Support site - BrightspaceInstructors - English GradesHow do I enter, import and export grades and set release dates?

How do I enter, import and export grades and set release dates?

How do I add, import and export grades, or set release dates?

The grading possibilities include:

Finally, if you want to release the grades at a certain date, view How do I choose when to release the grades?

Important You must set up your Gradebook before any grades are entered. You cannot change the way your Gradebook is set up once grades are entered into the columns.

Note: a new feature has been implemented for locking the “name column / header row” so that instructors can scroll through user grades without losing the context for which and whose grades they are looking at.

This feature is present on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari web browsers.

The locked Name column /header row will not be active when using a small screen space such as a mobile device.

Enter Grades directly

  • Click on Grades in the navbar of your course
  • Click on Enter Grades

Choose your grade entry view by switching between Spreadsheet view and Standard view and enter your grades by filling in the students grade for each item. 

In Spreadsheet view the entry is much like a spreadsheet. There are empty cells that you can enter the grades into. You can do this for multiple grades, for multiple students, for multiple columns, in one go.

In Standard view you can click on the name of the student, and fill in the grades across all the columns of the gradebook. You can also add comments. These comments are shown as feedback to the student, whereas private comments will only be seen by people with grading access.

  • Save your grades by clicking the Save button.

If you click the Back button, or another link in the site, you can lose all the edits you have just made. So click on the Save button regularly while using this screen.


Grade all

Grade all students at once for one grade item by clicking on the drop down arrow next to the grade item and choosing Grade All. 

Preview for student view

Click on Preview to view the grades to see what a student taking the course will see.

  • Click on Save and Close to finish.

Use Formulas

  • Click on Grades in the navbar of your course
  • Click on Settings
  • Go to the Calculation Options tab and select Formula under the heading Grading System.
  • Click on Save, click OK, click OK. 
  • Once the changes have been saved click on Close.

Choose either:

  • Expand the “Final Calculated Grade” item using the dropdown menu and select Edit Grade Item.
  • Create a new Calculated Grade by clicking on New and then Item and choose Formula.

 Below Grading click on Edit Using the Formula Editor to define the Points Received.

  • Type your formula in the space provided and click on Insert.

When grading group assignments, please ensure that you enter the grade in the submission folder (Evaluate Submission), rather than the Gradebook. Grades entered in the grade book will only be assigned to a single student. To enter one grade for all group members, please enter the grade in the submission folder. The grade will then be assigned to all members of that group and will consequently appear in the grade book for each student.

How do I import and export Grades from Brightspace?

In this article, you will find a step-by-step plan on how to export grades from Brightspace and how to import the grades in a correct manner. 

These steps are all necessary to create a file in the right format.

Please note that the names of a Grade Category and the matching Grade Item can NOT be the same when importing grades.

Step 1: Export the gradebook

  • Click on Grades in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Enter Grades.
  • Click on Export

Step 2: The settings of the export-file

  1. Choose how to sort your data
  2. Select which grade information you want to export under Grade Values
  3. Student numbers (usernames) will appear automatically in the export file. 
  4. If you also want first names, last names and email addresses to be exported, you can check these under User Details.
  5. Select under Choose Grades to Export which grade items you would like to export.

We discourage everyone to use the option Export to Excel. Preparing the file for import is a lot more complicated when you have to work with an Excel-file compared to a CSV-file. 

Step 3: Open and edit with Excel

  • Open the downloaded csv-file in Excel.
  • Select the first column and navigate to the header Data in Excel. Click on the option Text to Columns.
  • In step 1 of this Wizard, choose for the file-type Delimited
  • Check under Delimiters only Comma, make sure that Tab is unchecked.
  • When the settings are correct, click Finish. 

Now that you have made a clear table of your students and the Grade Items, you can start to fill in the grades. 

Just like in Blackboard, decimal grades can only be entered with a period (.) as separator. Be careful with this, otherwise Brightspace will not be able to read your grades correctly! 

Optional: Creating a new Grade Item in Excel

This step is for advanced Brightspace users. If you are in doubt, we advise you to create Grade Items in Brightspace itself and not via an Excel-sheet.

When you are filling in the grades in your Excel sheet, you can also create a new Grade Item.

  • Create an extra column with Insert.
  • Give the new column the name of the Grade Item.
    • If you are using weighted grades or also imported grade schemes, you need to make sure that the same information is behind the name of the Grade Item. In the case of a Gradebook based on Points, paste "Points Grade <Numeric MaxPoints:10>"  next to the title of the Grade Item. For example: Test Import Points Grade <Numeric Maxpoints:10>.
  • Proceed to fill in the grades for the new grade item(s). 

