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Creating a Grade Book in a D2L course

Note: this page needs to be verified. anticipated release: Aug 15- andy speth

The Grade Book can contain all grades for all students in a D2L course and will calculate current course grades whenever the instructor chooses to do so. Students only see their own grades, never another student's grades. Final grades may be hidden from students or released, based on the instructor's preference.

The initial setup of the Grade Book is important. D2L includes a Setup Wizard in the Grade Book, which many instructors find useful. The instructions below do not use the wizard but include the same steps. Note that most options can be changed midway through the course but it's usually best to get things set up correctly from the beginning.

  1. Click on Grades on the Nav Bar. If nothing has been done in the Grade Book, the Grades Setup Wizard appears. The Grades Area (includes: Enter Grades, Manage Grades, Grades Settings, Grades Schemes, and Setup Wizard) also appears on the left.
  2. In Grades Area, click on Grades Settings. There are three options that now display.
    1. In Personal Display Options (controls what the instructor sees), check Grade Details: Points grade and Grade scheme symbol. Chose whatever other options you want. Click Save.
    2. In Org Unit Display Options (controls what students see), check Grade Details: Points grade and Grade scheme symbol. Chose whatever other options you want your students to see. Click Save.
    3. The Calculation Options section has three parts.
      1. Grade Calculations (at the bottom): Chose "Drop ungraded items" if you do not want missing items to count as zero points, or "Treat ungraded items as 0" if you want missing items to count as zeros. Both have advantages. If you select "Drop ungraded items," be sure to add zeros for items students missed.
      2. Final Grade Released: Check (probably) "Adjusted Final Grade" since it gives the instructor more control.
      3. Grading System:
        1. Check "Weighted" if you intend to work with categories that combined contribute 100% to the final grade and if the items that make up each category add to 100% of the category. For example: Discussion activities (combined) contribute 20% to the final grade, reaction papers (combined) contribute 25%, mid-terms (combined) contribute 30%, and final exam contributes 25%. For each of these categories, the individual items that make up each category add to 100% of the category total.
        2. Check "Points" if your intention when calculating final grades is to add up all the points from all the items in your Grade Book and divide by the total number of points possible. In this grading system, more important items must have more possible points assigned to them, e.g., a research paper might have a maximum of 100 points but a reaction paper might max at 20 or 10.
  3. In Grades Area, click on Grades Schemes. This is where you define the minimum percentages for each letter grade, e.g., A, AB, B, etc. For our purposes, the grade scheme developed with these instructions will be applied to all grade items in the Grade Book.
    1. Click on New to create a new scheme
      1. Enter a name for your grade scheme, e.g., CompLitSummer09. The name should be descriptive. You should assume that students will see the grade scheme name, so don't call it anything "odd."
      2. Letter grades are entered in the Ranges table (Symbol column) with the lowest grades at the top. Typically, that means the F is in the top row and A is on the bottom row. Add as many rows as you need (with the Add Ranges button) and enter the letter grades, one per row. Don't forget the AB, BC, etc, if you use them.
      3. The Start % column is the minimum percent needed by the student for each grade. So, assuming the minimum percent that earns an A is 92, enter the number 92 in the Start % column in the A (Symbol) row. Add minimums for each of the other letter grades. Note that the lowest possible percent for the worse grade is 0%. Also, digits to the right of a decimal point are acceptable, e.g., 91.500. Note that you never enter the maximum percentage for any grade, e.g., 100% for an A.
      4. Ignore the Color and Assigned Value % columns.
      5. If you need to delete a row, use the garbage can icon.
      6. Save your grade scheme. You can return to your grade scheme and adjust it later if necessary.
    2. Click on the Schemes List (in Grades Area >> Grades Schemes)
      1. Find your grade scheme in the Scheme Name column and click on the check mark at the right of that row to set is as your default.
  4. In Grades Area, click on Manage Grades. The process for creating grade items and the categories needed to organize those items differs slightly for the Weighted and Points grading systems. (See: 2.3.3, above.) Any differences will be identified in the steps listed below, e.g., ("Weighted system only" instructions pertain only to grade books defined as Weighted and should be skipped by Points gradebooks).
    1. Click on New Category to create a new category of grade items, e.g., "Reaction Papers" or "Exams", etc. (Note that the Points system does not require Categories, but categories can be helpful for organizational purposes.)
      1. Add a Name and a Short Name (the Short Name is optional, but a good idea).
      2. (Points system only): If all items in the Category will be weighted the same, i.e., contribute the same number of points, check Distribution >> "Distribute points across all items" and enter the "Points per item" (the number of points for each of the items within the category).
      3. (Weighted system only): Add a number for Weight. Weight is the percentage that the entire category will contribute to the final grade, e.g., Reaction Papers contributes 25% of the final grade. Also, check Distribution >> "Distribute weight evenly across all items" if you want each item in the category to contribute the same amount to the category total.
      4. Click Save to save the Category or Save and New to save it and create another category.
        1. (Weighted system only): note that the sum of all Category weights added together should total 100% of the final grade.
    2. Click on Manage Grades >> New Item to create an individual grade item.
      1. Choose a Grade Item Type (almost always Numeric)
      2. Add a Name and Short Name (keep the Short Name short, e.g., "RP3" for Reaction Paper 3).
      3. Select a Category (optional for Points system)
      4. Enter Max Points. Max Points is the maximum number of points a student would get for a perfect score. It could be 100 or 10 or 27, etc.
        1. (Points system only): Max Points for all items are added and used as the denominator when the final grade is calculated.
        2. (Weighted system only): Enter Weight. The Weight is the contribution (as a percentage) of the category total.
      5. Note that points and weight might be unavailable if the Distribute Evenly option was selected for the category.
      6. Click Save or Save and New.
      7. Note that individual items can be added as the semester goes on.
    3. Categories and Items can be edited by going to Manage Grades >> Grades List and clicking on the link for the desired Grade Item.
  5. To enter grades, go to Grades (on the Nav Bar) >> Enter Grades (in Grades Area) and click on the Enter Grades icon (looks like a yellow ruler with a green check mark)
    1. Enter grades for one or more students. Save your work regularly and always before leaving the page.
  6. Final Adjusted Grades can be calculated at any time. To calculate final grades, click on the Enter Grades - Final Grades icon (looks like a yellow ruler with a green check mark).
    1. Click on Recalculate All, select Final Adjusted Grade (probably, unless you earlier selected Calculated Grade), click the Calculate button.
    2. Check all items you want included in the calculation. At the end of the semester you probably want to select all items. Click Calculate and Yes.
    3. To make final grades visible to students, click Release All (or select individual students in the Release Final Adjusted Grade column).
    4. Final grades can be calculated as often as needed.

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