1. Complete the Setup Wizard 
  2. Set up grade categories
  3. Create Grade Items
    1. Create or link a grade item through a Brightspace assessment tool
    2. Create a grade item in the Gradebook
    3. Verify your grade items are linked to your activity in Brightspace
    4. Grade Category Settings Options
    5. Brightspace Video Resources

All Brightspace courses come with a built-in grades tool that instructors can customize to display course grading information. Once an instructor or TA has entered and released grades in the gradebook, students can view their grades in their own individual grader reports. 

You can configure the setup of your gradebook under the Manage Grades  tab of your gradebook.

To setup your gradebook: 

  1. Complete the Setup Wizard 
  2. Set up grade Categories to group similar assessments together (ex/ Quizzes)
  3. Create Grade Items

Complete the Setup Wizard 

The Setup Wizard is the first step in creating your gradebook. If this is your first time accessing Grades in your sandbox or course, you will automatically be directed to the seven-step Setup Wizard. You can return to the Setup Wizard at any time through the Setup Wizard  tab. 

The Setup Wizard allows you to: 

  • Establish a grading system 
  • Determine your final calculation method 
  • Identify what to do with ungraded items (i.e. assign a zero? Or ignore?) 
  • Choose grade scheme 
  • Set Display settings 
TIP:  While you are completing the setup wizard, you can click the question mark icons for additional information about certain settings options.

To complete the Setup Wizard:

  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. Select Progress in the course navbar.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Grades.  
  5. Click the Setup Wizard tab.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Start. You will automatically be taken to step one of the seven-step Setup Wizard.
Step 1: Choose Grading System
  1. Choose one of the following grading systems to determine how your students will be evaluated:
    • Weighted system: grades are calculated as a percentage of the final grade; grade items can be organized into categories.
    • Points: Each grade item has a maximum point value; final grades are calculated by adding all grade items together and dividing by the total points. 
    • Formula system: allows you to create a custom formula for your gradebook.
      NOTE: Weighted is the default setting for Carleton.
  2. Click Continue. 
Step 2: Final Grade Released
  1. Choose one of the following options to determine how final grades will be released to students:
    • Calculated Final Grade: Final grades are calculated automatically; You cannot adjust the final grades without adjusting the gradebook itself; this setting can be changed later as well 
      NOTE: We recommend Calculated Final Grade during the semester. If you need to adjust final grades at the end of the semester, you can enable Adjusted Final Grades at that point.  Note this setting is only relevant if you release final grades to students in Brightspace.

    • Adjusted final grade: Grades can be adjusted as needed.
  2. Click Continue. 
Step 3: Grade Calculations
  1. Choose how to treat ungraded items by selecting one of the following options:
    • Dropungraded items – Items that do not have a grade inputted are not counted in the final grade.
    • Treat ungraded items as 0 – Items that do not have a grade inputted are counted as 0 in the final grade.
      NOTE: Treat ungraded items as 0 is the recommended setting for maximum flexibility.
  2. Ensure the Auto Update box is selected to keep final grades updated in the grade book.
  3. Click Continue. 
Step 4: Choose Default Grade Scheme

  1. Keep the grade scheme as the percentagescheme default. 
    NOTE: Percentage scheme is recommended as the default. Letter grade schemes may be selected at the end of the semester to facilitate the conversion of grades to letters. Letter grades can then be exported as Excel files to be uploaded into Carleton Central.
  2. Click Continue.
Step 5: Managing View Display Options

  1. Enter the number of decimal places that will be displayed in the grade book. The number must be between 0-5.
    NOTE: The number of decimal places is for the Enter Grades view only. Manage grades will still show several decimal places.
  2. Click Continue.
Step 6: Student View Display Options
  1. Customize the following Student View Display Options: 
    NOTE: These settings only apply if the final grade has been released to students.
    • Points Grade – Grades will be displayed to students as a point value  Ex. 75/100
    • Weighted Grade – Grades will be displayed to students as a percentage Ex. 75%
    • Grade Scheme Symbol – Grades will be displayed to students as a symbol (letter grade) Ex. B+ NOTE: Only select this option if you have set up a grade scheme
    • Grade Scheme Colour – If a grade scheme has been set up, the student’s grade will have a shaded background colour that corresponds to the grade scheme symbol. Ex. a green background for an A grade.
    • Decimals displayed – Enter the number of decimals used for student grade calculations. The default is 2. The number must be between 0-5.
    • Characters Displayed – This setting determines how many characters of a Text grade item display on the user list. The default is 50 characters.
    • Final Grade Calculation – Select this box if you want students to view their final grade calculation.
  2. Click Continue.
Step 7: Grades Setup Summary

  1. Review your Grades Setup Summary .
  2. Click Finish.
    TIP:  Click Go Back to return to previous steps and adjust any of your grade settings.

You have now set up your gradebook and can begin adding categories.

