Create Grade Items

In this article we will explain what grade items are, which grade items to use when and how you can create grade items depending on the Grading System you have set.

What are Grade Items?

Grade Items in your Gradebook represent all the work that you want to evaluate students on in a course. Grade Items can exist independently in your grade book, or you can associate Grade Items with assessment tools such as discussions, quizzes, and assignments. The grades and feedback you enter in those assessment tools  synchronize automatically with your Gradebook. 

Get to work with Grade Items

After you have completed Setting up the Gradebook for the first time with the Grades Setup Wizard you can create Grade Items, which can be grouped into grade categories as desired.

How do I create a Grade Item in a Weighted Grading System?
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

First, navigate to Grades > Manage Grades. Next, select New and click on Item. The screen below will appear:

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Choose a Grade Item Type. In this example we will proceed with the most common type: Numeric.

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Insert a name for the Grade Item
  2. Optional: Select a Category
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Enter the value you want the item graded out of in the Maximum Points.
  2. Enter the Weight (%) you want the grade item to contribute to the final grade. If you have selected a category in the previous step, the weight you enter here resembled the contribution to the category.

If you are unable to enter or change the weight, you have selected Distribute weight evenly across all items when you created the Grade Category. This implies that the weight of the grade items is automatically set and can not be manually adjusted. See here for more information on Grade Categories.

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Optional: Select this option if you want to allow students' grades to exceed the maximum points specified for the item.
  2. Optional: Select Bonus if you want to allow bonus points. Bonus items will not be a part of the maximum points a student can acquire for a category or final course grade, but will be added to the calculated (final) grade. Note that students are not able to get a score higher than the maximum because of the bonus points, unless you have selected Can Exceed.
  3. Select the desired Grade Scheme.
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Optional: Add a Rubric to the Grade Item.
  2. Adjust the Display Options as desired.

Finally click on Save and Close and that is it!

Display Options and Setting Restrictions allow you to control when and what elements of a grade item students can see. Please see here for more information.

How do I create a Grade Item in a Formula Grading System?
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

First, navigate to Grades > Manage Grades. Next, select New and click on Item. The screen below will appear:

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Choose a Grade Item Type. In this example we will proceed with the most common type: Numeric.

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Insert a name for the Grade Item
  2. Optional: Select a Category for organisation purposes. 
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Enter the value you want the item graded out of in the Maximum Points.

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Optional: Select this option if you want to allow students' grades to exceed the maximum points specified for the item.
  2. Optional: Select Bonus if you want to allow bonus points. Bonus items will not be a part of the maximum points a student can acquire for a category or final course grade, but will be added to the calculated (final) grade. Note that students are not able to get a score higher than the maximum because of the bonus points, unless you have selected Can Exceed.
  3. Select the desired Grade Scheme.
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Optional: Add a Rubric to the Grade Item.
  2. Adjust the Display Options as desired.

Finally click on Save and Close and that is it!

What Grade Items should I use?

There are 6 different types of Grade Items, however we recommend to only use 3 of them.

The following two grade items can be associated to an assessment tool and can be used in the Final Grade Calculation:

  • Numeric: Grade students by assigning a value out of a specified total number of points.
  • Selectbox: You can grade students with a scale or grade scheme i.e. A, B, C; Pass/Fail; or any other text scheme you want to use.

The following grade item can not be associated with an assessment tool, but can be used in the Final Grade Calculation in Formula Grading Systems:

  • Formula: Use formula grade items to automatically grade students using a custom formula based on achievements in other grade items.

Some common types of assessments and their corresponding Grade Item type:

Assessment type Grade Item type
Exam - 100pt Numeric
Presentation - 10pt Numeric
Practical Assignment - Pass/Fail Selectbox + Pass/Fail Grade Scheme
Attendance - Yes/No Selectbox + Custom Grade Scheme
Midterm MC questions - 25 pt
Numeric
Midterm essay questions - 25 pt
Numeric
Midterm MC and Essay total - 45 pt
Formula, e.g Midterm MC + Midterm Essay
OR a Grade Category with the option: Distribute weights by points across all items in the category
Bonus point if attendance was over 75%
Formula, e.g. if value of grade items Attendance 1-10 is 75 or more, then add +1 point. 

Other Grade Item types

The Grade Items below cannot be associated to an assessment, nor are they counted towards students' final grades. Therefore we do not recommend using the Grade Items below:

  • Text: Use text grade items to provide comments that are not counted towards students’ final grades. Use General Feedback instead.
  • Pass/Fail: You can grade students using a simple pass/fail grade scheme. Note that you cannot associate calculated grade items with assessment tools such as discussions, quizzes, and assignments. Use the Selectbox Grade Item+ the Pass/Fail Grade Scheme instead. 
  • Calculated: adding multiple grade items, same can be achieved by using a category. Can not be linked to assessments. Can not be used in Final Grade calculations. Use the Formula Grade Item instead.