Join Aaron Quigley for an in-depth discussion in this video Gradebook setup, part of Up and Running with Desire2Learn.
One of the core functions of any learning management system is the Gradebook. Desire2Learn gives you several opportunities to customize the Gradebook to function the way you would like it to function. This way, in case you're using an external district Gradebook, you're able to align the functionality of the Desire2Learn gradebook to match whatever you need. Including adding custom grading schemes. To access the Gradebook set up wizard, here from the course home page, I'm going to go and click on Edit Course. I'm going to scroll down Course Administration until I get to the assessment section and I'm going to go and click on Grades.
Because I've not set up the grade book at all, it automatically opens the grade set up wizard. Here I have the opportunity to scroll down and click Start and it'll walk me through all the various options for our grade book. The first thing is our grading system. We could do weighted grades where every assignment is given a category and then the categories determine an overall percentage weight of the grade. We can use a point system, which assignment has a set number of points and the final grade is simply going to be total points earned divided by total points in the class. Or we can write a custom formula where we're going to figure out the grade based on a variety of factors that we choose to input.
For this class, because my syllabus automatically had point values assigned to each assignment, I'm going to go ahead and leave the grade book defaulted to points and click Continue. The next step is to figure it out how final grades are released. Desire2Learn does integrate some district grade books. That way at the end of the course all you have to do is allow your Desire2Learn to automatically package your grades and send them into your district grade book. If you are doing this, then it's important to make sure you choose how you release those final grades. You could have Desire2Learn, calculate the final grade for you and send it over. Or you can have desire to learn wait for you to adjust the final grade.
I'm going to leave it set to adjusted final grade. So at the end of the quarter, I can go in and manually change a student's grade based on extra credit or participation. I'm going to go ahead and click continue. Now, in calculating the grades, you also need to determine how it's going to treat ungraded items. For certain environments, it might be appropriate that ungraded items are simply not included in the grade calculation. That means that every student based on what they did or did not turn in would have different points possible that are being used to calculate their grade. Sometimes I'll choose to drop ungraded items if I have differentiated groups inside of a class and each differentiated group has different assignments.
That way, if there was a student absent, I'd have to manually go in and put a zero for them, as opposed to letting the system automatically put the zero in place. Or, I can have them treat ungraded items as zeros. Furthermore, if I have ungraded items inside the grade book do I want them to automatically keep the final grade updated? I'm going to say yes I do. And for this particular course, I'm going to leave treat ungraded items as zeros checked. That way throughout the course if a student's missing an assignment. Their grade with automatically reflect that missing assignment. Otherwise students might have inflated grades until the end of the quarter, when all of a sudden their missing assignments start impacting their grade.
Let's go ahead and click, Continue. Here I have the opportunity to choose a grading scheme, by default there's percentage, where the systems simply going to calculate out a percent grade for each student. Or there's a letter scheme. Now we have a very particular letter scheme for this class. If we take a look at the syllabus, I can scroll down and see that there's a grading scheme already built in, that an A is a 93 to 100 and that we don't actually have Ds in this particular course. Anything below a 70 would be considered an F. So we're going to use a custom grading scheme, but we're going to set it up later.
We don't have to do it right now, while we're setting up our grade book. I'm going to go ahead and leave the setup wizard right where it's at for grading scheme and click Continue. The next thing we need to do is manage how we're going to view our grades. Typically I'm going to leave this defaulted to two decimal places for all percentages. If for some reason your school grade books wants you to have three or four decimals out you can change that here. Let's click Continue. We can now choose how students get to view their grades. We can show them a point grade, we can show them the grade scheme symbol which we'll choose to do and we could even choose to have colors.
For younger grades if they're accessing desire to learn, or especially parent portals of desire to learn. You may not be actually giving them a letter grade. You might just want to give them a color grade from how they're doing. Furthermore, if you're teaching an online class that's pass/fail only, sometimes what I do is just turn everything off except for color grade. And allow students to see whether or not they're in the green, as in passing the class or in the red where they're not passing the class and they need to make some immediate changes. Lets go ahead and turn off color scheme though. We'll leave point grade system up and we'll leave the grade scheme symbol up as well.
Once again I can choose how many decimal points we'll display the students. I'll leave that defaulted at two. And I can also choose the characters displayed. What this is going to limit is if I have an assignment name that's longer than 15 characters, students will only see the first 15 characters, including spaces of that assignment name. Finally, I'm going to choose to display a Final Grade Calculated for users. As they move throughout the course, they'll be able to see their grades compared to the total points that are available in the class. Let's go and click Continue. Here we have a summary of our grade scheme setup and if we like everything we've done, we can go ahead and click finish.
Here at this point, our Gradebook is officially set up. The next steps are going to include creating our grading scheme, and then associating course content with our Gradebook.
- Exploring the Desire2Learn layout
- Drag and drop course building
- Creating a graded dropbox
- Adding a quiz
- Setting up your gradebook
- Applying grading rules
- Adding logos, backgrounds, and themes to your class site
- Adding students to a class
- Checking attendance
- Participating in class discussion boards
- Setting up release conditions
- Using the Intelligent Agents tool to customize the learning experience