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How do I use the grade book?

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How do I use the grade book?

A grade book is used to keep track of the grades of your students. It is recommend to first set up your grade book, before creating grade categories and grade items. You can get more information on setting up your grade book in the following article: How do I set up my grade book?

As you set up your grade book, you can choose:

  • which grading system you feel is most appropriate for your course.
  • how you want to calculate course results.
  • how you would like the grades to be displayed (grade scheme).
  • which course objects you plan to evaluate (grade items).
  • the different display options (what is visible to you and what is visible to the students)

The grade book can be compiled of separate items such as a written exam or an end paper, but it is also possible to subdivide the grade book into categories that each have their own weighing and combine to form the final course grade. You can for instance create categories in the grade book for written exams, assignments, quizzes etc., so that the same grade items end up in the same place. Grade items within the same category do not necessarily have to have the same weight (the category Quizzes can for example count for 10% of the final grade but be compiled of two different quizzes, with quiz 1st semester counting for 60% and quiz 2nd semester counting for 40% of the final quiz grade). 

To get to the grade book:

  • Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Grades.

The first time you navigate to Grades in your course, the Grades Setup Wizard will open automatically. Each time you navigate to Grades from that point on, you will be navigated to the Manage Grades tab by default. If you would like to be navigated to a different tab, you can adjust this in settings.

You will be navigated to the Manage Grades tab. Here you will find an overview of all your grade categories and grade items. In the top navbar you can easily navigate to:

At Enter Grades you can add the student evaluations and assessments for each grade item. This is where you fill in the number of achieved points, not the grade! Brightspace will calculate the grade for you. In addition you cannot add numbers with decimals. Depending on the grade scheme you are using, you can have the grade be calculated in a X number of decimals later on. 

If you use Safari as browser, it is possible that certain items (for example Submissions) cannot be opened due to your browser settings. To solve this read the article: How do I solve problems with external programs with (mobile) use of Brightspace?

Brightspace adds up a total of the grades of the assignments in the column Max. Points. If you use Weighted Grades you only have to look at the right column Weight.

Check your grade book

After building your categories and grade items, it is important to check whether you set it up correctly. Below Manage Grades you can check the composition of your grade book and adjust it easily if necessary. 

Make sure to check the grade book thoroughly, as set-up mistakes have a significant impact on the calculation of the final course grade
For example: Say the category Assignments counts for 20% of the final grade and consists of two assignments that each count for 50%. If you forget to attach an assignment to the category Assignments, this item will end up as a separate item in the grade book. In this case, the assignment will determine 50% of the final course grade instead of 50% of the final assignment grade. 

  1. If items have been entered incorrectly or if any data is missing you receive a warning message at the top of your screen under Note. Check if:
    • All categories are weighted correctly and if they combine to a score of 100%. If this is not the case, you will see a message under Note that reads: Final Calculated Grade’ sums to x%, not 100%. Verify the total weight of all top level categories and items is 100%.
    • All grade items within a category are weighted correctly and add up to a score of 100%. If this is not the case, you will see a message under Note such as: Quizzes’ sums to 20%, not 100%. Verify the total weight of all items in the category is 100%.
  2. Check whether grade items you want to link to Brightspace activities (for example a quiz or assignment) are actually attached (Association). Note: You can attach a grade item to an activity from Activities, not from Grades!
  3. Check whether all grade items are in the correct categories and/or have (un)intended been processed in the grade book as a separate item. You can recognise categories, separate grade items and grade items within a category as follows: 
    • Categories can be easily distinguished from individual grade items  as categories do not contain any data in the columns Type, Association and Max. Points.
    • A grade item has a larger blank space to the left of its name, compared to a category.

Editing items and categories in grade book

There are multiple edit options in the grade book. Each option provides different possibilities.

  1. More Actions:
    • Delete categories and/or grade items (Delete). 
    • Change the order of categories and grade items in the grade book (Reorder).
    • Navigate to the Event Log. This is an overview page of all grade book activities. You can see the categories and grade items that are created/deleted, by whom, when, etc. Furthermore you can restore deleted items. To do this, click on Restore behind the name of the item (all grades that were entered for this item will be restored as well).
  2. Bulk Edit: adjust multiple categories/grade items at the same time. Tick the desired categories and/or grade items and click Bulk Edit. You can now easily edit the Properties of one or more categories/grade items. Change the name or weight and/or connect a grade item to a category (you cannot adjust the Restrictions of a category/grade item in this window). 
  3. The fold-out arrow behind a category/grade item:
    • Edit Grade Itemto manage advanced settings. You navigate to the editorial window of the grade item/the grade category which means you can adjust all tabs.
    • Enter Grades: to enter grades. 
    • View Statistics: to see the statistics for that particular item. 
    • Event Log: to look at an overview of all activity within the grade book. You can also Restore previously deleted items here.
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