Grading Categories let you group gradable activities together in a course. The student grades page displays items grouped by category. For each category you specify how scores are displayed to students including whether to show percent, points, letter grade, or time spent on the activity. You specify how many low scores to drop from the category before computing the final grade, and you specify whether the category is "extra credit", which means it can improve your final grade but never hurt it.
You can choose to use either weighted or non-weighted categories in your course (but not both.) In addition to the grouping features described above, weighted categories have an additional attribute: a weight that is relative to the other categories in the course and that affects final grade computation. Activity scores within a category contribute to the category score, which is factored by the category weight when computing the overall course score.
For example, assume you create Quizzes and Homework categories with weight 750 and 250, respectively. This means Quizzes are worth 75% of the course grade (750 / (750+250)) and Homework is worth 25% of the course grade (250 / (750+250)). In the Quiz category, assume 2 quizzes each worth 10 points; in Homework category, 3 items each worth 10 points.
Even though all items are scored as 10 point items, the quizzes contribute more to the course grade. If a student gets perfect scores on quizzes, and zeros on all homework, the final score is (20/20 * .75) + (0/30 * .25) = 0.75. If the categories were non-weighted, then the course score is computed as (20/50) = 0.40.
Note: Any weighted category marked as Extra Credit is equivalent to making its weight 0, which means any item in that category does NOT contribute to the final course score. Such a configuration is counter-intuitive especially if you name the category "Extra Credit".
To modify grading categories, open the Syllabus for the course and click the Grading Categories tab.
To enable weighted categories, check Use weighted categories in the upper-right corner. If not, ensure that the box is unchecked.
Activities are automatically assigned to categories when they are created. To move an activity from one category to another, select the category and drag it the correct category.
To modify the default value, highlight the default value and type the new value.
To add a new category, click the Add category button and type the name.
To delete a category, highlight the category and click the Delete button.
Note: Grades on activities that belong to a category with zero weight are visible to students when they view their grades, but are not calculated into the student’s cumulative average due to the category weight of zero. Some courses when initially created have a default category named "Excluded", which has a weight of zero.
Double-click the category name to open the properties box.
• Title: Allows you to modify the title of the category.
• Weight: Displays when using weighted categories and is the category's weight, which is relative to other course categories.
• Points: Displays when using non-weighted categories and is the sum total of all the points for activities assigned to this category.
• Extra Credit: If checked, the gradable activities assigned to the category will not be averaged into the final grade. When submitted by the student, assignments in this category simply add to the total points.
• Lowest Scores Dropped: Determines how many gradable activities assigned to this category are dropped as determined by the lowest score. For example, if your grading policy specifies that you always drop the lowest two quiz grades, you could use this feature to automate your policy.
• Student View: Specifies the way that scoring for learning activities assigned to this category display in the student Grades page.