Create Grade Categories

In this article we will explain what Grade Categories are, when to use them and how you can create Grade Categories.

What are Grade Categories?

Grade categories organize and group related grade items into sections in your gradebook, for example, a Writing Assignments grade category to group assignment items and a Class Participation grade category to group discussion items.  

Grade Categories are also useful if you want only the highest grade (for example, a resit) to count for the final calculated grade in a Weighted Grading System.

Get to work with Grade Categories

After you have completed Setting up the Gradebook for the first time with the Grades Setup Wizard you can create Grade Categories, in which you can group Grade Items.

How do I create a Grade Category?
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

First, navigate to Grades > Manage Grades. Next, select New and click on Category. 

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Next, enter a name for your Grade Category.

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome
  1. Enter the total weight (in percentage) that you want the category to contribute towards the final grade.
  2. Choose the desired Distribution
ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Adjust the Display Options as desired.

Finally click on Save and Close and that is it!

What Distribution should I choose?

Manually assign weight to items in the category

Select Manually assign weight to items in the category when Grade Items within a Category have a different weight. Note that Grade Items in a category should combine to a weight of 100%.

As shown above:

  1. We have a Category Midterm, that counts for 10% for the Final Grade
  2. Within that Category we have a Grade Item Midterm MC questions that consists of 25 points and counts for 25% within that category.
  3. And a Grade Item Midterm Essay Question that consists of 10 points and counts for 75% within that category.

Distribute weights by points across all items in the category

This works the same way as Manually assign weight to items in the category , but instead of setting the weights yourself, weights are set depending on the maximum points of the grade items.

As shown above:

  1. We have a Category Midterm, that counts for 10% for the Final Grade
  2. Within that Category we have a Grade Item Midterm MC questions that consists of 25 points
  3. And a Grade Item Midterm Essay Question that consists of 10 points

As you can see in the last column the weights are automatically distributed based on the number of points of the Grade Items.

Distribute weight evenly across all items and drop the lowest grade

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Select Distribute weight evenly across all items and enter a 1 in the box of Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user. With the category configured as above, the lowest grade will be dropped.

This is the way to go if you want to set up Resits in a Weighted Grading System. See here for more information.

When should I use Grade Categories?

As soon as you want to work with Resits in your course with a Weighted Grading System, you'll need to work with Grade Categories. 

Another good reason to work with Grade Categories, is to structure your Gradebook. Especially if you have a lot of grade items in your course.