.

Copy a Grade Scheme

  1. Click on the Copy button. 
  2. Select the appropriate grade scheme.
  3. Scroll down towards the bottom of the screen and look for the New Scheme Name text box. Type of the name of the scheme.
  4. Make any necessary changes to the scheme.
  5. Click on the Save button.

Delete a Grade Scheme

  1. Click on the Delete button. 
  2. Select the appropriate grade scheme(s).
  3. Click on the Delete Selected button.

    Note: If a grade scheme is in use it cannot be deleted. The scheme must be removed from all grade items before it can be deleted.

Step 2: Creating and Setting Up Categories

Categories are essential in a weighted gradebook and optional in a points gradebook.  Think of categories as syllabus components that contain more than one item. In a points gradebook categories are used as an organizational tool.  In a weighted gradebook, categories are used to specify the total weight a group of grade items contributes to the course final grade.  

Dropping the Lowest and Highest Grade

  1. Instructors must create a category also in order to drop lowest or highest grades from a set of grade items.
  2. All items in the category must be the same points/weight value.
  3. Instructors must use the Distribute points across all items features

To create a category:

  1. From the Course Home page on the Navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List screen appears.
  2. In the Grades Area widget, click the MANAGE GRADES button manage grades 1
  3. Click NEW CATEGORY manage grades 2. The New Category page appears.
  4. In the Name text box, type a name for the grade category

    manage grades 3

  5. If desired, in the Short Name text box type an abbreviated name for the grade category
  6. If extra credit or bonus items in this category will affect the final grade select "Can Exceed" 

    manage grades 4
  7. If all items within this category will be worth the same weight, select "Distribute points across all items" If copying gradebook from a previous semester, instructors who plan on adding new or deleting existing grade items within the category will need to re-select this option.
  8. To drop any number of lowest or highest non-bonus grade items within a category, in the appropriate text box specify the number of items. The "Distribute points evenly" should be selected for these options to be available.
  9. To add another category, click on the SAVE AND NEW button or if finished creating categories, click on the SAVE button.

Step 3: Creating Grade Items

Instructors can add grade items (i.e., assignments or other graded activities) and designate their name, point value, weight, type, and date. Grade items may or may not be within a category. Formula, Text or Calculated items cannot be placed within categories. The Grade Item Type choices are listed below:

creating grade items 2

Numeric

  1. Click on the Numeric grade type link.
  2. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  3. In the Grades Area widget click the MANAGE GRADES button. manage grades 1
  4. Click the NEW ITEM button. creating grade items 1The New Item pane appears.
  5. In the Name text box, type a name for the grade item.
  6. If using categories, go to the Category pull-down menu and select the desired category for the grade item.
  7. To create a description of the item:

    grades_gradesdescript
    1. Click SHOW DESCRIPTION and type the text in the Description text box.
    2. Click on the Allow users to view grade item description checkbox to allow students to view the description.
  8. Select desired Grading options.
  9. If the grade item type is Numeric, go to the Grading section and in the Max. Points and Weight (if using a Weighted Grading Scheme) text box type the total number of points and/or the weight of the grade item.

    creating grade items

    Weighted Grade Item Options

    grades_weightedgrades

  10. If including extra credit points in this grade item, select "Can Exceed" 
  11. If the entire item is to be considered extra credit, select "Bonus." [Learn More]
  12. If desired, choose a grading scheme.
  13. If desired, choose your display options by clicking on the Show Display Options link. In this section instructors are able to choose to display the class average and/or grade distribution to students.  Here instructors may also override the default display settings for the grade item.  Once overriden, toggle Grade scheme colors, Points grade, Grade scheme symbol, and any custom display settings.
  14. Select the Restrictions tab.
  15. Select the appropriate Visibility option.
  16. If desired, attach the desired release condition(s).
  17. Click on the SAVE and New or Save button.  

Select Box

The Select Box grade item can only be created if a Grading Scheme has been created.

