The Brightspace grade book is a robust tool that can help you grade your students in a variety of ways. In addition to point-based and weighted grades, the Brightspace grade book can be set up to grade based on any grade scheme you set up (including using your own terms like "Poor" and "Excellent" or including color for simple visuals).

The videos and guide below will help you get started with some of the basics, but if you want to learn more about the tool and how you can use it to meet your specific needs, feel free to schedule a time with someone from the ODL using this link: ODL Bookings.

Using the Grade Setup Wizard

In the Grades tool, if a grade book is not set up or imported for your course, you will see the Grades Setup Wizard page when you first navigate to the tool.

  1. On the blue navigation bar in your course, click Grades.

  2. On the Grades Setup Wizard page, scroll down and click Start.

  3. Click Grades.

  4. Choose your grading system, then click Continue. (You will most likely want a weighted system or a points-based system, depending on how you grade.)

  5. Choose whether or not you want to be able to manually adjust a final grade (apart from adjusting individual assignment scores) by selecting Calculated Final Grade (Brightspace will calculate the final grade automatically based on assignment scores) or Adjusted Final Grade (you can alter students' final grades apart from assignment scores). Additionally, if you want users' final grades to be released automatically when you create them, select Automatically release final grade, then click Continue.

  6. Choose how you want to treat ungraded items. If you selected Automatically release final grade, you should select Drop ungraded items so that the released grades better reflect the users' current grades throughout the term. (If ungraded items are treated as "0," future assignments and quizzes will make students' current grades seem extremely low).

  7. If you want final grades to automatically adjust after changing a grade item or calculation option, select Automatically keep final grade updated.

  8. Click Continue.

  9. Choose your default grade scheme (this is most like "Percentage") and then click Continue.

  10. In the Number of decimal places to display field, enter the number of decimal places to display to users who enter grades using the grade book.

  11. Click Continue.

  12. Select your learner view display options and then click Continue.

  13. On the Grades Setup Summary page, review your selections.

  14. Do one of the following:
    • To make changes to your grade book setup, click Go Back.
    • Click Finish.

(If you need to make any edits to your grade book later, the easiest way to do this is by using the Bulk Edit tool that you can find in the grade book under "Manage Grades.")

Adding an Assignment or Activity to the Grade Book

Important: If you have not created the assignment or discussion in Brightspace yet that you want to add to the grade book, you should create the assignment or discussion first. When you set it up, you will have the option to add a grade value and a grade item and grade column will automatically be reflected in your grade book. Here are instructions for creating assignments in Brightspace: Creating an Assignment.

If you want to connect an assignment or activity (like a discussion) to the grade book and have already made that assignment or activity, follow the instructions below to link that assignment or activity to your grade book.

  1. In your course, select Course Activities and then Assignments (or Discussions) from the blue navigation bar.
  2. Find the Assignment or Discussion that you want to link to the Grade Book and click on the caret to the right of the name. Select Edit Assignment (or Edit Discussion).

  3. On the following screen, you will be able to add a score under "Score Out Of." This will let you link the assignment or discussion to the grade book. You will have the option of adding points, and the default setting will add a new grade item to the grade book. You can also choose to link this activity to an existing grade item.

  4. Click Save and Close.

(If you need to make any edits to your grade book later, the easiest way to do this is by using the Bulk Edit tool that you can find in the grade book under "Manage Grades.")

Adding a Grade Item to the Grade Book

If you want to create a grade item that is not connected to an assignment or activity, follow the instructions below to set this up in your grade book.

  1. In your grade book, select Manage Grades. This is where you will make any changes to the grade book itself, including adjusting weights/points, adding/deleting items, and adding/deleting categories.

  2. Click New and Item.

  3. You can now choose what kind of grading option you want with this grade item. You will most likely want either a Numeric or Pass/Fail option. However, both the Selectbox and Text options can provide a lot of versatility to the grade book and can be used for a lot of different things like tracking completion for activities, noting information about students, or providing comments to students that are not graded or connected to an assignment.

  4. Add general information for the new grade item, including name, point value (if using a numeric system), weight value (if weighted), and rubric (if applicable). You will also have the option to add a start/end date (this would be for student visibility of the grade), release conditions (e.g. if this grade item only applies to certain students), and learning objectives.

  5. Click Save and Close. When you select Enter Grades from the top of the grade book, you will now see a new column with the grade item you have just created.

(If you need to make any edits to your grade book later, the easiest way to do this is by using the Bulk Edit tool that you can find in the grade book under "Manage Grades.")