Getting Started: Setting Up the Gradebook

Setting Up the Gradebook

Before adding Assignments it is necessary to set up your gradebook. If you wish to organize your assignments into categories you must establish those categories in the gradebook first.

In the Administration block on the left hand side click on "Grades". The gradebook will be set up with all your students already listed. To create new categories for grades go to the "Choose an action" dropdown and select "Categories and items". Then you can create the categories you will use for grading, such as exams, quizes, essays and so on. For each category you can decide how you will calculate the score. Click on the "Save Changes" button and you will see the category has been created.

Notice that each category has the same editing icons as the content blocks on the main page, meaning you can control where they appear on your grading page. Note also that you can create sub-categories within your gradebook by using the "Parent Category" dropdown on the Grade category page. These will appear under the parent category.

You can see how the gradebook looks by going to the "Choose an action" dropdown and selecting "Grader report". There you will see all your students and each grade category available. As you create new assignments they will appear here under the appropriate category.

Grade Aggregation
This determines how grades will be added together to produce the overall class grade. It is an important choice, but the options can be confusing. Here the arithmetic for each option is explained along with samples.

Mean of grades
This measures the percentage of points earned for each assignment. Each assignment has the same value as every other assignment, regardless of how many points it is worth.

#1 70/100 (C-), #2 20/80 (F), #3 10/10 (A), category max 100:
(0.7 + 0.25 + 1.0)/3 = 0.65 --> 65/100

Weighted mean
Each grade item can be given a weight, which is then used in the arithmetic mean aggregation to influence the importance of each item in the overall mean. Classroom points are not equal.

#1 70/100 weight 10, #2 20/80 weight 5, #3 10/10 weight 3, category max 100:
(0.7*10 + 0.25*5 + 1.0*3)/18 = 0.625 --> 62.5/100
Assignment #1 is twice as important as #2 and 3.3 times more important than #3.

Weighted Categories
In your gradebook you can weight Categories as well as individual grade items. For example let's say you want to set your gradebook up so that 10% of the grade is based on Attendance, 40% is on Tests, and 50% is on Essays. Set up a Category for each kind of assignment and set the Weighted Mean of each appropriately: Attendance 10.00, Tests 40.00 and Essays 50.00. Note that these numbers add up to 100.00, or 100%. No matter how many points you give on tests, they will only be worth 40% of the overall grade.

Simple weighted mean
The difference from Weighted mean is that weight is calculated as Maximum grade - Minimum grade for each item. 100 point assignment has weight 100, 10 point assignment has weight 10. Or, put simply, all classroom points are identical. Assignments worth more points are more valuable than those worth less. This increases the stakes for high-point assignments.
This is the easiest way to grade.

#1 70/100, #2 20/80, #3 10/10, category max 100:
(0.7*100 + 0.25*80 + 1.0*10)/190 = 0.526 --> 52.6/100

Mean of grades (with extra credits)
An old, now unsupported aggregation strategy provided here only for backward compatibility with old activities. Do not use.

Median of grades
The middle grade (or the mean of the two middle grades) when grades are arranged in order of size. The advantage over the mean is that it is not affected by outliers (grades which are uncommonly far from the mean).

#1 70/100, #2 20/80, #3 10/10, category max 100:
median(0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0) = 0.7 --> 70/100

Smallest grade
The result is the smallest grade after normalisation. It is usually used in combination with Aggregate only non-empty grades.

#1 70/100, #2 20/80, #3 10/10, category max 100:
min(0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0) = 0.25 --> 25/100

Highest grade
The result is the highest grade after normalisation.

#1 70/100, #2 20/80, #3 10/10, category max 100:
max(0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0) = 1.0 --> 100/100

Mode of grades
The mode is the grade that occurs the most frequently. It is more often used for non-numerical grades. The advantage over the mean is that it is not affected by outliers (grades which are uncommonly far from the mean). However it loses its meaning once there is more than one most frequently occurring grade (only one is kept), or when all the grades are different from each other.

#1 70/100, #2 35/50, #3 20/80, #4 10/10, #5 7/10 category max 100:
mode(0.7 ; 0.7 ; 0.25 ; 1.0 ; 0.7) = 0.7 --> 70/100

Sum of grades
The sum of all grade values. Scale grades are ignored. This is the only type that does not convert the grades to percentages internally (normalisation). The Maximum grade of associated category item is calculated automatically as a sum of maximums from all aggregated items.

#1 70/100, #2 20/80, #3 10/10:
70 + 20 + 10 = 100/190 (52.6% - same as "Simple Weighted Mean")