Learn@Illinois Moodle - Setting up the Gradebook Using Points

Setting up the gradebook with raw point values is more challenging than setting up a gradebook with percentages.

The points gradebook setup may be less than ideal for a course that may be flexible with assignments. To use the points gradebook, all assignments and their precise point values must be established before the course begins. When assignments are altered or deleted, it affects the weight of all other items in the gradebook. 

Here is a sample points gradebook setup. Note that a 100 point maximum grade is worth 10% of the course grade because the course total is 1,000:
Points Gradebook - No categories


Do the Math

To set up this gradebook, doing the preparatory math is the most difficult part. Then, it is simply a matter of changing the point values for each activity. In the screenshot above, we have a course that is worth a total of 1,000 points. This is a recommended point total because it makes the percentages easy to double check and is big enough to use chunks of larger round numbers of points for various assignments. For example, if we were to use 100 points, our final exam would only be worth 15 points, causing students to perhaps mistakenly assume that the exam is not very important.

Just as in the percentage gradebook, let's imagine that we have the following setup in our course syllabus:

Attendance 10%
Discussion Forum Posts 20%
Assignments 30%
Quizzes 10%
Tests 30%


Now we translate each of these percentages into point values out of 1,000 (by adding a 0) and double check that they add up to 1,000:

Attendance 100 points
Discussion Forum Posts 200 points
Assignments 300 points
Quizzes 100 points
Tests 300 points


The tricky part now is that you have to make the activities in each category add up to the number of points and have a non-decimal value. In my original gradebook, I only had 6 discussion forum grades, but 200 points cannot be divided evenly by 6, so I added 2 more discussion forums with their corresponding grade activities to make a total of 8.

Attendance 100/1= 100 points each
Discussion Forum Posts 200/8 = 25 points each
Assignments 300/6 = 50 points each
Quizzes 100/2 = 50 points each
Tests 300/2 = 150 points each


Edit Maximum Grades

We need to edit the maximum points within "Edit settings" for each activity to correspond with the values above that we decided on. Generally speaking, default maximum point values are set to 100. Please see our help document Editing Maximum Grades for information on how to edit the raw point values for each activity. 

Optional: Use Categories in a Points Gradebook Setup

Using categories with the points gradebook setup is possible, but not always recommended. When you use categories, the weights displayed become the weights of the activities within the category rather than the weights for the course. Thus, using categories makes it more difficult to see the course weight for each activity.

In the example below, the points gradebook is set up using categories of activity type:
Points Gradebook with Categories - Top Half

Creating Categories in the Points Gradebook

If you choose to set up categories, use the following procedure.

  1. Click on Gradebook setup in the Administration block on the left if you are not already on the Gradebook Setup page.
    Gradebook setup Link
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click Add category.
    Add category button
  3. Enter/select the following:
    • Under "Grade category" -> "Category name" type in the name of your category (e.g. Quizzes).
    • Under "Aggregation," select "Natural (Sum of Grades)," which should be the default.
    New Gradebook category - Quizzes - (Natural Sum of Grades)
  4. Save.
    Save changes
  5. Repeat the same process for each category.


Creating a Category to Drop the Lowest Grade

If you need to drop the lowest quiz/assignment/etc., you will need to create a category for that type of assignment. Please see our help page Dropping the Lowest Score for more information.





Keywords:gradebook, set up, points, categories, maximum grade   Doc ID:78324
Owner:ATLAS-TLT .Group:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
Created:2017-11-20 10:10 CSTUpdated:2018-02-15 16:55 CST
Sites:University of Illinois Liberal Arts and Sciences
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