NOTE: You can change these settings by accessing the Grades tool Settings gear after you have setup your gradebook. You do not need to use the Setup Wizard again. 

Set up grade categories

Grade categories allow you to organize and categorize the items in your gradebook. You can use categories to group assessments in your gradebook, such as assignments, quizzes, or discussions.

See the D2L video tutorial or follow the instructions below:

Set up a grade category
  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 Progress in the navbar.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Grades.  
  5. Click the Manage Grades tab.
  6. Click the New button.
  7. In the drop-down menu, select Category.
  8. On the New Category page, configure your category settings under the following headings:
    • General
      1. Enter a name for your category.
      2. If your Category name is complex, you can choose to add a Short Name which will appear in the grade spreadsheet.  
      3. To add a description (optional) for the category, click Show Description to enter a description in the HTML editor.
    • Grading
      NOTE: The settings under the grade heading will differ depending on whether you have set up your gradebook using a weighted or points grade calculation system.
      • If your gradebook is set up using a weighted system:
        1. Enter a weight for the category. Brightspace defaults to a weight of 10. Check the option of allow the category grade to exceed the category weight if needed.
        2. Select one of the following Distribution options:
          • Manually assign weight to items in the category – Choose this option if the grade items in your category will have different weights.
          • Distribute weight by points across all items in the category – Choose this option to distribute the weight according to the number of points given for each item in the category.
          • Distribute weight evenly across all items –  Choose this option to make all grade items in your category evenly weighted. You can enable Brightspace to automatically drop the highest or lowest grade items in the category by entering the number of non-bonus items to drop for each user (optional).
            NOTE: the default is for you to manually assign weight to each item in the category.
      • If your gradebook is set up using a points system:
        1. Select Distribute points across all items.
        2. Enter the number of points per item. 
  9. Adjust any display options as desired.
  10. Click Save and Close. 

Your grade category will now appear in blue under the “Manage Grades” tab of your gradebook (see example of an “Assignments” grade category below.

Create Grade Items

There are multiple avenues for setting up a Grade Item in Brightspace. Depending on how you choose to set up the activities and gradebook in your course, you may find that one method is more suited to your needs. Grade items can be created within the gradebook or you can create/link a gradebook item through a tool, such as an assignment, quiz, or discussion. 

Should I create a grade item first or an assessment (e.g. Quiz, Assignment, Discussion) first?

It does not matter which is created first as long as you verify your assessments are linked in the gradebook.

See the D2L video tutorial or follow the instructions below:

Create or link a grade item through a Brightspace assessment tool

Create a grade item in the Gradebook

  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 Progress in the navbar.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Grades.  
  5. Click the Manage Grades tab.
  6. Click the New button.
  7. In the drop-down menu, select Item
  8. Choose a grade item type from the list of options. Numeric is the most common
  9. Enter the name of the Discussion into the Name field. 
  10. Include a Short Name (abbreviated item name) for the gradebook, if needed.
  11. If you have set up categories in your gradebook, select a grade category from the drop-down menu.
  12. Enter the maximum points (your grading range) for the grade item.
  13. Enter the weight (%) that you want the grade item to contribute to the category or final grade
  14. The default grading scheme (how student’s will view their grades) is Percentage. To adjust how grades will be displayed, click the Grade Scheme drop-down menu and select one of the options (e.g. Pass/Fail, Letter Grades)
  15. Click Save.

Verify your grade items are linked to your activity in Brightspace

  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 Progress in the navbar.
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Grades.  
  5. Click the Manage Grades tab.
  6. Verify the grade item is linked in the Association column of your grades table. You should see the name of the associated tool and a question mark. Click the question mark icon  to view confirmation of the associated activity name.                           

Grade Category Settings Options

  • Short Name: If your Category name is complex, you can choose to add a Short Name which will appear in the grade spreadsheet.  
  • Description: Adding a Description of the Category is optional. 
  • Manually assign weights to items in the category: The default is for you to manually assign the points and the weight to each item in the category.  
  • Distribute weights by points across all items in the category: If you choose this option, the gradebook will calculate the weight based on the number of points you assign to each item in the category. 
  • Distribute weights evenly across all items: This option will default to distributing the points evenly however, it also allows you to choose between dropping a specified number of non-bonus items for each user. You have the choice to drop the highest non-bonus items or the lowest non-bonus items. Note that this option displays in the learner view of grades from the first graded assignment as “Dropped item!”.  
  • Exclude from Final Grade CalculationTo exclude a Category from the final grade calculation, set the Category weight to zero. 
  • Student View: Select from the three options if you want to modify grade information in the student view. The default is that students will see the points, the weight and the grade scheme symbol. 
NOTE: Options for setting up Items in the gradebook will vary depending on whether you add the Item to a Category and on the Grade Item Type you have selected. The most basic steps are listed and a table explaining options is provided.

Brightspace Video Resources

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