Loyola Support Documentation

How do I set up a Gradebook with categories for organization and/or dropping grades?


In this scenario, you are setting up a gradebook with categories but no weighting. It provides a straightforward calculation of total points earned in the course. However, the addition of categories allows you to use the Group by Category option to organize the visual layout of your Gradebook items. In addition, you have the option to drop grades within categories if desired.  

Select Gradebook.

Select Gradebook from your site's tool menu

In the target Sakai site, select Gradebook from the Tool Menu.

Select Settings.

Select Settings

Select Settings from the actions menu.

Select Categories & Weighting.

Select Categories & Weighting

Select Categories & Weighting to expand the section.

Select the Categories only radio button.

Select Categories only

Select the Categories only radio button to display additional options.

Enter categories.

Add categories
  1. Select the Add a category button to add more categories.
  2. Type the name for the Gradebook category in the text field within the Category column.

Enable drop highest, drop lowest, keep highest, and/or equal weight. (Optional)

Enable additional options if desired

If you would like to be able to drop or keep a subset of scores within categories, check the box next to Drop highest, Drop lowest, and/or Keep highest.

NOTE: In order to drop items within a category, all items in that category must be worth the same point value. Additionally, there is the option to check the Equal Weight box. This will reconfigure all items in that category to be weighted on a points scale of 100.

Indicate the number of items to be dropped or kept within each category.

Indicate the number of items to be kept or dropped within each category
  1. Enter the number of items to drop or keep in the respective column.
  2. To equally weight items within a category, select the Equal Weight checkbox in the respective column.

NOTE: Equal Weight may be checked to facilitate keeping or dropping items from a category; however, Equal Weight may be applied without keeping or dropping items.

Select Save Changes.

Select Save Changes

Add and categorize Gradebook items.

Select Grades.

Select Grades

Select Grades from the Actions menu.

Select Add Gradebook Item.

Select Add Gradebook Item

Select the Add Gradebook Item button to begin adding Gradebook items.

Complete Add Gradebook item details.

Edit item details and associate item with a category
  1. Enter the item Title in the text box provided. (Required)
  2. Enter the Point value for the item. (Required)
  3. Select the calendar button to assign a Due Date for the item. (Optional)
  4. Check the box for Release item to students if you would like students to be able to view their grades for this item. Leaving the box unchecked hides the item from students.
  5. Check the box for Include item in course grade calculations if you would like the item to be added into the course grade. Leaving the box unchecked omits it from the course grade calculation.
  6. Once you have entered all of the information for this item, select the Create button to save your changes. Selecting the + button next to Create will create the current item and take you directly to the Add Gradebook Item dialog for another new item.

NOTE: You may also assign items from other tools, such as Assignments or Tests & Quizzes, to specific categories when you create them.

Example student grade summary

Sample student grade summary

Let’s say Student Kinne has earned the following points:

  • Assignment #1 - 45 out of 50
  • Discussion #1 - 10 out of 10
  • Discussion #2 - 10 out of 10
  • Research Paper #1 - 92 out of 100

The Gradebook will automatically add up all of the scores and divide by the total points possible.

If no grades are dropped, then the grade calculation is (45+10+10+92)/170 points. The student's overall grade average = 92.35%.

If the lowest 1 score is dropped in the Discussions category, the grade calculation would be (45+10+92)/160 points. The student's overall grade average = 91.88%.

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