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Creating Categories, Items, Formulas and Grade schemes

Creating Categories, Items, Formulas and Grade schemes

In this section, we will explain how to create Grade Categories, Grade Items and Grade Schemes in Brightspace. Within Brightspace you can add as many Grade Items as you want. You can use Grade Categories to group them. A grade scheme is used to determine the value of the grade (1-10, percentage, pass/fail, ABCD, etc.). If you would like to read more about the use of Grade Categories and grade items, please visit the Introduction to Brightspace gradebook page.

The following guidelines assume that you have already set up your Grade book using the Setup Wizard. If you have not done that yet, please follow the information on this page, here, before continuing.

Because Categories are used to group Grade Items, it is advisable to create Categories for Assignments, Quizzes and other grouped Grade Items.

  1. Go to Grades and select Manage Grades
  2. Select New and select Category
  3. Give a Name to the category
  4. (Optional): You can also provide a Short Name and Description to the category
  5. Depending on whether you are using Point or Weighted Grade System, you will see different Distribution options. You need to decide how would you like to distribute the grade items in the category

If you are using the Weighted Grade System, enter the total weight (in percentage) that you want the category to contribute towards the final grade.

If choosing Points Grade System, you can decide how many points need to be distributed across all items in the category.

  1. Set up additional Display Options as per your need.
  2. Finally click on Save.

After the creation of the categories, they can be filled with Grade items. These can be associated to the learning tools, such as Assignments, Quizzes and others.

It is important to create a Grade Item for all your assessments (quizzes and assignments), because the system does not create these automatically.

  1. Go to Grades and select Manage Grades
  2. Select New and select Item
  3. Select the grade item type that fits your grading scenario, i.e. Numeric, Selectbox, Pass/Fail, Text, Calculated and Formula.
  4. You will enter into the settings belonging to the selected Grade Item type. Give the grade item a Name and select a Category that the grade item needs to be a part of.
  5. (Optional): You can also provide a Short Name and Description to the grade item.
  6. Enter the value you want the item graded out of in the Maximum Points
    • If you are using the Points System, you can also choose the Exclude from Final Grade Calculation option.
    • If you are using the Weighted System, enter the Weight (%) you want the grade item to contribute to the category. If the item does not belong to a category, the Weight you enter contributes to the final grade. If you want to exclude an Weighted Grade item from the Final Grade Calculation, you can do this by putting the weight to 0%.
  1. Select the Grade Scheme.
  2. If you would like to associate a rubric with the grade item, select Add Rubric.
  3. Set up additional Display Options as per your need.
  4. Finally click on Save.

To sort your grade categories and items, click Grades followed by Manage Grades. In the dropdown menu from the More Actions button select the option to Reorder. Change the sort order of the items and then click Save.

Using Formulas

You can use a Formula to customise your Grade Items and/or the Final Calculated Grade Item. Below you will find instructions on both. We will start with creating a Grade Item type: Formula, after that there is a description on how to add a Formula to a Final Calculated Grade Item and the steps to create a new grade scheme.

Formula grade items are used to automatically grade users using a custom formula based on achievements in other grade items.

The following limitations apply to formula grade items:

  • They cannot belong to a category.
  • You must create all of the grade items you want to include in the formula grade item before you create the formula.
  • Formula grade items do not contribute to the calculated final grade in a points-based or weighted-based grade book.
  • You can only calculate the final grade with formula grade items using the Formula grading system.
  • Formula grade items cannot be associated with discussions, quizzes, and assignments. Only numeric grade items can be associated with these course objects.

Create a Grade Item with type Formula:

  1. On the navbar, click Grades.
  2. On the Manage Grades page, from the New button, click Item > Formula.
  3. In the General area, enter your grade item details.
  4. In the Grading area, enter the Maximum Points for the grade item. Then, do any of the following:
    • To define the formula for your grade item, click the Edit Using the Formula Editor link. In the Formula Editor window, enter your formula and click Insert.
    • If you want users’ grades to be able to exceed the maximum points specified for the item, select the Can Exceed check box.
    • From the Grade Scheme drop-down list, select a grading scheme for your grade item.
    • To attach a rubric to the grade item, click Add Rubric.
  1. In the Display Options area, select how you want the Learner View and Managing View for the grade item to appear.
  2. Click Save and Close.
  1. If you set up a Formula with the Grade Setup Wizard, please skip to step 4. If you did not setup a Formula through the Grade Setup Wizard, click on Grades and go to Settings.
  2. Go to the Calculation Options tab and select Formula under the heading Grading System.
  3. Click on Save and once the changes have been saved click on Close.
  4. Click on Grades and go to Manage Grades.
  5. Click on the dropdown menu next to Final Calculated Grade item and select Edit.
  6. In the Grading section click on Edit Using the Formula Editor to define the Formula that will calculate the grade.
  7. To input functions or logical operators, click on the Function drop-down. Grade items to which these logic operators apply can be inserted in the dropdown menu next to Grade Item. Please note that an IF statement requires two inputs (and could therefore be regarded as an if/else statement in some programming languages).  Some examples are given below. In this last image, the following logic is applied: IF the student made the resit exam (and got awarded more than 1 point for it), then the grade is calculated by the formula:
    if (student wrote the resit exam):
    grade = (0.2 * Assignment) + (0.3 * Report) + (0.5 * Resit exam)
    grade = (0.2 * Assignment) + (0.3 * Report) + (0.5 * Final exam)
    You can also download an additional file that gives an overview of some of the options that you can use along with few examples.
  8. Set up additional Display Options to suit your needs.
  9. Finally click on Save.
  1. From the navigation bar, click Grades.
  2. On the Schemes page, click New Scheme.
  3. Give the new scheme a Name and (optional) Short Name.
  4. In the Ranges area, enter your scheme details. If you do not assign a value in the Assigned Value % field, the Start % is used as the default.
  5. To add more levels to your scheme, click Add Ranges.
  6. Click Save and Close.

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