How do I set up my Gradebook?

The Gradebook is the hub for all graded activities and points earned by students in your site. There are several settings you can configure for your Gradebook, such as

Video Guide

Step-by-Step Instructions

Go to Gradebook.

Select Gradebook from the Tool Menu in your site.

Select the Settings tab.

Screenshot shows Settings page after selecting Settings tab. Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.

Review and edit settings.

Grade Entry

You may select either a Points-based or a Percentages-based gradebook, depending on your preferred method of grading.

Tip: Refer to the articles on how grades are calculated in a points Gradebook and how grades are calculated in a percentage Gradebook for insights on how these grade entry options affect overall grade calculations in Gradebook.

Grade Release Rules

  1. The Display released Gradebook items to students option is enabled by default to allow students to view all released items in Gradebook.  It is recommended to leave this global setting enabled to ensure that any items released to students will be visible to students.  Individual items may be hidden or released when you create or edit gradebook items
  2. The Display final course grade to students allows students to see their final course grade during the semester.  The grade can be presented as just the letter grade or can include calculated percentage/points.  

The Points option is only available when Gradebook has been configured to use no categories or Categories only.  

Categories and Weighting

You can choose to have No categories, Categories only, or Categories & weighting in your gradebook.

  • No categories - Uses simple grade calculation based strictly on the points or percentages of all your gradebook items, without any groupings or automatic dropping of items.
  • Categories only - Groups similar gradebook items, e.g., all homework, or all projects. This option supports dropping the lowest or highest grades, keeping the highest grades, and assigning all items within a category equal weight.
  • Categories & weighting - Groups items and applies a weight to the average score of items within each category. This option also supports dropping the lowest or highest grades, keeping the highest grades, and assigning all items within a category equal weight.  

For more information, see How are grades calculated in a points Gradebook? or How are grades calculated in a percentage Gradebook?

Important: Categories require at least one gradebook item in order to enter grades, since grades can only be assigned for items.

Tip: In order to drop or keep grades and assign equal weight, you must select either Categories only or Categories & weighting.

Categories only
Screenshot shows enabling Categories only (steps below). Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.
  1. Select the radio button for Categories only.
  2. Add a title in the Category column.
  3. To add more categories, click on the Add a Category button, then repeat step #2.
Categories & weighting
Screenshot shows enabling Categories & weighting (steps below). Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.
  1. Select the radio button for Categories & Weighting.
  2. Add a title in the Category column.
  3. Enter the percentage weighting for each category into the % column.  
  4. The Total field displays a running total of all category weights.
  5. Select Add a category to add and enter titles and weights for new categories.

Note: The percentage of all categories taken together must total 100% (or more, if an Extra Credit category is used).

Enable drop lowest and/or keep highest. (Optional)
Screenshot shows enabling drop/keep options (steps below). Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.

If you selected either Categories only or Categories & weighting, the options to enable drop/keep will appear.  All items within a given category must have the same score value in order to use the drop/keep options unless Equal weight has been enabled for that category.

  1. Select the checkbox for each of the desired drop/keep options.
    • Drop Highest: Automatically drops the highest score(s) among items in a category.
    • Drop Lowest:  Automatically drops the lowest score(s) among items in a category.
    • Keep Highest:  Similar to Drop Lowest, but works in reverse to automatically keep the highest score(s) among items in the category (e.g., in a category with 10 items, you may elect to keep the highest 9 grades).
  2. In the appropriate column, enter the number of items in each category that you wish to drop or keep.  

Tip: For information about dropping or keeping grades, see How does Gradebook calculate automatically dropped grades?

Enable Equal weight (Optional).

Selecting the Equal weight option in the Categories & weighting settings will add an Equal Weight column.  Checking the Equal Weight box beside a category will treat all items in that category as if they were scored out of 100% of the points possible for each item, regardless of the actual point value.

Enabling Equal weight allows you to use the drop/keep highest/lowest options for a category that contain gradebook items with different points.

Create an extra credit category (Optional).
Screenshot shows enabling extra credit (steps below). Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.

To designate an Extra Credit category, select the checkbox in the Extra Credit column next to the category.  Extra credit items will be added to the student's total grade, but unearned extra credit points do not detract from the overall grade in this category, if not completed. For more information on extra credit, see How does extra credit work? 

Tip: Gradebook items may be designated as Extra Credit, however, you cannot have an extra credit item within an extra credit category.

Reorder categories.
Screenshot shows reorder icon used to drag and drop. Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.

You may drag and drop to reorder categories. Click on the reorder icon to the left of the category and drag it to the new location.

Delete categories.

To delete a category, select the Remove button for that category.

Grading Schema

Verify that the grading scale matches your syllabus and/or the minimum grade thresholds used by your school or department.

Choose the correct Grade Type for your students from the menu of all grading types in use at UVA. The default grading type is UG-GRD (undergraduate graded).  For steps to check which Grade Type your students require, see Show or hide grading schemas in the article about customizing your Gradebook display.

Modify Minimum % (Optional)

The default Minimum % letter grade values for the selected Grade Type are displayed. To customize the percentage for any of the letter grades, enter the desired percentage into the corresponding letter grade fields.

Note: Gradebook minimum percentages will not round up to the next highest letter grade, e.g., 89.9 will calculate a course grade of B+, rather than rounding up to an A. You may adjust your minimum threshold values to calculate course grades per your grading scale, as needed.

Save your changes.

Once you've finished with your gradebook setup, select the Save Changes button at the bottom to apply and save your changes.