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Course Connect - For Faculty & Staff: Gradebook Setup

Gradebook Setup

Adjust your gradebook settings by selecting Grades from your course page, and then choosing Gradebook Setup from the Grader Report menu. 


Topics on this Page:

Creating Categories; Manual Grade Items; Extra CreditDrop the Lowest; Organizing the Gradebook

Creating Categories

You can add categories to your gradebook by visiting the Gradebook Setup tab, which you can access via the menu pictured below.

Categories in your gradebook will allow you to ensure that your gradebook aligns with your syllabus. By adding categories to your gradebook, you create the opportunity to drop the lowest grade; apply extra credit; organize your gradebook; apply custom weights and aggregations; and adjust grade types and maximums to suit your needs.




To add categories to your gradebook, enter your Grader Report and use the menu pictured above to select Gradebook Setup. You will see the following screen:



Select the Add Category button highlighted in red. You will be brought to the category settings screen. All category defaults are pictured below; If you are happy with the default setting, simply give your category a name, scroll to the bottom of the page, and select Save Changes. Please note that not all options are visible. To see all settings, select Show More under the Aggregation and Category Total sections.


Drop the Lowest

You have the ability within your gradebook to drop the lowest grade(s) from an existing category.

All of the grade items/activities related to the grade(s) you want to drop must be grouped into a category in order for the 'drop' function to work (see: Creating Categories). For example, if you are giving five quizzes in your course and want to drop the two with the lowest scores, all five quizzes must be in the same category. You must create your category prior to the steps listed below. 

Note: All  items in the category have the same total points for the drop the lowest setting to apply.

1. Enter the gradebook and click on the Grader Report drop-down menu, then choose Gradebook Setup.

2. Look for the row containing the category's name with the folder icon; in the Actions column, click on the Edit menu and select Edit Settings.

3. In the Grade Category section, click on Show More...



4. In the field 'Drop the Lowest,' enter the number of items you would like to drop from the calculated grade. For example, if you would like to drop the two quizzes with the lowest grades in the category, enter '2' in the field. 

5. Select Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.


Notes on Drop the Lowest:

Please note that a Moodle default is to exclude empty grades (i.e. grades that have not been entered, or activities that have not been attempted) from the calculation of the course total, and so your students grades may not appear as a progressive total. For instance, if your student has attempted 3 of the five available quizzes and you have set your category to drop the lowest two grades, your student's grade would reflect only the one remaining attempted quiz that has not been dropped. If the student earned a 75, an 80, and a 95 on the three attempted quizzes, their grade would be 95% in the course total column because the two lowest grades have been dropped. After attempting all five quizzes, the gradebook will display a more progressive course total. 

Additionally, Drop the Lowest is only allowed when: 

  • All children of the category have equal weights
  • All children of the category have equal max grade
  • There are no sub categories in the category
  • There are no extra credit items in the category

Manual Grade Items

If you would like to add a space for additional grades to your gradebook but do not wish to add a corresponding activity to your course, you can add a Manual Grade Item.

Manual grade items are helpful if you want to add a gradebook entry for in-class work that is not associated with a Course Connect activity. For example, you may have your students complete handwritten, in-class work. You may want to enter grades for this work in Course Connect but do not wish to have your students submit their handwritten work through a Course Connect assignment activity. In this instance, a manual grade item can be added; the manual grade item will add a column to your gradebook where you can enter grades for the in-class work. 

To add a manual grade item, first enter your gradebook and use the Grader Report drop-down menu to select Gradebook Setup (see screenshot in Creating Categories section of this page). 

On the Setup page, select the Add Grade Item button highlighted below. 



You will be brought to the following screen:



Adjust settings as necessary to align the grade item with your syllabus. If you are happy with the default settings pictured above, simply give the grade item a unique name and scroll to the bottom of the page and select Save Changes. New grade items default to 'value' as the grade type, and are automatically worth 100 points. After creating your new grade item, you will see a corresponding column in the Grader Report where you can manually enter grades. 

Extra Credit

Extra Credit may be applied using the following method. 

Extra credit items must be added into an existing category (see: Creating Categories box to the left), and extra credit works best with the aggregation Simple Weighted Mean of Grades (see: Aggregations & Weights tab). In 'simple weighted,' Course Connect will first calculate the non-extra credit items before adding the extra credit. For example, if you have set up a category with two assignments worth 100 points each and one extra credit item worth 3 points, Course Connect will first calculate the grades of the non-extra credit grade items and then add the extra credit to the subtotal of the grade. In this example, if a student earned a 90 on one assignment and 100 on the second assignment, their score would be 95%. The extra credit item would then be added to this subtotal, resulting in a score of 98%. 

You can add a manual grade item as extra credit, or change an existing activity to extra credit. See the Manual Grade Item box above for information on adding a manual grade item, and then refer to the image below for more information on what settings to adjust for extra credit grade items. 



On the grade item settings page, give the item a name and adjust the maximum grade to the number of extra credit points you are offering. Under the Parent Category section, use the drop-down Grade Category menu to choose a category for your item and tick the box labeled Extra Credit. Finally, select Save Changes

You can also convert existing graded activities to extra credit by entering the Gradebook Setup page and selecting the Edit menu in the Actions column for the activity in question (see image below). Select Edit Settings and you will see a screen similar to the one above. Under Parent Category, tick the Extra Credit box and then Save Changes


Organizing the Gradebook

You can easily rearrange your gradebook, as well as move items in and out of categories using one of two methods.

If you are moving items into a category, use the tick boxes in the Select column to select which items you want to move. Then use the Move Selected Items To menu at the bottom of the page to choose the new location for your selected grade items.


If you are rearranging the order of activities in your gradebook, select the arrow icon to the far left of the activity you want to move (see above image). On the following screen you will see all of your activities and categories listed, along with blank spaces between each item. Simply click on the blank space representing the new location of the grade item you are moving, and it will be moved to the appropriate space in the gradebook. 

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