  1. Click on the Numeric grade type link.
  2. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  3. In the Grades Area widget click the MANAGE GRADES button. manage grades 1
  4. Click the NEW ITEM button. creating grade items 1The New Item pane appears.
  5. Click on the Select Box link.
  6. In the Name text box, type a name for the grade item.
  7. If using categories, go to the Category pull-down menu and select the desired category for the grade item.
  8. To create a description of the item:

    grades_gradesdescript
    1. Click SHOW DESCRIPTION and type the text in the Description text box.
    2. Click on the Allow users to view grade item description checkbox to allow students to view the description.
  9. Select desired Grading options.
  10. Type the Total number of points or the Weight in the Max. Points or Weight (if using a Weighted Grading Scheme) text box type. 
  11. If the entire item is to be considered extra credit, select "Bonus." [Learn More]
  12. Choose a grading scheme that was created for this item.
  13. If desired, choose your display options by clicking on the Show Display Options link. In this section instructors are able to choose to display the class average and/or grade distribution to students.  Here instructors may also override the default display settings for the grade item.  Once overriden, toggle Grade scheme colors, Points grade, Grade scheme symbol, and any custom display settings.
  14. Select the Restrictions tab.
  15. Select the appropriate Visibility option.
  16. If desired, attach the desired release condition(s).
  17. Click on the SAVE and New or Save button.  

 Pass/Fail 

grades_pass_fail

  1. Click on the Numeric grade type link.
  2. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  3. In the Grades Area widget click the MANAGE GRADES button. manage grades 1
  4. Click the NEW ITEM button. creating grade items 1The New Item pane appears.
  5. Click on the Pass/Fail Grade item link.
  6. If using categories, go to the Category pull-down menu and select the desired category for the grade item.

    To create a description of the item:

    1. Click SHOW DESCRIPTION and type the text in the Description text box.
    2. Click on the Allow users to view grade item description checkbox to allow students to view the description.
  7. Enter a point value in the Max. Points or Weight text box.
  8. If desired, check the checkbox next to Bonus to designate this item as a bonus item.
  9. Choose a grading scheme that was created for this item, if desired.
  10. Click on the Save button Save the grade item or Save and New to save the current item and create a new item.

Formula

  1. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  2. In the Grades Area widget click the MANAGE GRADES button. manage grades 1
  3. Click on the NEW ITEM button. creating grade items 1The New Item pane appears.
  4. Click on the Formula item link.
  5. Type the name of the item in the Name text box.
  6. To create a description of the item:

    1. Click SHOW DESCRIPTION and type the text in the Description text box.
    2. Click on the Allow users to view grade item description checkbox to allow students to view the description.
  7. Click on the Edit Using the Formula Editor to build a formula using the Formula Editor. Any grade items used in the formula must be built before launching the editor.
  8. Build your formula and on the click the Insert button.
  9. If students have the opportunity to earn more points than are assigned, instructors MUST select Can Exceed. Use the Grade Scheme drop down menu to select a grade scheme. Ignore this menu if a grade scheme has not been created.
  10. If desired, click on the Show Display Options link to choose whether or not to display the item's Statistics to everyone. Instructors can also alter the grade item's appearance in the gradebook.
  11. Click on the Save button or Save and New to save the current item and create a new item.

Calculated

Calculate users' cumulative achievement across multiple grade items. E.g. Midterm Grade A1+A2+Q1+Q2 / Total Max. Points * 100 = 73%

grades_calculated

  1. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  2. In the Grades Area widget click the MANAGE GRADES button. manage grades 1
  3. Click on the NEW ITEM button. creating grade items 1The New Item pane appears.
  4. Click on the Calculated item link.
  5. Type the name of the item in the Name text box.
  6. To create a description of the item:
    1. Click SHOW DESCRIPTION and type the text in the Description text box.
    2. Click on the Allow users to view grade item description checkbox to allow students to view the description.
  7. Check the Can Exceed button if the grade earned can exceed the Max. Points or Weight.
  8. Click on the checkbox next the items will be used to calculate the grade.
  9. If desired, click on the Show Display Options link to choose whether or not to display the item's Statistics to everyone. Instructors can also alter the grade item's appearance in the gradebook.
  10. Click on the Save button Save the grade item or Save and New to save the current item and create a new item.

