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How do I set up my grade book? Administration | Grades

An instructional video is included for this subject. This instructional video will provide a step-by-step explanation about how the setup wizard works. Below the video you will find the written manual.

What is the Grades Setup Wizard?

With the help of the Grades Setup Wizard, you can set up the grade book: the Brightspace page where you keep track of the grades of your students. You can choose:

  • Which Grading System you would like to use. 
  • The way you want the Final Grade to be calculated. 
  • When Grades become visible to students. 
  • What information you want to display to your students.

Every choice you make at the Setup Wizard, will be reflected back in your grade book later on. 

Would you like to read more about Grades and the Grade Book before continuing? Read the following articles: How do I use Grades in my course? and How does the Grade book work?

Start the Grades Setup Wizard

  • Navigate to Administration in the navbar of your course.
  • Select Grades.

 

  1. Click Setup Wizard in the menu below the navbar (you will now see an overview of the current settings of your grade book). 
  2. Click Start at the bottom of the screen to start working with the Setup Wizard.

Follow the seven steps of the Setup Wizard:

  • Step 1: Choose Grading System
  • Step 2: Final Grade Released
  • Step 3: Grade Calculations
  • Step 4: Choose Default Grade Scheme
  • Step 5: Managing View Display Options
  • Step 6: Student View Display Options
  • Step 7: Grades Setup Summary

In between steps, click Continue/Back to move to the next/previous step, or click Cancel to cancel your input.

Step 1: Choose Grading System

In Brightspace you can choose from three different grading models (Grading Systems) for the calculation of course results:

  • Weighted: the different grade items each have a specific weight and in sum make up the course's final grade, worth a total score of 100%.

For example: two group assignments in sum count for 20% of the final grade (with assignment 1 and assignment 2 each counting for 50% of the final assignment grade). The written exam (final exam) counts for 80%. The final grade of the student then consists of a certain percentage of the total score of 100%. 

  • Points: Grade items can be worth a certain amount of points that are totaled for a final grade.

For example: two group assignments in sum count for 40 points of the final course grade (with assignment 1 and assignment 2 both contributing 20 points to the final assignment grade). The written exam (final exam) counts for 200 points. The final grade of the student then consists of a certain amount of the total of 240 points.

  • Formula: calculate a final grade with the use of a personalized formula and decide which course items do/do not count.

For example: if a student scores below 60% for a certain course item, then they will automatically fail the course. IF {MIN { [Item1.percentage], [Item2.percentage], Item3.percentage] } < 60, 0, 100}.

Weighted is the most commonly used grading system at the Radboud University. 

Step 2: Final Grade Released

Here you can choose how the Final Grade will be released:

  • Calculated Final Grade: the grade will be calculated based on the grading system that was chosen beforehand and will automatically be updated when you have evaluated other course items.
  • Adjusted Final Grade: choose this option if you would like to generate/adjust a grade manually. 
  • Automatically release final grade: choose this option if you want the final grade to automatically be released after calculation. Please note: if you tick this option, always do so in combination with Calculated Final Grade and not Adjusted Final Grade, as Calculated Final Grades are updated automatically.

An Adjusted Final Grade is not the result of a predetermined grading system, but has to be entered manually and is therefore not updated automatically. 

Step 3: Grade Calculations

In Grade Calculations you can decide in what manner the uncompleted course items count for the calculation of the Final Grade.

  • Drop ungraded items: choose this option if you want uncompleted course items to not be taken into account for the final grade. That means that it is possible for the final grade to drop with each newly completed item as the course progresses; dependent on the scores acquired by the student.
  • Treat ungraded items as 0: choose this option if you want uncompleted course items to be treated as 0 points in the calculation of the final grade. This means that the final grade will inevitably rise with each completed item.
  • Automatically keep final grade updated: Brightspace updates the final grade automatically each time a course item is evaluated.

The advantage of the option Drop ungraded items is that the course progression in relation to the final grade is not influenced by grade items that have not been evaluated yet. The disadvantage of this option is that students that are not participating in an activity, are not going to see this reflected back in their final grade at the end of the course. In other words: can students score a zero for assignments/an exam?

Step 4: Choose Default Grade Scheme

The term Grade Schemes refers to the different ways in which results can be presented. For example:

  • 10/10
  • 100%
  • A
  • Excellent
  • Color codes (red/orange/green)

The default grade scheme in Brightspace is Grades 0-10 - rounded to 0,1 points. After completing this Setup Wizard, it is possible to create other grade schemes and set them as default. 

Step 5: Managing View Display Options

In step 5 you can manage the precision of the grade display from 0 to 5 decimals. Brightspace is by default set to a display of two decimals (which you see as a teacher). 

Step 6: Student View Display Options

At this step you can set up what is displayed to students when they view their Grades. 

  1. Grade Details is connected to the grade schemes from step 4. You can tick multiple options at once:  
    • Points Grade (10/10) 
    • Weighted Grade (100%/100%)
    • Grade scheme symbol (for example: A, 100% or excellent)
    • Grade scheme color (color codes)
  2. At Decimals Displayed you can enter the number of decimals that are displayed to the student of their grade (min. 0 to max. 5).
  3. At Characters Display you can enter the number of characters that are displayed to the student for textual evaluations (max. 50). In the list view, the text is cut off if it goes over the permitted amount of characters. 
  4. Tick Display final grade calculation to users to provide students with insight into the calculation of their final grade. 

Step 7: Grades Setup Summary

You will see an overview of the choices you made from step 1 to 6. Check all data and click:

  • Finish to close the Setup Wizard.
  • Go Back to adjust your settings. 
  • Cancel to delete all settings and go back to the start window of the Setup Wizard. 

Now that you have set up the grade book, you can fill it with grade categories and/or grade items.