Instructor Support for Educational Systems

Setting up the Gradebook for the first time with the Grades Setup Wizard

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If you are using the grade book for the first time, the most ideal way to set it up is to use the Grades Setup Wizard. None of the settings in the wizard are definitive, you can change them whenever you want.

To set up the gradebook for the course, click on Grades in the Navbar within the course. If there are no grade items yet, the setup wizard will open automatically. Otherwise, click on Setup Wizard.

User List - Brightspace Sample Course - Leiden University - Google Chrome

At first you will see the current grade book settings. Scroll down and click on Start.

Step 1: Choose Grading System

There are 3 different options to choose from: Weighted, Points or Formula. Chances are you will end up using the weighted grading system most of the times. The formula grading system can be quite complex, but it is a powerful tool in case you want to set conditions whilst Brightspace calculates the grades for you.  

Please note that the grading system: Points, does not offer any benefits over using a weighted or formula grading system.

When should I use the Weighted Grading System?

Use the weighted system if you want grade items calculated as a percentage of the final grade worth 100%, without taking any conditions into account.

Example: The final grade consists of 20% Practical Assignment, 30% Mid Term Exam and 50% Final Exam.

Check this article for an example of a weighted gradebook.

When should I use the Formula Grading System?

Use the formula system to calculate final grade using a custom formula that lets you set conditions on grade items.

Example 1: If a student's grade on any item is below 6.0, then the user automatically fails the course. (Read: Final Grade will be set as 0 or 1, in case any of the grades is below 6.0).

Example 2: If a student passed 6 of the 10 assignments, the final grade will be calculated: 0.4 * grade midterm + 0.6 * grade exam. However, if the student only passed 5 or less assignments the final grade will be calculated: (0.4 * grade midterm + 0.6 * grade exam) - 1.0. (Read: 1 point reduction on the final grade, whenever the student did not meet all the conditions).

Check this  article for an example of a formula gradebook.

Step 2: Final Grade Released

In the second step, the default setting is to use the Calculated Final Grade. This will calculate the final grade based on the grading formula setup, it cannot be adjusted without editing grade item scores.

The Adjusted final grade can be useful in situations where the students’ grade are modified before they are released. For example, you might need to fine-tune and adjust some of the grades up or down before they are released.

The option Automatically release final grade is not available. Releasing the final grade should be a concious decision by the instructor of the course. 

Step 3: Grade Calculations

In the third step you have to choose how to treat Ungraded Items. When you choose Drop ungraded items, grade items that do not have a grade inputted are not counted in the final grade. If you choose Treat ungraded items as 0 grade items that do not have a grade inputted are counted in the final grade (as 0).

Furthermore, you want to make sure to check Automatically keep final grade updated so that the final grades are automatically adjusted when changes are made to grade items or calculation options.

What is the best option for Ungraded Items in a Weighted Grading System?

In the Drop ungraded items option students see their grades reflecting their progress. In other words, items that are ungraded are not used to calculate their final grade. But this can mean the final grade appears higher than it might otherwise be at the end of the course.

If you choose Treat ungraded items as 0 grade items that do not have a grade inputted are treated as 0. The final grade might therefore appear lower than it would be at the end of the course. 

What is the best option for Ungraded Items in a Formula Grading System?

We recommend that you always use treat ungraded items as 0 when you have chosen for the Formula Grading System. Doing so, you will be able to work more effectively with conditions in the final grade calculation.

For more information on the Formula Grading System, please check out this article.

Step 4: Choose Default Grade Scheme

In step 4 you can choose what the default grade scheme for your course will be. Each time you create a new grade item the chosen grade scheme will be selected by default. You are able to select a different scheme per grade item you make, therefore the choice you make here is not definitive.

Grades Setup Wizard - Sandbox SEA Arzu Sahin - Leiden University - Google Chrome

For more information on Grade Schemes please check out this article.

Step 5: Managing View Display Options

This setting controls how many decimals will be displayed to staff members that do the grading.

Grades Setup Wizard - Sandbox SEA Arzu Sahin - Leiden University - Google Chrome

Step 6: Student View Display Options

We recommend to show at least the Grade scheme symbol. This is the actual grade the student received for the assignment or any other item. 

Keep in mind that the more Grade Details you share, the more information the students have on how they achieved their grades. This might result in less confusion and questions afterwards!

Grades Setup Wizard - Sandbox SEA Arzu Sahin - Leiden University - Google Chrome

Step 7: Grades Setup Summary

The final screen is a summary of your settings. Review the settings and click on Finish. You can always go through the setup wizard again or change settings by clicking on Settings at the top of the grades page. 

Grades List - Sandbox SEA Arzu Sahin - Leiden University - Google Chrome
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