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Grades & the Gradebook

This article explains the basics of Grades, and how they can be managed using the Gradebook and Grader Report.


important-Feb-09-2021-06-46-47-09-PM  NOTE

Grades can only be viewed by learners who have Direct Access to Lambda Learn. 

TOPICS


Basics of Grading

The three building blocks of grading in Lambda Learn are grade items, grade categories, and grades.

grade-1  Grade

Grade is an assessment of a learner's overall performance in a particular activity, such as tests, projects, participation, or even attendance. There are four different grade types:

None: No grading possible.

Value: A numerical value with a maximum and a minimum.

Scale: An item from a list. Examples include 'Fail,' 'Acceptable,' 'Average,' and 'Excellent.'

Text: Feedback only.

contract-1  Grade Item

Grade Item is a unit (typically an activity) where learners are assessed through a grade or mark. The grade item acts as a container for grades, and as a set of settings applied to these grades. These settings affect the calculation and display of grades in the gradebook.

Grade items are either automatically generated through adding an activity, or can be manually created in the gradebook. Manually adding grade items can be useful for tracking offline course activities. 

Grade items can be viewed, created, and edited by navigating to Course Administration > Grade Administration. 

grid2-2  Grade Category

Grade Categories are a way of grouping grade items within the gradebook. Each course acts as a top-level parent category, with subcategories nested underneath. Grades and grade items can be organised into grade categories, which can be calculated into aggregated grades. Each grade item can only be placed into one grade category. 

Within a category, a grade summary is also a grade item itself. Summary grade items for a category can show up in reports, and can be used in the calculation of the grade for the parent category.

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Grade Management

Grades can be organised and managed using a variety of ways:

Categories

If you would like to organise your content to be weighted or graded differently, you can configure this within the gradebook using categories. This can be done by navigating to Course Administration > Grades > Setup > Gradebook Setup and adding a new category. 

Learners will not be able to see the category that an activity belongs to, but instructors and administrators can see how activities are weighted.

Manual Grade Items

The gradebook can also include any offline items or activities, such as attendance, extra credit, or an in-person review or quiz.

Manual Grade Items can be manually created through navigating to Course Administration > Grades > Setup > Categories and Items. 

Aggregation

If you have multiple activities or categories within your course, you can select how you can assign weight or calculate the grades of these activities.

You can choose from Simple Weighted Mean, Weighted Mean, Natural Aggregation, or highest/lowest and median/mode of grade aggregation. 

You can also choose to hide activities, exclude them, choose a grade to pass, and add a multiplicator.

Letters/Scales

Letter grades or grading based on a scale are other ways of showing grades to learners. You can define the range for which a letter grade is received, or configure an alternative method.

Outcomes

Outcomes are specific descriptions of what a learner has demonstrated and understood at the completion of an activity or course. Each outcome is then rated by some sort of scale.

Outcomes are similar to sub-components of a grade, and assess specific levels of knowledge through a series of statements that can be coded. Thus, an overall grade can be given for a course, alongside statements about specific competencies. 

Import/Export

If you organize your grades using an external software, you can use the Import/Export feature of the gradebook. 

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Using the Gradebook

Every course has its own gradebook. When graded activities are added into the course, they are then tied to your gradebook as a Grade Item. 

To access the gradebook, navigate to Course Administration > Grades. This will direct you to the Grader Report.

business-report-1  Grader Report

The Grader Report allows you to view and edit grades for all learners within a course. The report is displayed as a table with a horizontal scroll bar that allows you to see learners with their corresponding grades. Learners can also access this report in the same way, but can only see their own grades.

gradegraderreport

To edit the grades of a particular activity or learner, click on the corresponding Edit icon gradeediticon beside their name. To view how a particular learner achieved their grade, such as looking at their quiz responses, click on the corresponding View icon restrictaccesstoggleon-1 underneath the activity column. 

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Importing Grades

Grades can be imported into the gradebook through using three different methods:

  • CSV files
  • XML files
  • Direct Import from Spreadsheet

In this section, we will primarily be focusing on importing CSV files, and copying directly from a spreadsheet. 

csv-file-format-extension  Importing from CSV Files

To import grades from a CSV file:

1.  On your desired course homepage, navigate to Course Administration > Grades > Import > CSV File. 

2.  Drag your CSV file into the File upload box.

3.  If your CSV file uses a verbose grading scale (e.g., using the terms 'good,' 'poor'), then set Verbose Scales to Yes.

4.  Use Preview Rows to select an appropriate amount of rows to preview.

5.  Once you are complete, click Upload Grades. You will then be redirected to the Import Preview page.

6.  Expand the Identify User By section, and configure the following settings.

This section allows you to determine how learners are mapped from your file into the system. Map From lists all the headers in your file, while Map To lists different system identifiers.  

Click on an identifier from Map From, and select an appropriate corresponding option in Map To. We recommend using email addresses to identify learners.

7.  Expand the Grade Item Mappings section, and configure the following settings.

This section allows you to determine how grade items are mapped from your file into the system. Each header in your file will receive a corresponding drop-down menu that lists all possible grade items and feedbacks in your course. 

With each header, select the appropriate corresponding grade item in the drop-down menu. For headers related to learner information, you can keep them select to Ignore.

8.  Once you are complete, click Upload Grades. Your grades will then be fully uploaded into the gradebook. 

spreadsheet Direct Import from Spreadsheet

To directly import grades from a spreadsheet.

1.  On your desired course homepage, navigate to Course Administration > Grades > Import > Paste from Spreadsheet.

2.  Copy and paste your spreadsheet data into the Data field.

3.  If your CSV file uses a verbose grading scale (e.g., using the terms 'good,' 'poor'), then set the Verbose Scales drop-down menu to Yes.

4.  Use the Preview Rows drop-down menu to select an appropriate amount of rows to preview.

5.  Once you are complete, click Upload Grades. You will then be redirected to the Import Preview page.

6.  Expand the Identify User By section, and configure the following settings.

This section allows you to determine how learners are mapped from your file into the system. Map From lists all the headers in your file, while Map To lists different system identifiers.  

Click on an identifier from Map From, and select an appropriate corresponding option in Map To. We recommend using email addresses to identify learners.

7.  Expand the Grade Item Mappings section, and configure the following settings.

This section allows you to determine how grade items are mapped from your file into the system. Each header in your file will receive a corresponding drop-down menu that lists all possible grade items and feedbacks in your course. 

With each header, select the appropriate corresponding grade item in the drop-down menu. For headers related to learner information, you can keep them select to Ignore.

8.  Once you are complete, click Upload Grades. Your grades will then be fully uploaded into the gradebook. 

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