Setting Up Your Gradebook

All of the grades for each student in a course can be found in the course gradebook.  cuLearn’s gradebook can calculate your Course total based on the grade items you create and their corresponding weights (if you simply wish to sum all of the grades in your gradebook in order to calculate your Course total, you will need to change the Aggregation type to “Natural“) .

Sample Gradebook with Weights

Let’s take a look at a sample gradebook in order to get a better idea of how to set up your gradebook.

Mark and Weight Breakdown:

Items maximum mark possible
Assignments (4)
100 20 (%5 for each assignment)
Tests (2) 100 20 (%10 for each test)
Course project 100 15
Final exam 100 40
Participation 10 5

The grades for our sample course are distributed as follows :

  • Assignments 20% (four assignments); each assignment is worth 100 points/marks
  • Tests 20% (two tests); each test is worth 100 points/marks
  • Course project 15 %; worth 100 points/marks
  • Participation 5%; worth 10 points/marks
  • Final exam 40%; worth 100 points/marks

By sitting down with your syllabus on the first day of classes and entering each grade item, you will save yourself a lot of work at the end of term.

Please ensure that the weights add up to 100.  Otherwise, the gradebook will adjust students’ grades as if they were out of 100; the gradebook will not tell you that your weights do not add up properly.

To Create a Grade Item

Every piece of assessment (such as the assignments, tests/quizzes, course project, final exam and participation in the above example) are ALL called Grade items.

Adding a Grade item:

  1. Click Grades from the Course administration section on the left side of your cuLearn course page.Categories and Items
  2. Click the Setup tab (make sure you are in the Categories and items tab-see image).
  3. Click Add grade item</strong> at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Fill in the (Grade) Item name and Max grade (the number of points you will be grading the item out of).  Leave the default for remaining options.
  5. Click Save Changes.
  6. Your Grade item will now appear in your gradebook.

Entering the Weight

WEIGHT:  Each grade item (or category) can be assigned a weight counting towards the course total.  (For example if an assignment is graded out of a total of 50 points but is worth 10% of the course total, enter 10 or 0.1 in the Weight box associated with the grade item/assignment).

By default, cuLearn gives newly-created Grade items a weight of 1.0.

To change the weight of the new Grade item

  1. Delete the 1.0 from the corresponding box under the Weight column
  2. Enter the desired Weight (see image below).
  3. Click Save Changes.
    Make sure your Weights are entered properly (otherwise your Course total will be calculated incorrectly). 

Using Categories

The Category option allows instructors to:

  • collect similar types of assessments together.  For our example, in our sample gradebook above, there will be two categories: Assignments and Tests.  We only have one Course Project, one Final Exam and one Participation grade item so we do not need a category for these items.
  • help when adding a bonus mark
  • exclude the lowest grade from the grades items of the same nature (e.g excluding the lowest assignment or the lowest test mark).
  • include only the highest grade of a certain number of quizzes or assignments.

cuLearn does NOT calculate totals from Categories:  Grades items must be used all the time. When Categories are created, grades items must also be created and placed in their respective categories.

Adding a Category:

  1. In the Setup tab within your gradebook, click Add category at the bottom of the page (just above Add grade item).
  2. Fill in the Category name (Assignments, for example)
  3. Click Save changes at the bottom of the page.

Moving Your Grade Items into a Category

Now that you have added Categories, you need to add the corresponding Grade items INTO the correct Categories: Grade items to catgories

  1. Check the box beside the Grade items you wish to move
  2. Select the destination Category from the drop down menu under “Move selected items to”move selected items to
  3. Assign the weight to each Category  Category weight box
  4. Click Save changes

Other Methods of Aggregation:

Natural­ – This method simply adds/sums up the values you enter; grade weights are ignored. For instance, a student who got 50/70 and 20/30 on the two assignments in the course would receive a final grade of 70/100.

Mean of Grades –Calculates the average of all grade items in the category (the sum of all grades divided by the number of grade items).

Most instructors choose to use either the Weighted Mean of Grades or Natural grading method.  To change the method of aggregation click on Edit in the “Actions” column to the right of your course code (at the top of your list of grade items);  click “Edit settings”. Click “Show more” under grade category and click the drop down menu you see here.