Brightspace: Gradebook

In this document we will demonstrate the process for creating a gradable object in the gradebook in Brightspace.

  1. Creating a gradebook column
  2. Create a gradable object
  3. Create a content area for the gradable object.


TIP: Brightspace handles grades much differently than Blackboard. In Blackboard, when you create a gradable object it creates an entry in the gradebook. Brightspace does not do that; a column is NOT automatically created.

Creating a gradebook column.

You will create an item (column) in the gradebook for the grade, give it a name, and assign it a weight. You will also decide whether to make viewing the grade by the student immediately available.

Step 1

Click Grades in the navbar.

Step 2

  1. Click Manage Grades
  2. Click New

Step 3

You will see two choices: Item and Category.

Item: Gradable objects (Ex: Quiz, Discussion Board. etc)
Category (Optional):

  • To group (grade) items to make up a certain weighted percentage of the final grade. Ex: Quizzes = 30%, Assignments = 60%, Discussion Board= 10%. Each of this items is a category
  • To drop the lowest graded item of a group. Ex: Weekly case studies (Category =  Case Studies) You are able to select to drop the lowest graded item on that category.

Step 4 (Category)

Click Category

  1. Category name
  2. Short Name (optional)
  3. Grading. Can Exceed: Select this option if you want users’ grades for the category to be able to exceed the maximum value for the category. Ex: 22/20
  4. Exclude from Final Grade Calculation
  5. Distribute points across all items: Select this option if you want all items in the category to be worth the same amount
    a. Points per item: Enter the value that you want grade items in the category to contribute toward the final grade
    b. Number of highest non-bonus items to drop for each user: Use this option to drop users’ highest grades in the category from their final grade.
    You can only use this option if all grade items in the category are worth the same amount
    c. Number of lowest non-bonus items to drop for each user: Use this option to drop users’ lowest grades in the category from their final grade.You can only use this option if all grade items in the category are worth the same amount
  6. Display Options
  7. Save and Close

Step 5

You will now see your category in the gradable list under Manage Grades.

Step 4 (Item)

Click Item.

Step 5

Select Numeric (the first choice). (The other choices cannot be calculated into a final grade.)

Step 6

  1. Name: Give each assignment a unique name



    TIP: To distinguish between the grade column and the actual gradable object, give the two slightly different but related names. The column:  Questionoftheweek1_grade and  the actual gradable assignment Questioinoftheweek1_assignment. That way when you are looking at it in Brightspace you know whether you are looking at the column or the actual assignment itself.
  2. Short Name: Enter a short version of the grade item name (or an abbreviation) to display in the grade book to save space.
  3. Category: If you are placing this assignment into a category, select the category. If you do not want it to go into a category, leave the default to None. Grading settings from the Category will apply.
  4. Maximum Points: Enter the desired maximum grade value



    TIP: Always assign a maximum number of points to 100 regardless of how much the assignment may be worth in the final grade. You are specifying the item’s weight based on the weight inside the category not the grade for the course.
  5. Can Exceed: Select this option if you want to allow users’ grades to exceed the maximum points specified for the item.
  6. Bonus: Items are not included in the maximum points for a category or final grade. They are added on top of the calculated grade. Bonus items cannot make users’ grades exceed the maximum points specified, unless the Can Exceed option is selected.
  7. Exclude from Final Grade Calculation: Select this option if you want the grade item to be excluded from final grade calculation
  8. Grade Scheme: Grade schemes let you represent users’ grades with symbols or labels.
  9. Rubrics
  10. Display Options
    a. Display class average to users
    b: Display grade distribution to users: Select this option if you want to allow users to see a graph showing how grades were distributed between different percentiles
    c. Override display options for this item: Select this option if you want graded users to view grade information for this item differently from other items in the grade book
  11. Save and Close

Create a gradable object

Create an assessment. It can be a submitted assignment, quiz/exam, or a discussion board posting. (For the purposes of this document, we will create an assignment). You will link it to the column you want for it in the gradebook that you created in Section 1.

Step 1

Click on Assessments on the navbar and select Assignments

Step 2

Click New Folder.

Step 3

  1. Give the assignment a name. Give it a name similar to, but NOT identical to the column name.
  2. Keep it as an individual submission folder if it is not a group project assignment.
  3. New Category. If you want to add an assignment category (Go to step 4)

Step 4

  1. New Assignment Category: Different than grade categories.  You will NOT see your grade column categories here. Categories here are used to group assignments. You can use it to group for modules or weeks.
    Note: Discussion board topics cannot be categorized in the gradable objects category environment. 

Step 5

Grade Item:  Dropdown of columns in the gradebook that are available.  Tie the gradable object with previously created grade column.
Note: If you didn’t create a grade column you can create a New Grade Item here. This option will give you less options than building the grade column first.

Step 6

  1. Put in 100 in the textbox.
  2. If you set the viewability of the grade column correctly, leave Student View Preview set to its default.
  3. You can type in instructions here for the student. These instructions will appear in the content module when you create that.

Step 7

  1. Submission options
  2. Save and Close

Note: When the “key” icon shows by an assignment, the item is tied to a column in the gradebook.

Create a content area for the gradable object

Step 1

Click Content on the navbar. Select the module you want the gradable object to appear in or create a new module.

Step 2

  1. Once you are in the module (in this example the module name is “Week1”, click Add Existing Activities. This will be a gray button just to the right of the blue New button.
  2. Click on Assignments.

Step 3

Select the assignment in the popup window.

NOTE that it is listed in draft mode. 

Step 4

  1. Click the next to our newly created assignment.
  2. Select Edit Properties in place.

Step 5

  1. Start Date
  2. Due Date: When the assignment must be submitted by. Failure to submit by then will result in some type of instructor defined penalty.
  3. End Date: The actual assignment will disappear from student view in the content area. If you do not set a due date, the end date will be treated as the due date. The item will be greyed out on the student view, when the end date is met.
  4. Release conditions
  5. Description

Step 6

Change draft mode to Published.




TIP: If you suspect some students may late submit, with your permission, move the end date out beyond the due date. They can still submit after the due date and you won’t have to create a new submission area for allowed late submissions.

in Brightspace

Related Articles