1. Setting Up Graded Discussions
    1. Link a Discussion Topic to a Grade Item
    2. Enable Assessment of Individual Discussion Posts
  2. Grading Discussions
    1. Assess a Discussion Topic
    2. Assess an Individual Discussion Post
    3. Grading Discussion Forums in the Gradebook
  3. Video Tutorials

There are multiple ways to grade student participation in discussion topics. In order to grade a discussion, you will need to configure your discussion topic for assessment in your topic settings.

Setting Up Graded Discussions

If you want to grade a discussion, you need to link a grade item to the discussion topic. Once a grade item is linked, Brightspace will automatically include the assessment of the discussion topic in the final grade. The score will be calculated based on an overall grade for the discussion topic unless you choose to enable assessment of individual discussion posts. If individual assessment is enabled, the discussion topic score will then be calculated based on the assessment of each individual post.

How can I verify that a discussion topic is linked to a grade item?

A discussion topic that is linked to a grade item will be indicated with an Includes Assessment icon on your Discussion List page (see example below) 

→You can also verify that your discussion topic is associated to a grade item in your gradebook. For instructions, see the Setting up Grades page.

Link a Discussion Topic to a Grade Item

If you chose to create your Grade Items in the Gradebook, you can associate those Grade Items with each Discussion that you create. You also have the option to create a grade item for your discussion topic in your topic settings. To learn more about grade items, see the Setting up Grades page.

  1. Log in to Brightspace using your MyCarletonOne credentials. 
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector grid , then search for your course name or select your course from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Tools in the course navbar.                
  4. Select Discussions in the drop-down menu.
  5. Locate an existing discussion or create a new discussion.
    • To edit an existing discussion: Click the arrow next to the discussion topic you want to connect to a grade item, then select Edit Topic.                                                                                               
    • To create a new discussion: Click the New Button, then select New Topic.
      NOTE: You will need to add a Topic name before you can access grade item settings in the Assessments tab.

  6. Click the Assessment tab.                   
  7. Do one of the following:
    • Select a grade item from the Choose a grade item drop-down menu
    • Click New grade item to create a new item (see instructions below)
  8. Enter a score value in the Score out of field.
  9. Add or attach a rubric if you will be using a rubric to grade the discussion.
  10. Click Save and Close when you are finished editing your settings.

To create a new grade item within a Discussion:

  1. Under the Assessment tab, click New Grade Item.
  2. Enter the name of the Discussion into the Name field. 
  3. Include a Short Name (abbreviated item name) for the gradebook, if needed.
  4. If you have set up categories in your gradebook, select a grade category from the drop-down menu.
  5. Enter the maximum points (your grading range) students can receive for the discussion.
  6. Enter the weight (%) that you want the grade item to contribute to the category or final grade.
    NOTE: If a grade item is within a category you must specify the weight as a % of the category, not the final grade.
    E.g. 25% of a category worth 30%
  7.  Click Save.

You will now see a grade item for your discussion topic in your gradebook.

Enable Assessment of Individual Discussion Posts

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector grid , then search for your course name or select your course from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Tools in the navbar at the top of your course page.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Discussions.
  5. Locate your discussion topic, then click the arrow next to the topic name.
  6. In the drop-down menu, select Edit Topic.
  7. Click the Assessment tab.                       
  8. Select the Allow assessment of individual posts checkbox.
  9. Select one of the following Calculation Methods from the drop-down menu:
    • Average post score: This calculation method averages all of the post scores included per user.
    • Maximum post score: This calculation method identifies the highest score of all the post scores included per user.
    • Minimum post score: This calculation method identifies the lowest score of all the post scores included per user.
    • Mode post score – Highest on multiple: This calculation method looks at the frequency of scores on posts, then selects the highest occurrence of a score per user. Once it picks the frequency, the system looks to see if multiple scores occur at that frequency. If not, it assigns that score to the user. If there are multiple scores with the same frequency, it will choose the highest of those scores. For example, if a score of 7 occurs 2 times, a score of 8 occurs 3 times, and a score of 9 occurs 3 times, the system will choose the frequency 3 and the score of 9.
    • Mode post score – Lowest on multiple: This calculation method looks at the frequency of scores on posts, then selects the highest occurrence of a score per user. Once it picks the frequency, the system looks to see if multiple scores occur at that frequency. If not, it assigns that score to the user. If there are multiple scores with the same frequency, it will choose the lowest of those scores. For example, if a score of 7 occurs 2 times, a score of 8 occurs 3 times, and a score of 9 occurs 3 times, the system will choose the frequency 3 and the score of 8.
    • Sum of post scores: This calculation method sums up all the scores on posts within a topic.
  10. By default, the Include unassessed posts when calculating the topic score option is disabled. If you want unassessed posts to receive a score of zero in the calculation, select the Include unassessed posts in the calculated score as zero checkbox.
  11. Click Save and Close to return to your Discussion List page, or click Save to continue editing your discussion settings.

