How to Create a Grade Column in the Gradebook

The purpose of this article is to explain how to create a grade column in the Brightspace gradebook.

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. Before creating a graded assignment, quiz, or discussion board, you should first create the grade item (cloumn) in the gradebook.


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

in Brightspace

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