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Creating a Grade Book Category

Grade book categories let you organize and group related grade items into sections. For example, you could have separate categories for Assignments, Quizzes, Case Studies, Participation, Discussions, etc. When grade items are grouped together in a category, you can distribute points equally across all grade items and drop the highest or lowest item in the group.

grade import alert symbolIf you will exporting/importing your gradebook, please make sure grade categories do not have the same exact name as any grade items, as this will cause an error when uploading.

New Category when Grading System is set to Points

  1. From the Manage Grades area, click New Category New Category.
    New Category screenshot
  2. Type a Name for the category.
  3. If you want, type a Short Name to display in the grade book.
  4. If you want, click Show Description and type a Description of the category.
    • Select the Allow users to view description check box if you want to make the category description available to users.
  5. Select the Can Exceed check box if you want users' grades for the category to be able to exceed the maximum value for the category.
    • Note: If you choose to put bonus items within a category, then you must set the Category properties to "Can Exceed".
  6. Select the Exclude from Final Grade Calculation check box if you want the grade category to be excluded from final grade calculation.
  7. Select the Distribute points across all items if you want all items in the category to be worth the same amount.
    • Points per item - enter the value that you want grade items in the category to contribute toward the final grade.
    • Number of highest non-bonus items to drop for each user - use this option to drop users' highest grades in the category from their final grade. (Note: Only use this option if all grade items in the category are worth the same amount.)
    • Drop Lowest Scores:  Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user - use this option to drop users' lowest grades in the category from their final grade. (Note: Only use this option if all grade items in the category are worth the same amount.)
  8. Set Submission view:
    • Select Display class average to users if you want users to be able to see the class average on the grade items.
    • Select Display grade distribution to users if you want users to be able to see a graph showing how grades were distributed between different percentiles.
  9. Click Save or Save and New to create a new category.
    New Grade Category for Points screenshot

New Category when Grading System is set to Weighted

  1. From the Manage Grades area, click New Category New Category.New Category screenshot
  2. Type a Name for the category.
  3. If you want, type a Short Name to display in the grade book.
  4. If you want, click Show Description and type a Description of the category.
    • Select the Allow users to view description check box if you want to make the category description available to users.
  5. Enter the Weight (%) that you want the category to contribute to the final grade. The grade items with the category contribute toward this weight.
    • Select Allow category grade to exceed category weight if you want users' grades for the category to be able to exceed 100%.
      • Note: If you choose to put bonus items within a category, then you must set the Category properties to "Allow category grade to exceed category weight".
  6. In the Distribute section, choose one of the following options:
    • Manually assign weight to items in the category - this option allows you to choose the points and weight for each grade item within the category. (Note: Make sure the weight of the all the grade items add up to 100)
    • Distrubute weights by points across all items in the category - this option allows you to choose the points for each grade item and the weight is based on the amount of points the grade item is.
    • Distrubute weight evenly across all items - this options will give each grade item the same weight, regardless of the grade item point value. Note: The weight (%) assigned to items adjusts automatically as you add new items.
      1. Number of highest non-bonus items to drop for each user - use this option to drop users' highest grades in the category from their final grade. (Note: Only use this option if all grade items in the category are worth the same amount.)
      2. Drop Lowest Scores:  Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user - use this option to drop users' lowest grades in the category from their final grade. (Note: This option is only available if you the "Distribute weight evenly across all items" option is chosen.)
  7. Set Submission view:
    • Select Display class average to users if you want users to be able to see the class average on the grade items.
    • Select Display grade distribution to users if you want users to be able to see a graph showing how grades were distributed between different percentiles.
  8. Click Save or Save and New to create a new category.
    New Category for Weighted screenshot

New Category when Grading System is set to Formula

  1. From the Manage Grades area, click New Category New Category.New Category screenshot
  2. Type a Name for the category.
  3. If you want, type a Short Name to display in the grade book.
  4. If you want, click Show Description and type a Description of the category.
    • Select the Allow users to view description check box if you want to make the category description available to users.
  5. Select the Can Exceed check box if you want users' grades for the category to be able to exceed the maximum value for the category.
    • Note: If you choose to put bonus items within a category, then you must set the Category properties to "Can Exceed".
  6. Select the Distribute points across all items if you want all items in the category to be worth the same amount.
    • Points per item - enter the value that you want grade items in the category to contribute toward the final grade.
    • Number of highest non-bonus items to drop for each user - use this option to drop users' highest grades in the category from their final grade. (Note: Only use this option if all grade items in the category are worth the same amount.)
    • Drop Lowest Scores: Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user - use this option to drop users' lowest grades in the category from their final grade. (Note: Only use this option if all grade items in the category are worth the same amount.)
  7. Set Submission view:
    • Select Display class average to users if you want users to be able to see the class average on the grade items.
    • Select Display grade distribution to users if you want users to be able to see a graph showing how grades were distributed between different percentiles.
  8. Click Save or Save and New to create a new category.
    New Category for Formula screenshot

Grade category options

Option Procedure
Allow users’ grades to exceed the maximum value for the category Select the Can Exceed check box.

Weighted system example  You create an “Assignments” category that contains two grade items: A1 and A2. Both assignments are worth 50% of the category and can exceed the weight specified. Frank Catcher receives 100% on A1 and 110% on A2. Frank receives 105% in the Assignments category.

Points system example  You create an “Assignments” category that contains two grade items: A1 and A2. Both assignments are out of 10 points and can exceed the maximum points specified. Frank Catcher receives 12/10 and 9/10 on the grade items.
Exclude items in the category from the final grade calculations Select either:
  • 0% in the Weight field in the weighted system.
  • Exclude from Final Grade Calculation in the points system.
Distribute points evenly across items in the category Select either:
  • Distribute weight evenly across all items in the weighted system.
  • Distribute points across all items in the points or formula system. Then enter the Points per item.
Drop the highest or lowest grade item in a category Enter the number of items to drop in either:
  • Number of highest non-bonus items to drop for each user
  • Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user
Note  Grades must be distributed evenly to use this option and you cannot drop bonus items.

Change what users see for this category from your standard display settings
Select or clear:
  • Display class average to users
  • Display grade distribution to users

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