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Categories in the Gradebook

Why Do This?

Categories in a Cougar Courses gradebook can be used in multiple ways:

  • Organize grade items to reflect the groupings in your syllabus.
  • Drop the lowest score from a set of items.
  • Create a weighted gradebook. The items in a weighted category can then be graded out of a total other than their relative value within the course. For example, two exams can both be out of 100 points each, but the total of these two items can be weighted to be 40% of the course total.
  • To prevent un-used or ungraded items from contributing to the course total.

 

Creating a Category

  1. In the Administration block, select Gradebook setup.

 administration block, gradebook setup link

  1. Select Add category at the bottom of the page.

 add category button

  1. Enter the Category name.

 category name and aggregation settings

  1. Choose the Aggregation. If you just want the category total to be the sum of all the items in the category, choose Natural. If you are weighting just the category, choose “Simple weighted mean of grades.” If you are weighting the category and need to manually set the weight of each item within the category, choose “Weighted mean of grades.”
  1. Under Aggregation click Show More. Note: By default, empty grades within a category are included in the category total. This means all ungraded items within the category are treated as zeros. If you check the box for “Exclude empty grades” only graded items will be counted in the category total. If you do this, you will want to keep in mind that if a student does not complete an item, you will want to be sure to enter a 0, so that the grade is included.

 exclude empty grades setting

  1. If you chose Natural, skip to the next step. If you chose one of the weighted options, enter the category’s total point value in Maximum grade. For example, put 40 if this category is worth 40% of the final grade.

 maximum grade setting

  1. Select Save changes at the bottom of the page.

 save changes button

  1. Repeat steps 2-7 until all categories have been created. If you are creating a weighted gradebook, once all the categories are created the course total should be 100 and then the Weight column values for each category should match the corresponding category’s total.

 

Moving Grade Items into a Category

  1. On the Gradebook Setup tab, check the boxes on the far right of each item you want to move into the desired category.

check boxes on the far right of each item

  1. At the bottom of the page, select the category name from the “Move selected items to” drop down menu. Wait a few seconds to allow the system to move the items.

move selected items to drop down

  1. Repeat for each category.

Note: See the other Help Guides under Gradebook to learn how to manually add grade items, make an item extra credit, drop the lowest score in a category, and manually input grades in the gradebook.