Brightspace Bites: Tips for Setting up and Using Grades
This article is part of a series of tips, tricks, and helpful bits of information on various Brightspace tools.
Follow these tips to set up and use Grades effectively in your courses.
1. The default view in Grades is the Standard View, which shows instructors a summary of student grades. If a student has missed an assessment or a grade needs to be manually entered, select the Switch to Spreadsheet View button to enter the grade into the appropriate box. Press the Save button when done.
2. “Drop ungraded items” and “Treat ungraded items as 0” are the two options available in the Grade Calculations section within the gradebook’s Settings. If using “Drop ungraded items”, instructors should manually enter zeros if a student did not complete an assessment. If using “Treat ungraded items as 0”, however, grades for all assessments will be preassigned a zero by default until the assessments are completed. To check if your course is set to “Drop ungraded items” or “Treat ungraded items as zero”, select Grades from the Navbar and select Settings on the right of the screen. Under the Calculation Options tab, check the appropriate option under Grade Calculations, and press the Save button.
3. To change the Grade Scheme for a grade column (to switch from Algonquin College Letter Grade to percentage or vice versa, for example), select Grades from the Navbar and ensure you are on the Enter Grades screen. Click on the chevron to the right of the grade column’s name and select Edit from the drop down menu. On the Edit page, in the drop down menu below Grade Scheme, select the appropriate Grade Scheme, then press the Save and Close button.
4. When creating a grade Item, ensure that Max. Points and Weight are correct. The item’s Max. Points refers to the number of points the assessment is worth, such as an assignment that is 18 / 20, (where 20 represents the Max. Points). An item’s Weight, however, refers to the percentage that item is worth with respect to the course total, such as an assignment worth 10% of the course’s final grade.
Note: Max. Points and Weight do not need to be the same number.
5. If an activity (such as an Assignment, Quiz, or Discussion topic) is attached to the gradebook, ensure that the Max. Points value for the grade item (in the gradebook) matches the total number of points listed in the activity itself. Verify by selecting Grades in the Navbar, and checking the Max. Points under the Manage Grades tab. Compare the Max. Points value for the grade item to its associated activity by viewing the setup of the specific activity you are assessing; ensure that the values match.
In the example below, Assignment #3 is worth 40 points (Max. Points) in the gradebook. You would then go to Activities > Assignments and check the setup for Assignment #3 to ensure that it is also being graded out of 40 points.
6. To preview Grades from the student perspective, select Grades from the Navbar, and on the Enter Grades screen, click on the chevron to the right of a student’s name then select Preview from the drop down menu.
Note: The Preview will appear in a pop up window.
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