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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.

Students only see their own grades in D2L courses. You, the instructor, see all enrolled students' grades in the courses you teach.

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 Grades: Categories.

Creating Grade Items in Manage Grades

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.

  1. On the Navigation bar, select Grades.

  2. Choose the Manage Grades tab.

  3. Press the New dropdown arrow and select 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.

    Note: 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.

Creating a Midterm Grade Item

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

Note: Calculated grade items cannot belong to a grade category nor can they contribute to final 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 an abbreviated name, e.g., MT Grade, in the Short Name field which will display only to you, not to students. Using short names keeps your gradebook columns narrow and reduces left/right scrolling in your view of Grades.

  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. In a weighted gradebook, you may choose the calculation method you prefer, either Milestone or Final Grade Calculation.

    The Milestone Grade Calculation is a good method for providing a course interim grade calculation. For more information, see the UW Knowledgebase article on this topic

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

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

Bulk Editing in Manage Grades

D2L makes it possible to edit certain grade item and grade category attributes on one screen. The Bulk Edit feature in Manage Grades allows you to modify grade item and category names, point values, weights (in a weighted gradebook), bonus status, the grade scheme applied to individual grades, and the category to which grade items belong.

  1. Choose Grades on the course navigation bar.

  2. Click on Manage Grades at the top of the page.

  3. The list of current grade items and categories appears.

  4. Click on the topmost Select all rows checkbox above the list of grade items; then click on the Bulk Edit link to the right of the checkbox.
    Bulk edit
  5. The Edit Items and Categories page appears; make the desired changes.
    Edit items and categories

  6. Press Save below the list of grade items to retain your changes and return to Manage Grades.

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 your grade items are associated with other tools in the course such as quizzes, dropboxes, and discussions, you will see an icon Association Icon to the right of the grade item name in Manage Grades. Before deleting these grade items, you will need to first unlink those tools from the grade items. Open each quiz, dropbox, and discussion topic to do that. Find the grade item dropdown menu and choose None from the list (on the Properties tab for dropboxes and on the Assessment tab for quizzes and discussion topics). Press SAVE to retain your changes.

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. Items that 'Can Exceed' might include extra credit points 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

Note: Grades Preview will display student grades accurately to instructors with one exception. When rubrics are linked to grade items, students see the rubric, the rubric scores, and rubric comments in their view of grades by clicking on Assessment details. However, the Assessment details links do not display to instructors when previewing student grades.

Assessment details in Grades

Displaying Final Grades to Students throughout the Semester

Students cannot see final grades in their view of the D2L gradebook until the instructor releases final grades in the D2L course. Once released, students only see the version of final grades (calculated or adjusted) the instructor selects for release; they never see both final grade versions.

In contrast, grade items for assignments, quizzes, participation, etc., created by the instructor, are immediately visible to students unless steps are taken to hide those grade items from student view.

Instructors may choose to make final grades visible to students throughout the semester or may choose to release grades to students at the end of the term or at any point during the semester.

To display final grades to students throughout the term, we recommend you:

  • Choose the Calculated Final Grade as the version to release.
  • Check the option to keep the Calculated Final Grade version updated automatically.
  • Release the Calculated Final Grade to students at the beginning of the term.
  • Set the option to drop ungraded items from the final grade calculation until grades are entered for those items.

As you grade student assignments, exams, papers, etc. in your D2L gradebook, the Calculated Final Grades will then update automatically and will display to you and your students.

Help Desk

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