About the Grades tool

Watch an overview of the Grades tool.

The Grades tool contains your grading system, grade calculations, grade scheme, grade items, and view and display options. Grade items represent the graded work on which you wish to evaluate students in your course. You can create grade items for specific tasks such as presentations, tests, and participation. You can also create grade items and associate them with activity tools such as Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes.

As an instructor, you can determine how to configure your Grades settings to best reflect your approach to evaluation, and according to what is most appropriate for your course.

You must configure your Grades settings before you can use the Grades tool. As you plan your Grades settings, consider:

  • Which grade items do you plan to evaluate?
  • Which grading system is most appropriate for your course?
  • How you will allocate points or weights across grade items?
  • Which grade items do you want to associate with activity tools? Note that only numeric grade items can be associated with activity tools.
  • Do you want to include a milestone grade at least once during the course?
  • How do you want to calculate final grades?

NOTE: Making changes to your Grades settings and calculation options after you have entered students’ grades can significantly affect existing data.

Why use the Grades Tool?

The Grades tool allows you to create a grade book which:

  • Allows you to control the grading formula used to calculate grades.
  • Allows you to control what projects, assignments, tests, etc. are graded.
  • Allows you to submit feedback and grades to students.
  • Allows you to control when grades are released to users and what information they see.
  • Allows students the opportunity to check their grades on assignments and tests, see class averages and access feedback on their assignments.

Grades Terminology

Grading System: Determines how the grade items in your grade book contribute to users’ final grades. The three options are: Weighted(e.g. 82%); Points (e.g. 220/280); Formula(custom formula).

Grade Items: Grade items represent all the work that you want to evaluate users on in a course. There are six types you can choose from, but please note that only numeric grade items can be associated with other learning tools like Assignments or Quizzes.

Instructor Tips & Best Practices for Grades

  • Keep grading system simple so students know value of each assignment
  • Provide students with regular feedback on how they are doing overall in the course
  • Display a running total of what is graded so far by publishing the current calculated final grade
  • Restricting the release of grade items you do not want seen by hiding the category or restricting through availability or release conditions

Get Started with the Grades Tool

Configure your Gradebook

Managing Grades and Grade Items

Via the Manage Grades page, you can add, edit and delete grade items and categories.

Associate Activities with Grade Items

Associate Activities with Rubrics

Extra Credit/Bonus Grade Items


Manually assign grades


Release Final Grades

Export Grades

Restore Deleted Grade

Event Logs

Managing event logs in grade book

Grade Assignments On-The-Go with Brightspace Assignment Grader

Use the Brightspace Assignment Grader app to assess assignments

Solution Spotlight

Student View

Preview Student Grades