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The D2L Grades tool allows instructors to set up a gradebook and manually or automatically record students' scores. D2L tools such as Quizzes, Dropbox, and Discussions can be linked to D2L grades so the scores from those tools are sent to Grades.

This page contains information on:

Setup Wizard

The Setup Wizard in the D2L gradebook allows you to choose grade display preferences for yourself and your students, as well as choose options for calculating final grades. Use the seven-step Setup Wizard to determine your options before creating grade items and categories.

You can also access these options through the Settings link in the upper right of most Grades pages: Settings


You can group grade items by category. Categories are optional for points gradebooks, but necessary in weighted gradebooks. For detailed information about creating categories, consult Gradebook: Categories.

Creating and Editing Grade Items

Grade items are what actually get scored. They might include papers, quizzes, projects, and other assignments. You can create grade items in the Grades tool, or when creating a linked quiz, dropbox, or other item.

Creating Grade Items

  1. On the Navigation bar, click Grades.

  2. Click the Manage Grades tab.

  3. Click the New dropdown arrow and select New Item.

  4. Choose a grade item type (if unsure, choose Numeric).

  5. Name the item; also give the item an abbreviated name in the Short Name field to keep the columns narrow and reduce left-right scrolling.
    Students will see the grade item name; instructors will see the Short Name.

  6. Optional: Assign a category, either existing (from the dropdown menu) or create a new category for this grade item.

  7. For a Numeric grade item, enter the Max. Points.

  8. Fill out any other applicable fields.

  9. Click Save.


Calculating Midterm Grades 

In the D2L gradebook, it is possible to create a Calculated grade item that will display to students their midterm grades.

In Grades, choose Manage Grades:

  1. Select New, then Item

  2. Choose Calculated toward the bottom of the list of Grade Item Types

  3. The New Item screen appears; name the grade item, e.g., Midterm Grade

    OPTIONAL: Type in a short name which will display only to you, not to students, e.g., MT Grade, to keep your gradebook column narrow and reduce left/right scrolling.

  4. Scroll down the page and select (check the checkboxes) the grade items from the list to include in the calculation

  5. If there are extra credit/bonus items in the gradebook, check the Can Exceed checkbox above the list of grade items

    can exceed

  6. Press Save and Close; you are returned to Manage Grades

  7. Move the item to the desired location in the list by pressing More Actions, then Reorder.

  8. Change the order of the grade items by choosing the numbers in the dropdown menus to the right of each grade item; press Save to retain your changes.

    reordering grade items

  9. Go to the Enter Grades view and verify the results in that view

Editing Grade Items

  1. On the Navigation bar, click Grades.

  2. Click the Manage Grades tab.

  3. To edit a specific grade item, click the item's name in the list.

  4. A page will open that allows you to edit the name, category, max points, etc.

  5. When you are finished editing, click one of the Save options at the bottom of the page.

Deleting Grade Items

  1. On the Navigation bar, click Grades.

  2. Click the Manage Grades tab.

  3. Click More Actions, and select Delete from the pulldown menu.

    Grades More Actions

  4. A list of all the grade items and categories will appear. Click the checkboxes next to each category/grade item to select those you wish to delete.

  5. At the bottom of the list, click Delete.

    If you have grade items that are associated with dropboxes, you will see an icon next to them: Association Icon Before deleting these grade items, you will need to first break the association.

Recovering Grade Items

To recover deleted grade items and entered grades at any time, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Grades tool, select the Manage Grades tab.

  2. Click More Actions, and select Event Log from the dropdown menu that appears.

  3. Press Restore to recover the grade item along with any entered grades.

  4. Click on Manage Grades in the upper left to return to the list of grade items in your course.
    Manage Grades

  5. Verify that your grade item(s) appears in Manage Grades.

  6. Click on Grades on the navigation bar to verify that the grades for the restored grade item display.

Extra Credit

There are two ways to allow extra credit in the gradebook. Bonus items are entirely extra credit, and items that 'Can Exceed' might include extra credit questions along with required ones.  