When you work with a Weighted Gradebook, you come across a few problems when you adjust the Grade Items:

  • Make sure that all the weighted values add up to a 100% in the Excel-file.
  • Unfortunately, Brightspace is unable to register the new weighted values of old Grade Items when you import grades. It only registers the weighted values of the newly created Items.
  • Because of this, you will see an error when you check your Gradebook: the total sums up to for example 110%, instead of 100%. 
  • ALWAYS check your Gradebook, since the weighted values of old Grade Items still need to be adjusted.

Step 4: Preparing the file for import

After filling in the grades, it is necessary to correctly prepare the file for import. Brightspace needs to be able to read the information in the file. Preparing the file is a precise process. 

Correctly saving the file:

  • Save the file as Text (Tab Delimited).txt
  • Excel then gives a warning relating to the extension. Indicate that you want to retain the format.
  • Close the file.
    • When you try to close the file, Excel gives a warning stating that the file needs to be saved again. Click on Don't Save.

Making the file readable for Brightspace by changing the extension: 

  • Click on the file or on Properties to adjust the name of the file
  • Change .txt to .tsv


The file is now ready for import!

If the CSV-file already used a comma as separator, then you do not have to follow the above-mentioned steps. Whether you need to follow these steps depends on your personal settings. On the Leiden University network, you must always perform these steps.


Step 5: Importing to Brightspace

Importing Step 1: uploading the CSV file

  1. Click on Choose File to upload the CSV-file.
  2. If you created a new grade item in your Excel, check the box under Item Creation.
  3. Click on Continue.

We discourage everyone to use the Grades Sample file. It is better to export the course gradebook, and continue working from there. 

Importing Step 2: possible errors

  • If everything went well, you should see the above-displayed screen.
  • Click on Continue.

Importing Step 3: Preview

  • In the last screen you can see a preview of the import.
  • Adjusted grades will always be displayed the following way: old grade -> new grade
  • Click on Import to complete the Import. 
Disclaimer: Weighted Gradebooks

Since many instructors set their Gradebooks on Weighted, it is crucial to understand what influence these Gradebook settings have on the import and export of grades.

The import/export-functionality works best if you have a Gradebook based on the Points-system. If you have a Weighted Gradebook, you must check via Manage Grades whether your Gradebook is still working properly after you have imported/exported Grades. This is especially essential when you have created new Grade Items in your Excel-sheet.

If something is wrong in your Gradebook, you always see an error in your Gradebook like the picture below. Make sure you correctly adjust your weighted settings.

Thus, be extra careful when you are importing/exporting grades from a Weighted Gradebook!

How do I choose when to release the grades?

You can choose to make a grade column invisible to students, either because you do not want them to see it at all, or because you want to release it at a later moment. You might be unable to grade all students in one go, for example, or you might want to adjust the grades after grading. To prevent confusing your students, it is recommended to keep the grades hidden until you can release all of them at the same time.

Hide Grade Items from all users

  • Click on Grades in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Manage Grades.
  • Click on the arrow next to the Grade Item en select Hide from Users.
    • This hides the Grade Item and associated grades from all students. While a Grade Item is hidden, grades can be freely edited without students seeing it. To make it visible again, click on the arrow again and click Make Visible to Users.

Automatically release Grade Items

  • Click on Grades in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Manage Grades.
  • Click on the arrow next to the Grade Item you want to automatically release and select Edit.
  • Go to the Restrictions tab.
  1. Selecting Hide from Users hides the Grade Item from all students.
  2. Use the Availability section if the Grade Item should only be available for a certain period of time. It will be invisible before the start date and after the end date.
    • Select Display in Calendar if you want these dates to appear in the student's Calendars.
  3. Select Attach Existing if you want to add an already made Release Condition to the grade, or Create and Attach if you want to make a new one. For more information on Release Conditions, see these articles.
  4. Select Save and Close.

Hiding or releasing Grades to specific students.

It is possible to release or hide grades to or from all or selected students.

  • Click on Grades in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on the tab Enter Grades.
  • Click on the arrow next to Final Calculated Grade.
  • Click on Enter Grades
  • Under “Users” select all students or select a few and click the option Release/Unrelease. This will make the grade visible to the selected students if it previously wasn't, or invisible if it previously was.
  • Click Save and Close.


Do note that once you release grades students with active notifications will be notified.

Please note: Once you release grades, all students who have notifications activated, will receive an immediate notification.