Design Tips: Gradebook and Exams
The following is a list of helpful tips and reminders to help you use the Gradebook more efficiently. Many preferences you
set when creating an exam affect how the exam displays in the Gradebook.
Tips for Gradebook
- Use Gradebook as another communication tool to comment on graded assignments and provide feedback to students on their progress in the course.
- User Activity - If you have not heard from a student yet, use the User Activity feature to see if the student came to class. If they have not been spending time online, send an email to review directions and answer questions and concerns. User Activity is not designed to be used as a participation grade. Many students print course material to read offline, or leave a page open for a while without actually participating in the course. When this occurs, the activity in class will be skewed.
- Extra Credit and Exclude
from Course Grade features can be used with or without weighting
turned on; however, you must have points/calculations turned on.
- The Dropbox and the Gradebook are connected meaning, if you enter a grade through
the Dropbox interface, the grade also shows in the Gradebook and
vice versa. Remember, you must return the assignment to the student
before the student can see the assignment in his/her Inbox.
- The Gradebook calculates and displays up-to-date points and calculations
by default. With this option enabled, students can see their grade to date, current course average, and points possible. You can turn this feature off in Gradebook Preferences. Remember that in doing so, however,
students will not have access to calculated figures (like current grade
to date, for example). Remember, also, that you must have assigned points
to gradable items in order to display Gradebook calculations.
- You can assign a final letter grade from any view in
the Gradebook in which you see the Points
column. Click the student's current course points, and then click Save
& Next to go to the next student.
- Grade data is not removed if you disable Gradebook from the Enable/Disable tools list in Course Admin. When you disable a tool, the system is hiding it from course and author view.
- The weighting feature in the Gradebook, set in Gradebook Preferences, enables you to weight or grade
course items relative to other course content. For example, you have an
exam worth 50 points, but you want it to count for 25% of a student's
grade. Instead of adjusting all your course points to make
this percentage, you can weight the exam item. The Weighting feature is
- If you want to provide graded feedback on an assignment but not
include the grade in the final course grade, exclude the item
from the course grade. This feature is excellent for practice
assignments which you want to grade but not count.
To exclude items from the course grade, click the Gradebook
tab, click Setup Gradebook, click Assign Points/Weights,
then click Exclude from Course Grade. Select the check box to those items you do not want to include
in the final course grade. Excluded items are marked by throughout your Gradebook.
- The Distribute Weight % feature, set in Assign points/weights, enables you to apply a
single weighted percentage evenly across multiple content items. For example,
if you want threaded discussions in your course to be worth a total of
20% of the final course grade and you create three threads, the distribute
weight % feature assigns a weighted percentage of 6.66%, 6.66%, and
6.68% to each thread.
- If you have the weighting feature turned on but do not
assign a weight percentage to a gradable item, that item will not count
towards the final course grade. Essentially, the item carries a weight
- If you are using weighting in your Gradebook, your students will see a Course
Weighted Average rather than a Grade To Date. The course
weighted average indicates that course content items have different
weights assigned to them. Students see their current
weighted grade as well as remaining course work and its relative
weight. For example, a student who did poorly on one assignment might see that the assignment was only worth 10%
of the final course grade.
- The Quick
Grade View is perhaps the most common and efficient way to assign
grades in the Gradebook. This view lets you assign grades to all students
for a single content item (like a Webliography entry, for example). You
simply locate the content item (or course tool) in the Gradebook and then
assign a grade for each student.
- The Export Current View feature located
on each Gradebook screen exports only the current displayed view of the
Gradebook. If you want to export your entire Gradebook, go to the Show
All view and then click Export Current View. Students cannot see a grade you have assigned them unless the share grade with student option is selected. This option appears in all Gradebook
Details windows and within the Dropbox.
- To accurately show students their current grade to date, enter zeros in any incomplete items to that point in the course. Gradebook
only calculates graded items, so if a student did not turn
in an assignment, the total possible points for that assignment is not figured into the total points possible for the course,
skewing the student's grade to date.
Tips for exams
- The options selected when setting up an exam
affect the Gradebook display for both you and your students. For example,
if you want students to view exam scores in
Gradebook without you having to manually enter points or scores, select the Automatically display the objective score for completed exams to students in the Gradebook option when setting
up the exam.
- To automatically have students view scores
for an exam, remember to set a Gradebook Review Date
when you create the exam. If a review date is not set, students cannot view the comments or scores entered in Gradebook.
- Print students' completed exams
for offline grading. Locate the exam in the Gradebook, click the asterisk
* to open the Gradebook Details window
for that exam, and then click Print View. In the File menu, click Print.
- Save a printer-friendly version of completed exams to your computer or network for offline grading. Locate the exam in the Gradebook, click the asterisk *
to open the Gradebook Details window for that exam, and then click
In the File menu, click Save As.
- Reset a student's exam through the Gradebook Details
window. Resetting an exam clears all saved information from the individual
exam database and allows the user to begin the exam again, as if the student had never taken it.
- Grant a student additional time on an
exam through the Gradebook Details window. For example, if a
student was in the process of taking an exam and the student's Internet connection
was lost, the system would "think" that this student had already
taken the exam and would, therefore, not let the student retake the exam.
This option allows the student to access the exam again for the
amount of time you specify. Information previously saved is still there, and the student starts the exam wherever
he or she left off.