D2L Gradebook Tips

D2L Gradebook Tips: Setup, Manage, Export, & Print Grades

1. Setup Wizard: Use the Setup Wizard to select options such as a Points or Weighted Grading System.  

Step 2: Final Grade Released - Display the “Calculated Final Grade” in order to show the system calculated grade, which updates as grades are entered. If you decide later to adjust grades, you can change the setting to show the “Adjusted Final Grade.” The Adjusted Final Grade requires manual updating. Also see tip 7 on releasing the grade for students to view.
Step 3: “Drop ungraded items” means ignore items that have not been graded yet. It is important to add earned zeros to display an accurate current grade.
Step 4: The percentage scheme shows the percent score (i.e., 4/5 as 80%) when scheme is selected to display. Other Schemes can be added such as a 4.0 scale.
Step 5: The "Managing View" is the instructor view of grades.
Step 6: The Student View Display Options. The Final Grade Calculation option is not the same as releasing final grades. It shows a small calculator with scores used for their grade.

2. Gradebook Settings: The “Settings" area repeats many of the Wizard steps with some additional features. Checking the box to repeat the Final Calculated Grade at the start of the user list is helpful so you won't need to scroll horizontally to the end of the spreadsheet. This setting is user specific and won’t affect other instructor views in the course. 

The Managing View Display Options will affect the instructor view of grades independently from the Student View Display Options. Select “points” to see points listed in the “Enter Grades” view. You can show points and percentage, or points and scheme, but not all three. Also, show more or less users when repeating header information with a vertical scroll.

3. Manage Grades: Select "Manage Grades" to create New > Categories and Items. For Items, choose "Numeric" to assign points in most cases. Use the pull-down menu next to the category or item title to edit, grade, or view statistics.

To make multiple edits, select multiple items (or select all) and click “Bulk Edit.” This is a great feature to use for entering short names, which will make your spreadsheet view more compact. Students never see the short names. They view the long grade item names in a vertical grades list.

When creating categories for a weighted gradebook, it is important to choose a distribution option. In most cases, select to distribute the weights by points or evenly across all items.

For a points based gradebook, it is best to uncheck “Distribute points” unless you want to drop the lowest grade(s).

4. Enter Grades: Select "Enter Grades" from the top menu, to enter scores by grade item (use the pull-down menu), or by student (click on a name). 

Select "Switch to Spreadsheet View" to enter grades across all item.  

Use short titles to minimize column widths, and use “Hide/Show Columns” (under More Actions) to customize your view. Hide/Show Columns does not affect the student’s view. Sometimes you can show more users per page if you show fewer items at a time.

Click on Last Name to sort. Click on a column heading to sort lowest to highest and vice versa. This is a fast way to find blank cells and enter zeros while in spreadsheet view. For large courses, use the search options from the item's "Enter Grades" view and set criteria to equal empty (leave field blank) and click the magnifying glass above to sort. Then 'select all' and use the Grade icon to enter zeros for all selected.

5. Connect and Assess Activities: To connect activities to the gradebook (e.g., Discussion, Dropbox, Quiz), use the “Grade Item” drop down menu in the activity’s settings. Select “Assess Topic” to grade a Discussion, “Grade” for Quiz attempts, and “Evaluate” to assess Dropbox submissions. You can also click the activity icons in the Standard View of the "Enter Grades" screen. Check the “Publish” box when present to transfer scores to the gradebook.

6. Preview Student Grades: To see a preview of student grades, go to “Enter Grades” and click on the student's name. Then use the pull-down menu next to their name, and select "Preview."  This view shows feedback comments you have given to the student. Use [ctrl]-P to print the individual student’s grades.

7.  Release the Final Grade: By default, the overall grade is not displayed to students until you release them (individual grades are displayed privately for each user but not the final grade). To display the final grade, use the pull-down menu next to “Final Calculated Grade” and select “Enter Grades.”  Then use the pull-down by Final Grades at the top of the page and select “Release All.” An open eye icon will appear next to grades to indicate that students can see their final grade at the top of their grades list. This setting does not copy and needs to be repeated each time a course is offered.

8. Create Schemes: Select “Schemes” and click on New Scheme to create a new grading scale. Reduce each minimum percent by 0.5 if you would like to allow for rounding. Once created, copy to any section by using More Actions > Copy (start in the section you want to copy to). Edit the Final Calculated Grade (or use tip #3 bulk edit from Manage Grades) to display the scheme.

9. Export Grades:  From "Enter Grades," click on "Export" then select "Both," "Last Name," "First Name," and "Export to CSV." For a shorter printout of grades, do not select “Grade Scheme,” which adds an extra column for every item displaying the scheme for each (usually percentage earned).

You may select Export to CSV (comma separated value) or Export to Excel. Either file will open in Excel. The CSV file is preferred if you plan to make changes offline that can be imported back to Grades. Finally, click on the link in the pop-up window to save the file to your computer.  

10. Switch Between Calculated and Adjusted Final Grade: You can only release the Calculated Final Grade or the Adjusted Final Grade, not both. 

To release the Calculated Final Grade:  Go to “ Settings” and then "Calculation Options" to make certain you are releasing the "Calculated Final Grade."

To release an Adjusted Final Grade:  Go to "Settings" and then “Calculated Options” to make certain you are releasing the "Adjusted Final Grade."  Then use the pull-down by Final Grades to select "Transfer All."  Make desired grade adjustments and select "Release All" to release the adjusted grades.

Recommended Printing Options:  

There is no direct print option in the D2L Gradebook. First export the grades and then use Excel (or other spreadsheet) options to print.

On the "Home" tab of Excel:

Sort by Last Name: Select the column "Last Name" and click "Sort A to Z."  Click "Sort" again when it asks to expand the selection.

Outline Borders: Highlight the data area (Click and drag mouse), then select the "All Borders" option from the borders icon pull-down menu.

Turn off "Wrap Text" for the title row if it was turned on.

On the "Page Layout" tab of Excel:

Minimize Page Margins: Choose Margins > Narrow

Print Landscape: Choose Orientation > Landscape

Repeat Names on each page: Choose Print Titles > “Columns to repeat at left,“ click the icon at the end of the field and then select the Last and First Name columns by clicking and dragging the mouse over them, close the pop-up window, and click "OK."