Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Using weighted grade items and categories

A weighted grading system allows you to assign a certain percentage of the final grade to specific grade items or categories.

  • Who is this for: Online Instructors
  • What is required: A Desire2Learn course with grade items and categories

Step 1: Change the grades settings to use a weighted grading system

If you are setting up the grades for the first time, follow the Desire2Learn documentation: Creating a grade book with the Grades Setup Wizard and skip this step.

  1. Click Grades from the navigation bar.
  2. Click on the Settings link in the upper right corner of the page.
  3. Click on the Calculations Options tab at the top of the page.
  4. Under Grading System, select Weighted.
  5. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page.
  6. A confirmation window will appear. Click Yes to confirm the change.
  7. Click the Close button at the bottom of the page to leave the Settings page.

Step 2: Assign a weight to the grade items/categories in the grade book

Note: The sum of the weights of the categories and uncategorized grade items must be equal to 100%. The sum of the weights of the grade items within the categories must also equal to 100%. If they do not, an alert will be shown at the top of the Manage Grades page under Note section.

  1. Click on Manage Grades at the top of the page.
  2. Click on the name of a category to edit the properties.
  3. Under Grading, enter a value between “1-100” in the Weight field. This represents the percentage that the item will count toward the overall grade or category total. (e.g. entering “25” for the Quizzes category will calculate the Quizzes category as 25% of their overall grade.)
  4. Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the page.

Alternative method

Entering weights and categorizing grade items can be more quickly accomplished the following way:

  1. On the Manage Grades page, check the box at the top or bottom of the list next to the two pencils.
  2. Click on the icon of the two pencils to access the Edit Categories and Items page.
  3. Under the Weight column, enter a value between “1-100” for the weight of the categories and items.
  4. Under the Categories column, select a category for the grade items from the drop-down menu. The weight of uncategorized grade items will count toward the overall grade.
  5. Click Save.