Setting up the Grades Area


A grade book contains your grading system, grade calculations, grade scheme, grade items, and view and display options. Grade items in your grade book represent all the work that you want to evaluate users on in a course. You can evaluate specific tasks such as assignments, tests, and participation, and you can also create grade items and associate them with course objects such as assignments and quizzes.

Before you can begin grading assignments in D2L, you have to first set up your grade book in the Grades area. In the Grades tool, if a grade book is not set up or imported for your course, you will see the Grades Setup Wizard page when you first navigate to the tool. Note: If you cannot select the Automatically release final grade option, contact your administrator and request that they grant you permission.

  1. Click Grades in the course navigation bar. The Setup Wizard will be displayed, and the default settings for the Grades area will be listed.
  2. Click the blue Start button at the bottom of the page. D2L will begin walking you through different settings options for the Grades area. 
  3. Choose a grading system: 
    • Points: Grade items can be worth a certain amount of points that are totaled for a final grade. (Common)
    • Weighted: Grade items can count as a percentage of a final grade worth 100%. (Common)
    • Formula: Grade items are calculated as part of the final grade based on a custom formula that you define (only used in special cases) (very uncommon)
  4. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the page.
  5. Select a final grade release option: 
    • Select Calculated Final Grade to calculate the final grade based strictly on the grading formula you have set up. (recommended.)
    • Select Adjusted Final Grade if you want to be able to manually modify a student’s grade before releasing it to them.
  6. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the page.
  7. Select how the Grades area calculates ungraded items:
    • Drop Ungraded Items: If you have not entered scores for grade items, they will not be calculated as part of students’ cumulative scores. If you select this option, you’ll always be able to see accurate cumulative scores for your students in the Grades area. However, you will have to remember to manually enter a “0” score for uncompleted assignments, or they will not count against students’ scores.
    • Treat Ungraded Items as 0: Grades that have not been entered will be calculated as “0,” even if they are for assignments not yet due in the course. Students’ cumulative scores will look low until the very end of the term, but you will not have to manually enter “0” scores for uncompleted assignments.
  8. Select the Automatically keep final grade updated checkbox if you want students’ final grades to be updated automatically (recommended.) This will enable you to see cumulative scores in the grades area.
  9. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the page. 
  10. Select a default grade scheme. The recommended option is Percentage, which is selected by default. If you opt to use a letter grade scheme, you might need to first create one if D2L’s default letter grade scheme’s ranges differ from your own (see the Managing Grade Schemes section in D2L’s Resource Center or contact eLearning staff for more information.)
  11. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the screen.
  12. Modify the number of decimal places to display in the calculated grade (optional.)
  13. Click the Continue button at the bottom of the screen.
  14. Modify the “Student View Display Options” (optional.) This is what students see when they visit the Grades area; the default settings are recommended. For more information on the options in this section, visit the D2L Resource Center.
  15. Click Continue. You will see a confirmation screen with all the options you selected in the Setup Wizard.
  16. Click Finish to save your changes.