Can Exceed: To create a grade item that includes extra credit, select Can Exceed when creating the item. For a detailed explanation of how these items work in different gradebooks, consult Grades: Working with Extra Credit Points.

Bonus: To create a grade item that is entirely extra credit, select Bonus when creating the item. For a detailed explanation of how bonus items work in different gradebooks, consult Grades: Working with Bonus Items

Entering Grades

  1. On the navigation bar, click Grades and make sure the Enter Grades tab is selected.

  2. Click the dropdown arrow next to the grade item to enter grades for that item. Click Grade All.

    Grade All Dropdown

  3. In the Grades column, enter the grade for each student.

  4. To leave a comment for a particular student, click Comments in the Comments column of that student's row.

  5. To leave a comment for a particular student,

  6. When you're finished entering grades for an item, click Save.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have linked the dropbox to the gradebook, you MUST do all your grading in the dropbox, not the gradebook. If you try to grade in the gradebook, any time you then "Publish Feedback" in the dropbox area, the grades entered directly in the gradebook will be overwritten and you will lose them. View the Dropbox page for more information about linking a dropbox to the gradebook.

Previewing Student Grades

This feature allows instructors to see exactly what students see when they click on Grades in the D2L course. You may also watch the Student View of the Gradebook video.

  1. Click Grades in the navbar

  2. Click on any student's name in the grade list. Now you will see grades for only that student.

    Grade List

  3. Click on the arrow to the right of the student's name at the top of the page and choose Preview from the dropdown menu.

    Grades Name Menu

  4. You will now see what the student sees when viewing his or her grades in the course. If you've released final grades to students, the final grade information will appear at the top above the individual grades in the student view.

    Grades Preview

Final Grades

The final grade provides you and your students with the overall grade in a course is at a given point.

This section describes settings for the final grade in your Desire2Learn gradebook. In order for these recommended settings to work, you should have your Grade Calculations set as described in Gradebook: SetupWizard.

To learn how to set the final grades of your students to be recalculated every time you make a change to your gradebook and therefore keep them updated, as well as release final grades to your students, view the Keeping Final Grades Updated and Release Grades to Students documentation

Setting Final Grade Properties

Final grade properties determine how the Final Grade item is displayed in the Grades List. The properties need to be set only once each semester. For more information, watch the tutorial on Calculating Adjusted Final Grades.

  1. From the Course Home page, click Grades.
    The User List pane appears.

  2. Click the Manage Grades tab.
    The Grades List appears.

  3. In the Grade Item column, click on either Calculated Final Grade or Adjusted Final Grade, depending on which you have chosen to use in your course.
    The Edit Calculated Final Grade or Edit Adjusted Final Grade pane appears with the Properties tab selected depending on which one you selected.

  4. To change the default grade scheme, select a grade scheme from the Grade Scheme pull-down menu.
    This allows you to use a different grade scheme for the final grade item only if you choose to do that; for instance, you may display the individual grade items as percentages but your final grades as letter grades.

  5. To make statistics visible to students, in the Display Options section, for Submission View, select the desired options.

    Display Options

  6. Press Save.
    The changes are saved.

Recalculating the Adjusted Final Grade

These steps need to be performed each time grade items are updated in order for the Final Grade to reflect those changes. For more information, watch the Final Calculated Grade video.

  1. From the Course Home page, click Grades.
    The User List pane appears.

  2. In the Final Grades column, click the arrow/triangle to the right of the Adjusted Final Grade dropdown arrow (under the Final Grades header) and select Grade AllGrade All.
    The Final Grades pane appears.

  3. At the top of the page, select the Final Grades dropdown arrow and choose Recalculate All from the dropdown menu.


    The Grade Items Included in Adjusted Final Grade dialog box appears.

    manage grades

  4. Select the boxes of the items you wish to recalculate then click Calculate.
    A confirmation box appears.

  5. Click Yes.
    The grades are recalculated.

Help Desk

For more information or to request a service, contact the LTS Help Desk:
HelpDeskLogo715-836-5711 | | OL1106

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