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The gradebook is where you'll create grade items for your various assignments in your course.  Grade items are completely separate from the assignments but they can be associated with assignments so that grades are automatically exported to the gradebook.  When students view their gradebook they will see any grade item which you have made visible along with the various grade information that you have chosen to share with them.



First Time Gradebook Setup


  1. To access the gradebook, click Grades in the course navbar.
  2. The first time you click on "Grades" in a new course you'll be looking at the Setup Wizard Screen.  This will take you through a few setup options and it's a good way to get started.
  3. Click Start.
  4. Choose a Grading System and then click Continue.

    • Weighed:  Allows you to setup grade items so that they are calculated as a percentage of the final grade worth 100%.

    • Points:  Allows you to setup grade items so that they calculate the final grade by totaling the number of points users received on a grade item vs the total points possible.

    • Formula:  An advanced option that allows you to calculate the final grade using a custom formula that lets you set conditions on grade items.

  5. Choose which final grade option you'd like to release to students.

    • Calculated Final Grade:  This option is calculated automatically based on the grading formula you chose.  It cannot be manually changed without editing specific grade items.

    • Adjusted Final Grade:  This option allows you to modify or adjust a student's grade before releasing them.

    • Automatically Release Final Grades:  Enabling this option will automatically release the final grade for students when it's created.  Essentially it gives your students access to a running total for the course.  We recommend that you enable this option so that students can see how they are doing throughout the course of the semester.  NOTE:  Releasing grades in D2L Brightspace is not the same as releasing their final grade to the registrar at the end of the semester.  It just means they can see their current grade in D2L.

  6. Choose what to do with ungraded items and whether or not to keep final grades updated.

    • Drop Ungraded Items:  If you choose to drop ungraded items then grade items which have not yet been entered will not count towards the students final grade.  This is recommended as it provides the students with a accurate running total.  However, it does require that you enter zeros for assignments that have not been submitted so that the final grade is updated accordingly.  Below you'll find an example of how this option would effect the final grade for students.

    • Treat ungraded items as 0:  If you choose this option then all ungraded items will be counted as a zero in the final grade.  This option saves you from having to enter zeros for all missed assignments but can throw off final grades throughout the course of the semester.  It is recommended that if you use this option that you do not release final grades until after all graded items are due because the student may appear to be failing throughout the course of the semester because future assignments are pulling their grades down.  Below you'll find an example of how this option would effect the final grade for students.


  7. Choose a Default Grade Scheme:  This option will apply to all grade items unless you specifically overwrite it when setting up your grade item.  There are four schemes already loaded into your course for you to choose from.  However, you are able to create your own scheme or edit any of these schemes later from the schemes page.

    • Percentage:  The percentage grade item is the default for all courses that are created in D2L Brightspace.  Keeping this option selected will display a grade scheme symbol that is a percentage.  For example, the final grade will show as a percentage.

    • Letter Grade Scheme:  This scheme will display a letter grade instead of a percentage based on a percent range.  The image below shows how this scheme is setup.  The symbol is what the student will see as their final grade and the Start % indicates the requirement for obtaining that grade.  So for example, if a student receives a 87% then they would fall within the 80-89% range and would then receive a "B" grade.

    • Letter Grade with +/- Scheme:  Similar to the letter grade scheme expect that it contains more percent ranges so to fit in +/- grades.  For example, our student who received an 87% would now see a "B+" instead of "B" as their final grade because they obtained a grade between a 87-89%.

    • Pass/Fail Scheme:  This scheme will display either a "pass" or "Fail" grade to the student depending on whether or not they received at least a 51% in the course.


  8. Set the number of decimal places to display:  This controls how many decimals will be displayed to users grading a course.

  9. Set student view display options:  These options control what information is displayed to the students in their gradebooks

    • Points Grade:  This will show the students how many points they earned out of the possible points.  We recommend that this be shown.

    • Grade Scheme Symbol:  This will display the chosen symbol depending on the scheme used.  For example, if the percentage scheme is used then checking this will show students the percent they earned on a grade item or in the final grade.  We recommend that this be shown.

    • Grade scheme color:  This displays a color that's associated with the grade scheme symbol.

    • Number of Decimals to display:  This controls how many decimal places should be shown to students.

    • Number of characters to display:  Controls how many characters will display for text items.

    • Final Grade Calculation:  Check this option to release the final grade from the start to students.  This would need checked if you would like a running total shown to your students throughout the semester.  You can always manually release their final grades but it's easier to just have this checked before the course starts.  NOTE:  If you are treating ungraded items as zeros then we recommend not releasing the final grade to students unless you intend to create grade items as they are submitted.

  10. Review the summary and if satisfied then click Finish