Grades in Brightspace courses

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Intended Audience

This article is intended for instructors interested in using Brightspace Grade tool for online grade book in their courses.


The Brightspace Grades tool is a feature of every course. It is a flexible, online grade book that instructors can use to provide their students with timely and readily accessible feedback. The Grades tool can accommodate both points-based and weighted grading methods, the inclusion of bonus and extra credit opportunities, the exclusion of certain items (e.g., the lowest quiz score) from the final grade, and more. The Grades tool is also integrated with other D2L tools used to support graded activities, including the Quizzes, Discussions, Dropbox, and Rubrics tools. Grades from these activities can be transferred to the Grades tool automatically.

Grade Tool Overview and Grading

If you are new to the Grade Tool you will most certainly find the following two videos that provide an important overview of the Grade Tool and helpful tips for grading with this tool.

Overview of the Grades Tool

Entering Grades

Using the Grade Tool Setup Wizard

Setting up a grade book in Brightspace is made easy by using the Setup Wizard that launches when you enter the Grades tool the first time. Taking your time with this functionality really is worth it and strongly recommended if you are new to Brightspace. The following resource from Minnesota State D2L Support site explains each step of this process in detail here.

Creating a Grade Item and Category

Once your settings are configured in the Grade tool Setup Wizard for your specific needs, it is time to start adding assignments to the grade book. The following videos explain the two components to a Brightspace Grade tool, Items and Categories.


Creating Grade Items

Categories are used when you wish to group like items together (e.g. Quizzes or Assignments). The following video show how Categories are utilized within a weighted graded book. This feature allows you to drop Items from a Category automatically.


Creating Grade Categories

Associating an Activity with a Grade Item

Associating Grade Items with Quizzes, Assignments, and Discussions allow for more timely feedback. The following video explains the process of associating a Grade Item with a Discussion Topic.

Associating an Activity with a Grade Item

Creating a Grade Scheme

A Grade Scheme is built when you want to use a different point structure then the typical 90=A, 80=B, 70=C, and 60=D grading values. The process of setting up a custom scheme is described in the following video.

Creating Grade Schemes

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