About the Grades Tool

The Grades tool contains your grading system calculation settings, grade scheme, grade items, and view and display options. As an instructor, you can determine how to configure your settings to best reflect your approach to evaluation, and according to what is most appropriate for your course.

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

Grade Items: 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. There are six types of grade items to choose from. Note that only numeric grade items can be associated with other activity tools.

Watch an overview of the Grades tool.

Why Use the Grades Tool?

Use the Grades tool to:

  • Provide students the opportunity to check their grades, see class averages, and access feedback on their assignments.
  • Centralize the assessment of projects, assignments, tests, etc. that are graded.
  • Configure the grading formula used to calculate grades.
  • Modify when grades are released to students and what information they see.

Instructor Tips & Best Practices for Grades

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? Consider keeping your grading system simple so students know the value of each assignment.
  • How do you want to calculate final grades? Consider displaying a running total of what is graded by publishing the current calculated final grade.
  • How you will allocate points or weights across grade items?
  • Which grade items do you want to associate with activity tools?
  • How might you use the Grades tool to provide students with regular feedback on how they are doing overall in the course?
  • Do you want to include a milestone grade at least once during the course?

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

Learn to Use the Grades Tool

Get Started with Grades

Watch a recording of the Grades Set-up Basics workshop (duration: 36:07). Select the arrow at the bottom center of the video player to view an interactive Table of Contents of the video.

Part 1: Configure your Grades Settings

Part 2: Create your Grade Categories and Items

Grade Categories

Grade Items

Optional: Create Bonus (Extra Credit) Grade Items

Add Restrictions (NOT Recommended)

Preview What Students See

View and Enter Grades

View Grades

Enter Grades

Final Grades


Add and Remove Exemptions

Final Grades