Create Calculated Grade Items

You can use a calculated grade item to display a student’s cumulative achievement across multiple grade items. Unlike the calculated final grade, calculated grade items do not recognize grade category settings of the grade items they evaluate, such as exclusion or distribution options.

The following limitations apply to calculated grade items:

  • Calculated grade items can belong to a category. The organization of text items within the category does not impact the calculation of the category those grades items are in. The totals off these categories do not contribute to the final grade.
  • Calculated grade items do not contribute to the calculated final grade in a points-based or weighted-based grade book.
  • Calculated grade items cannot be associated with course objects such as Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes. Only numeric grade items can be associated with course objects.

Create a calculated grade item:

    1. On the nav bar, click the Assessment menu, then select Grades.
      Grades on Nav Bar
    2. Then click Manage Grades.
      Manage Grades
    3. Click the New button and select Item.
      New Grade Item
    4. Select Calculated.
      Calculated New Item
    5. Enter the grade item Name.
    6. (Optional) Enter a Short Name for the item if you’d like. The Short Name is only visible to users with access to the grade book.
      Short Name
    7. (Optional) Enter a Description if you’d like to share additional information about the grade item. Learn about how to use the HTML Editor to Format Course Content. By default, the Description field is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Description to expand it. Select whether or not to Allow users to view grade item description.
      grade item description
    8. Check the box under Can Exceed if students will have the option of earning more than the maximum points possible for this grade item.
      Can Exceed
    9. Use the Grade Scheme drop down menu to select a custom Grade Scheme if you have previously created one.Select Grade Scheme
    10. Check the box to the left of each grade category/item you would like included in the Calculation.
Calculation list


  1. (Optional) Click the Add Rubric button to attach a rubric to the grade item. It is recommend that you create the rubric first in the Rubrics tool.
    Add Rubric to grade item
  2. (Optional) Override the system’s Display Options by checking the box next to the display option(s) you’d like the category to have. By default, Display Options is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Display Options to expand it. You can review the system’s Display Options by going to Course Display Options within Settings.
    numeric grade item display options
  3. Click one of the Save options at the bottom of the screen to save your changes:
    • Save and Close: Saves any changes and returns you to the Manage Grades screen.
    • Save and New: Saves any changes and allows you to begin creating a new grade item/category.
    • Save: Saves any changes and stays on the same screen.
    • Cancel: Delete grade item and return to the Manage Grades screen
      Save Options