# About Grading Systems

Selecting a grading system is the first step in setting up your grade book. The grading system determines how the grade items in your grade book contribute to students’ final grades. There are three options:

• Weighted Grading System – Grade items count as a percentage of a final grade worth 100%.
• Points Grading System – Grade items are worth a certain amount of points that are totaled for a final grade.
• Formula Grading System – You can define a custom formula for how grade items contribute to a final grade.

## Weighted Grading System

The weighted system calculates grade items as a percentage of a final grade worth 100%. The maximum points you assign to individual grade items can be any value, but their contribution towards the category they belong to and the final grade is the percentage value (weight) assigned to them.

If you place grade items in a category, each item counts as a percentage of that category, and each category counts as a percentage of the final grade. Therefore, grade items in a category should combine to a weight of 100% within the category.

For example, if you have a category worth 10% of the final grade, comprising two equally weighted grade items, the weight of each grade item is 50% within the category, but 5% of the overall final grade.

Since it’s a category weight, and not an individual grade item’s weight that counts toward the final grade, the final grade is in flux until all the items in the category are graded. If you want to release final grades to students before all the items are graded, you can drop ungraded items from the calculation until the end of the course when you want all grade items to be considered. Otherwise, the final grades might be misleading.

If your grade items and categories do not add up to 100%, you will see a note at the top of your grade book. You can ignore this message if you choose; a balanced grade book is not required. However, if the weights assigned to grade items do not sum to 100%, the tool automatically adjusts the weight of each item. For example, if you have three grade items with a weight of 25% each, each item is actually calculated as 33%. This is true for categories and the final grade.

If you wish to evaluate a grade category, numeric grade item, selectbox grade item, or pass/fail grade item without including the grade in students’ overall calculated or adjusted final grades, you can enter a weight of 0%.

To create this system, see Create a Weighted Grading System.

## Points Grading System

Use the points system when you want the maximum points assigned to a grade item to be equal to its contribution to the final grade. Final grades are calculated by adding a student’s score on all grade items together and dividing by the sum of the maximum points values. The sum of the maximum points values for all grade items does not need to equal 100.

With the points system, grade items can be combined into categories, however you do not specify a category’s weight or total points. It is the maximum points assigned to an individual grade item that counts toward the final grade.

Therefore, make sure the maximum points assigned to grade items reflect how much you want them to be worth.

If you wish to evaluate a grade category, numeric grade item, selectbox grade item, or pass/fail grade item without including the grade in students’ calculated or adjusted final grades, you can choose to exclude an item from the final grade calculation. When creating or editing the grade item or category, check the box to Exclude from Final Grade Calculation.

To create this system, see Create a Points Grading System.

## Formula Grading System

Use the formula system when you want to calculate final grades using a custom formula that allows for conditions. The formula system is based on the points system, but allows you to set conditions around grade items to determine the final grade. For example, you could require that users receive at least 50% on their midterm and final exam to pass a course.

To create this system, please come to Open Lab or schedule a One-to-One Consultation.