Grades | How to use the Grades Setup Wizard

In the Grades tool, if a grade book is not set up or imported for your course, you will see the Grades Setup Wizard page when you first navigate to the Grades tool. 

Before getting started with the grade book

The following things need to be taken into consideration:

  • Which grading system is the most suitable for the course
  • How are points and/or weights best allocated across grade items
  • Which grade items need to be associated with which course objects
  • How is the final grade been calculated

Only Numeric grade items can be associated with course objects

Making changes to a grade book's settings and grade calculations after you started tracking users' grades, can significantly affect existing data. Therefore, we advise not to make changes to the grade book after the grades have been entered.

Navigating to the Grade Setup Wizard

If you have not setup your grade book before, when you click on Grades, you will be automatically taken to the Grades Setup Wizard

Navigate to your course, in the green navigation bar:

  1. Click on Grades
  2. Click on Setup Wizard tab
Navigate to your course, then click on Grades > Click on the Setup Wizard tab

This will open the Grades Setup Wizard homepage, at the bottom of the page,

  1. Click on the Start button
Grades Setup Wizard - at the bottom of the page click on Start

Setting up with Grade Setup Wizard

There are seven steps when setting up the Grade Setup Wizard

Step 1: Choose Grading System

The grading system determines how the grade items in the grade book contribute to users’ final grades, there are three grading systems

  1. Select one of the three options:
  • Weighted system
Grade components are being determined as a percentage of the final grade's value of 100%.

Individual grading components may have any maximum points assigned to them, but their contribution towards the category they belong to and the final grade is the percentage (weight) assigned to them.

  • Example: If Assignemnts Category = 30% of the final Grade and Item 1 = 50% of the Assignments Category, Item 2 = 50% of Assignments Category and Exam = 70% of the Final Grade, then Final Grade = ___% out of 100%
  • Points system
Calculate the final grade by totaling the points users received on grade items. When the max. points assigned to a grade item have to be equal to its contribution to the final grade.

Final grades are calculated by adding a user's score on all grade items together and dividing by the sum of the max. points values. The sum of the max. points values for all grade items do not need to equal 100

  • Example: Assignments Category (40 points) - Item 1 (20 points) - Item 2 (20 points) Exam (200 points) Final Grade = __/240
  • Formula system
Calculate the final grade using a custom formula that lets you set conditions on grade items. Grade items are calculated using the points system, but a formula is used to set conditions around how grade items contribute to the final grade.

  • Example: If users need to receive at least 55% on their midterm and final exam to pass a course, otherwise the user automatically fails the course. IF{ MIN{ [ASSIGNMENT.Percent], [MIDTERM.Percent], [FINAL.Percent] } >= 55, 100, 0.01}

2. Click on Continue

The Formula Grading system is the most commonly used

Choosing a Grading System (Weighted, Points or Formula), then click on continue
Step 2: Final Grade Released

In this step, it is possible to choose which grade item to release as the Final Grades, under Release,

  1. Select the Final Grade release:
  • Calculated Final Grade (recommended)
To calculate the final grade based on the grading formula setup, it cannot be adjusted (manually) without editing grade item scores or the grading formula
  •  Adjusted Final Grade

Can be useful in situations where the student’s grades are modified before they are released.

  • Example:  If you need to fine-tune and adjust some of the grades up or down before they are released
  1. Click on Continue

Selecting Automatically release final grade will result in publishing the final grade as soon as you enter an individual grade and it will keep being updated every time a new individual grade is entered. This might be rather confusing to the students. You can keep this option disabled and manually release at bulk the final grade when everything is checked.

Choose the Final Grade Release (Calculated Final Grade or Adjusted Final Grade) then click on Continue
Step 3: Grade Calculations

For the calculation of the final grade, ungraded items can be treated in two different ways:

  1. Select one of the Ungraded items setting:
  • Drop ungraded items 
Items that do not have a grade inputted are not counted in the final grade.

  • Example: if a student would not complete an assignment, they would not receive a grade, the final calculated grade would NOT consider the failed grade and calculate a potentially passing grade for the student
  • Treat ungraded items as 0 (recommended)
Items that do not have a grade inputted are counted as 0 in the final grade.

  • Example: if a student would not complete an assignment, they would not receive a grade, and the final calculated grade would consider that grade as zero, thus the final grade would potentially be incomplete/partially completed
  1. Click on  Auto Update so that the final grades are automatically adjusted when changes are made to grade items or calculation options
  2. Click on Continue
Grade Calculations, select one of the options for Ungraded items (Drop or Treat), Click on Auto Update then Continue
Step 4: Choose Default Grade Scheme

A grade scheme allows you to organise user's performances on grade items into levels of achievement

On an organisational level, there are several grading schemes:

  1. Select one of the grading schemes to be set as a default for the partial grades:
    • Percentage (%)
    • 1-10 numeric grades, with 2 decimal accuracy and a minimum passing score 5.0
    • 1-10 numeric grades, with 2 decimal accuracy and a minimum passing score 5.5
    • 1-10 numeric grades, with 2 decimal accuracy and no minimum passing score
    • Pass / Fail scheme > 5.5 or Selectbox
    • WUR-grading 1-10, rounds grades based on the Education and Exam Regulations (EER). This grading scheme is only used for the Final Grade

To learn more about the individual grading schemes click on the Preview button (magnifying glass)

  1. Click on Continue
Choose Default Grade Scheme

For Final Calculated grade make sure you use the WUR grading 1-10 which allow alignment with other international grading systems

Step 5: Managing View Display Options

This setting controls how many decimals will be displayed to users grading a course. The Users are Course Coordinators, Lecturers, and Teaching Assistants

  1. Enter the number of decimal places to be displayed, from 0 to 5. By default is set to 2
  2. Click on Continue
Managing View Display Options
Step 6: Student View Display Options  

In this step, the grade display settings for students can be adjusted

  1. Select Grade Details (more than one can be selected):
  • Points grade
Will show the points associated with a grade item depending on the settings of the grading system.

When the selected grading system is Weighted, the student will see the weight of a specific grade item
  • Grade scheme symbol
Will show the symbol (grade) of the selected Grade Scheme (Step 4) equivalent to the obtained Points grade.

In the case of the grade schemes '1-10 (partial grade, 2 decimals)' the grade rounded to 1 decimal will be shown to students.
  • Grade scheme color
The grade will have a green or red colored background depending on whether it is a passing or failing grade respectively
  1. Enter the number of decimal places to display in the student's view
  2. Enter the number of characters to display in the grades list for text items
  3. Choose whether you want to display the final grade calculation to students
  4. Click on Continue
Student View Display Options
Step 7: Grades Setup Summary

The last step provides a summary of all adjustments made in the grade book if all the information is correct

  1. Click on Finish

We recommend using the settings as presented in the following figure, as these lead to fewer issues.

Grades Setup Summary, click on finish

Once you have completed the seven steps, you have successfully set up the Grade Book of your course.

Now you know how to use the Grades Setup Wizard in Brightspace!

Want to know more about Grades in Brightspace?

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