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Grade items are managed through the course gradebook.  The grade items keep track of all course graded assignments that have been associated with one.  You can view the scores for these assignments in the gradebook.  Students will be able to view their own grades through their gradebook and will be able to keep track of how they are doing.  As the instructor, you can choose to hide or display grade items.  This guide will show you how to create a grade item in the course gradebook.  This guide assumes that you have already logged into your course.

Creating A Grade Item

  1. Click Grades from the course nav bar.Step 1 click on Grades menu item
  2. If you've gone through the First Time Gradebook Setup then you should be on the Managed Grades Tab, If not you'll need to click the Manage Grades tab located at the top of the window.  Note:  If you haven't gone through the gradebook setup wizard you may want to visit the Setting up your Gradebook for the first time guide.Step 2 Click on Manage grades menu item
  3. Click New and choose Item.
  4. You choose from a number of grade item types.  You can find descriptions of each on this page.  The most commonly used type is Numeric and we will be using this type for the remainder of this guide.  When you're ready, click the type you'd like to use.
  5. You'll be taken directly into the properities tab where you'll fill out the following information.
    • Name:  This field is Required and you must provide a name for this grade item before you can save it or move to a different tab.
    • Short Name:  This field is optional.  It provides you a field for an abbreviated name that will display in the gradebook in order to conserve space.
    • Category:  The category field is optional.  It allows you to organize your assignments into categories.  For example, you might have an "Exams" category where all your exam grade items would go.  By using categories, you can clean up your gradebook and make it look cleaner especially with a lot of items.  If you've already created a category then you can simply click the dropdown arrow and choose the category you'd like to use.  If not, you can click New Category to create one to use.  
      • Note:  If you've chosen a Weighted Grading System then you may want to use categories since you can assign the entire category to a speciifc weight for the course and the system will auto score the items based on that.  For example, if we say that the "Exam" category will make up 20 percent of the grade and then list the exams under that category, we can then configure it to evenly distribute scores across all these items.
    • Description:  This field is optional.  By default this field may be hidden and if so you'll need to click "Show Description" to make it visible.  In this field you can enter a description for the item that will be visible to the students.
    • Maximum Points:  This field is Required.  The system will automatically populate a value into this field due to its requirement but you can change it to whatever point value the grade item will be worth.   
    • Weight:  This field is Required only if you have chosen the weighted grading system during your initial gradebook setup.  If you have chosen points then this field will be grayed out.  You'll want to enter the weighted percentage for this assignment.
    • Can Exceed and Bonus:  Both boxes are optional.  
      • You'll want to check the "Can Exceed" box if you'd like a users grade to exceed the maximum points specified for the item.  This is useful if you'd like to provide the users the opportunity to gain bonus points that could increase their grade over 100%.  
      • You'll want to check the "Bonus" box if you want the entire grade item to be counted as bonus, which means that the grade item will not be counted in the course total but any grade the student receives will be added to the points they've earned thereby only helping the student's grade.
    • Grade Scheme:  Changing the grade scheme is optional.  This box will default to the grade scheme you have chosen during your initial gradebook setup.  You only need to modify this if you want to use a different grade scheme than your course default.
    • Add Rubric:  Adding a rubric is optional.  Here you can add a rubric that you've already created.  Rubrics allow you to grade the item using a rubric.  You can create a rubric by clicking on "Create Rubric in New Window" if you do not have any already created.
    • Display Options:  Changing the display options is optional.  These options may be hidden by default and you will need to click "Show Display Options" to view them.  You can choose to display a few additional items to your students, such a the class average for the grade item and the grade distribution.  The remaining options over right the course defaults that you configured during the gradebook setup.  You should only override these options if you would like this specific grade item to be different.
  6. Click Save once you have finished modifying the properties
  7. Click the Restrictions tab located at the top.
  8. The restrictions tab will allow you to control how and when your students see the grade item in their gradebook.  The visibility options enable you to keep the grade item always visible, hide the grade item, or set a specific date range when the grade item would be visible to students.  Release conditions enable you to setup specific criteria that must be completed before students can see the grade item, such as they must submit the exam before this grade item will appear to them in the gradebook.  It is common to simply leave these options on their default values.
  9. Click Save and Close to return to the manage grades screen where you should now see your newly created grade item.


A Few Items To Note

If you chose to use the weighted grade system during your gradebook setup then be aware that the system will require that all categories and items total 100%.  If you're items do not then you will receive a warning at the top of the manage grades screen stating that the final calcualted grade sums to X%, not 100%.