Grading Discussions

There are multiple ways to grade a discussion forum in Brightspace. When grading a discussion, you will be taken to an assessment pop-up window where you can review a student’s posts, enter a topic score, and provide feedback.

Ways to grade discussion forums in Brightspace:

Assess a Discussion Topic

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector grid , then search for your course name or select your course from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Tools in the navbar at the top of your course page.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Discussions.
  5. Click the arrow next to the discussion thread you want to grade, then click Assess Topic.
  6. Click Topic Score below the name of the student you want to assess.
  7. A pop-up window will open where you can view the post and enter the following grading information:
    • Enter a Topic Score in the top-right corner of the window.                               
    • Enter feedback in the HTML Editor under General Feedback.
  8. When you are finished assessing the topic, click Publish. You can click Save Draft to save your feedback if you want to publish at a later date.

Assess an Individual Discussion Post

NOTE: In order to grade an individual discussion post, you need to select Allow assessment of individual posts in your discussion topic settings.

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector grid , then search for your course name or select your course from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Tools in the navbar at the top of your course page.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Discussions.
  5. Click the Discussion topic that you want to grade.
  6. Locate the thread you want to grade, then click the arrow next to the thread name.
  7. In the drop-down menu, select Assess Student.         
  8. A pop-up window will open where you can view the post and enter the following grading information:
    • Enter a Topic Score in the top-right corner of the window.                               
    • Enter feedback in the HTML Editor under General Feedback.
  9. When you are finished assessing the topic, click Publish. You can click Save Draft to save your feedback if you want to publish at a later date.

Grading Discussion Forums in the Gradebook

Grades and feedback can be provided on student participation in a discussion topic.

  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On your Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
    • Click on your course under My Courses.
    • Click the Course selector grid , then search for your course name or select your course from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Progress in the course navbar.
  4. Select Grades from the drop-down menu.
  5. The Grades page will open. Click the Manage grades tab at the top of the page.
  6. Find the discussion topic you are assigned to grade from the list. Click the arrow beside the title of the topic of you want to grade, then select Enter Grades from the drop down menu.
  7. You will see a table displaying the grading information for your students.  Students that have made new posts in the discussion will be indicated with an orange discussion icon
  8. Locate the name of the student whose posts you want to grade, then click the discussion icon under the Submission column.
    NOTE: It is a best practice to avoid entering grades directly into the gradebook. It is recommended to grade in the pop-up window by clicking the discussion icon under the Submission column.
    TIP: You may filter students by group or name using the search feature.
  9. A pop-up window will open where you can view and grade the post.
    • If you are grading with a rubric:
      1. An interactive rubric will appear above the student posts.
      2. Click the appropriate level for each criteria. The assigned points will automatically appear in the Criterion Score column.
      3. As you grade in the rubric, the Topic Score in the top-right side of the window will automatically update. This is the score that will be transferred to the gradebook.
        TIP: You may grade between levels of a rubric for partial marks by using the “Criterion score” column of a rubric. For example, you feel that the student earned a 1.5 which is between 1 and 2 on the rubric score. Edit the criterion score and always choose the lower of the two numbers within a rubric!
    • If you are grading without a rubric:
      1. Enter a Topic Score in the top-right side of the window.                               
      2. Enter feedback in the HTML Editor under General Feedback. 
  10. When you are finished assessing the topic, click Publish. You can click Save Draft to save your feedback if you want to publish at a later date.

Video Tutorials

Was this page helpful?

no one has found this useful yet.