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Desire2Learn 9.0

Grades: Working with Bonus Items

Bonus items and extra credit points provide an opportunity for students to improve their grade. The Desire2Learn Grades tool can help you apply additional credit efficiently. This document discusses four scenarios that can occur when offering bonus items. For information regarding extra credit items, refer to Grades: Working with Extra Credit Points.

A bonus item is a separate grade item which students can elect to complete. Points earned on a bonus item can only improve a student's grade.

Example: Each week students may take a two-question current events quiz. Students who opt to take the quizzes receive one point for each correctly answered question. These points add to their final grade. Students who opt not to take the quizzes will not be penalized.

return to topConsiderations

Some factors need to be taken into consideration when using bonus items and extra credit with your D2L gradebook:

If a bonus item is applied to a category, a student cannot receive more than the maximum points or weight for the category. If a bonus item is applied to an entire gradebook, a student can receive more than the maximum points or weight for the category. The extra points will apply to the gradebook as a whole.

return to topScenario 1:
Bonus Item Applied to a Category in a Points Gradebook

There are 130 total possible points in this points gradebook. This includes a Papers category worth 60 points (three papers each worth 20 points). The instructor wants to offer a bonus item worth 10 points. The bonus points are to be applied only within the Papers category of the gradebook.

Creating the Grade Item

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

  2. In the Grades Area widget, click MANAGE GRADESManage Grades button
    The Grades List pane appears.

  3. Select the desired Category
    OR
    Create a new Category
    For more information, refer to Gradebook: Categories.

  4. In the Grading section, do not select Can Exceed
    Edit Category pane: Grading section

  5. Create a new Grade Item within the new category
    For more information refer to Working with Grade Items.

  6. In the Grading section, in the Max. Points text box, type the total possible number of bonus points the grade item is worth
    New Item pane: Grading section

  7. Select Bonus

  8. Click SAVE
    Your bonus item has been created.

  9. NOTE: In the Grades List a yellow star appears next to bonus items.Bonus Grade Item star icon

Discussion of the Outcomes

A student who earns full points on all grade items in the Papers category and earns points on the bonus item receives a category grade of 60 points. In other words, the bonus points do not improve a perfect category score.

The student shown below lost 3 points in the Papers category and received 8 bonus points. The student's total score for the category was 60 out of 60 points. Points earned on a bonus item created in this way can only apply to the category.
Sample Gradebook

return to topScenario 2:
Bonus Item Applied to a Category in a Weighted Gradebook

The total possible score in a weighted gradebook is 100%. In this example, the Papers category is worth 40% of the final grade. The instructor wants to offer a bonus essay worth 10% of the Papers category grade, or 4% of the final grade.The bonus points are to be applied only within the Papers category of the gradebook.

Creating the Grade Item

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

  2. In the Grades Area widget, click MANAGE GRADESManage Grades button
    The Grades List pane appears.

  3. Select the desired Category
    OR
    Create a new Category
    For more information, refer to Gradebook: Categories.

  4. In the Grading section, do not select Allow category grade to exceed category weight
    Edit Category pane: Grading section

  5. Create a new Grade Item within the new category
    For more information refer to Working with Grade Items.

  6. In the Grading section, in the Max. Points text box, type the total possible number of bonus points the grade item is worth
    New Item pane: Grading section

  7. In the Weight text box, type the weight of the bonus item as a percentage of the parent category

  8. Select Bonus
    HINT: An item is selected when a checkmark appears before it

  9. Click SAVE
    Your bonus item has been created.

  10. NOTE: In the Grades List a yellow star appears next to bonus items.Bonus Grade Item star icon

Discussion of the Outcomes

The student who earns full points on all grade items in the category and earns points on the bonus item receives a final grade of 100% for the category. In other words, the bonus item does not improve a perfect score.The student below earned 100% on all assignments in the category and received points for the bonus item, but their subtotal for the category cannot exceed 40%.
Sample Gradebook

Although the student did not receive full credit for other categories, bonus items created this way can only apply to the category.

return to topScenario 3:
Bonus Item Applied to the Entire Points Gradebook

There are 130 total possible points in this points gradebook. This includes a Papers category worth 60 points (three papers each worth 20 points). The instructor wants to offer a bonus item worth 10 points. The bonus points are to be applied to the entire gradebook.

Creating the Grade Item

If you want the bonus item to affect the entire gradebook, you need to make sure the category settings allow that by selecting Can Exceed.

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

  2. In the Grades Area widget, click MANAGE GRADESManage Grades button
    The Grades List pane appears.

  3. Select the desired Category
    OR
    Create a new Category
    For more information, refer to Gradebook: Categories.

  4. In order for the bonus item to apply to the entire gradebook, in the Grading section, select Can Exceed
    Edit Category pane: Grading section

  5. Create an item within the category
    For more information, refer to Working with Grade Items.

  6. In the Grading section, in the Max. Points text box, type the total possible number of bonus points the grade item is worth
    New Item pane: Grading section

  7. Select Bonus
    HINT: An item is selected when a checkmark appears before it.

  8. Click SAVE
    Your bonus item has been created.

  9. NOTE: In the Grades List a yellow star appears next to bonus items.Bonus Grade Item star icon

Discussion of the Outcomes

With the bonus points, a student could receive 140 points. These bonus points can be used to offset points lost on grade items from any category. Since a student's final score cannot exceed 100%, the bonus points do not improve a perfect score.The highest possible Calculated Final Grade is still 130 points.
Sample Gradebook

return to topScenario 4:
Bonus Item Applied to the Entire Weighted Gradebook

The total possible score in a weighted gradebook is 100%. In this example, the Papers category is worth 40% of the final grade. The instructor wants to offer a bonus essay worth 10% of the Papers category grade, or 4% of the final grade. The bonus points are to be applied to the entire gradebook.

Creating the Grade Item

If you want the bonus item to affect the entire gradebook, you need to make sure the category settings allow that.

  1. Within your D2L course, click GRADES
    The User List pane appears.

  2. In the Grades Area widget, click MANAGE GRADESManage Grades button
    The Grades List pane appears.

  3. Select the desired Category
    OR
    Create a new Category
    For more information, refer to Gradebook: Categories.

  4. In the Edit Category pane, in the Grading section, select Allow category grade to exceed category weight
    This allows students to receive more than 100% for the category. Edit Category pane: Grading section

  5. Create the item
    For more information, see Working with Grade Items.

  6. In the Grading section, in the Max. Points text box, type the total possible number of bonus points the grade item is worth
    New Item pane: Grading section

  7. In the Weight text box, type the weight of the bonus item as a percentage of the parent category
    EXAMPLE: This item is worth 10% of the Papers category, which is worth 40% of the final grade.The bonus item can raise a student's final grade by 4%.

  8. Select Bonus
    HINT: An item is selected if a checkmark appears before it.

  9. Click SAVE
    Your bonus item has been created.

  10. NOTE: In the Grades List a yellow star appears next to bonus items.Bonus Grade Item star icon

Discussion of the Outcomes

A student who earns 100% for the category and earns bonus points can receive more than the total percentage for the category - the student shown below earned 44% for a category worth 40% of the final grade. The percentages earned in each category are added together to get the final grade. Students cannot receive a final grade higher than 100%.
Sample Gradebook

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