Text Grade Items

Text Grade Items cannot be placed inside a category. Provide comments in the grade book that are not calculated in the final grade. E.g. "Course Evaluation Completed"

grades_text

  1. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  2. In the Grades Area widget click the MANAGE GRADES button. manage grades 1
  3. Click on the NEW ITEM button. creating grade items 1The New Item pane appears.
  4. Select Text from the list of grade items..
  5. Clicking Show Display Options will allow instructors to choose whether or not to display the item's Statistics to everyone. Under this heading, instructors can also alter the grade item's appearance in the gradebook so that it does not look like all other items. 
  6. Type the name of the item in the Name text box.
  7. To create a description of the item:
    1. Click SHOW DESCRIPTION and type the text in the Description text box.
    2. Click on the Allow users to view grade item description checkbox to allow students to view the description.
  8. Click Save to save your grade item. You may also click Save and New to save your grade item and continue creating new grade items.

Deleting Grade Items and Categories

 NOTE: DELETING ANY GRADE ITEM WILL PERMANENTLY DELETE GRADES THAT HAVE BEEN ENTERED FOR THAT ITEM

  1. From the Course Home page navigation bar, click the GRADES link. The User List pane appears.
  2. In the Grades Area widget click the MANAGE GRADES button. manage grades 1
  3. Click on the Delete button located near the top of the Manage Grades screen.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the items and/or categories to be deleted. In the Grades area deleting a category will NOT delete the associated grade items. These items will be moved to the end of the Grades List and will no longer belong to a category.
  5. Click on the Delete Selected button.

Calculating Final Grades

Calculating final grades consists of:

  • Recalculating the Calculated Final Grade - If you selected to keep the final grade automatically updated, the final grade page should already be up-to-date
  • Transferring Calculated Grades to Adjusted Grades
  • Making adjustments to the Adjusted Grades
  • Releasing the final grade to students

To get to the Final Grades page:

  1. From the Enter Grades screen, click the Enter Grades icon in the Final Grades column

    OR

  2. From the Manage Grades screen, click the Enter Grades icon to the right of Calculated Final Grade or Adjusted Final Grade

If you notice a small calculator icon in the Final Calculated Grade column for any particular user, your Fianl Calculated Grade is no longer up-to-date for that user.

There are two ways to remedy this:

  1. Click the small calculator icon beside the individual's calculated grade to update.

    OR

  2. Click Recalculate All to update the final grades for all users on the page.

If, after recalculating the Calculated Grades, you would like to make hand adjustments to any student's grade, follow these instructions:

  1. Click Transfer All located near the top of the screen.
  2. Use the text boxes in the Final Adjusted Grade column to change the student's score
  3. Click Save to save your changes

Releasing Final Grades

Releasing final grades is done from the Final Grades page. To get to the Final Grades page:

  1. From the Enter Grades screen, click the Enter Grades icon in the Final Grades column

    OR

  2. From the Manage Grades screen, click the Enter Grades icon to the right of Calculated Final Grade or Adjusted Final Grade

To release final grades to ALL students, simply click Release All  located near the top of the screen. To release final grades to INDIVIDUAL students, check the box to the right of the student's name and the box under Release Calculated Final Grade or Release Final Adjusted Grade column. Click Save to save your changes.

This option can be changed at any time during the course of the semester by going to Grades Settings and then Calculation Options. It is not uncommon for an instructor to begin the semester using the Calculated Grade and then switch to the Adjusted Grade at the end of the semester.

Please Note: If you have made hand adjustments to any one student's final grade, you must choose to release the Adjusted Grade, otherwise students with adjusted grades will be unable to see the correct score.