Create a Gradebook with the Grades Setup Wizard

If a gradebook has not already been set up or imported for your course, you should see the Grades Setup Wizard displayed when you enter the Grades tool. If a different area of the Grades tool displays by default, click the Setup Wizard tab to open it.

TIP: Most of the options in the Grades Setup Wizard have a Get help icon that helps explain what they are.

The Grades Setup Wizard takes you through a list of setup options that you should set before you create grade items and categories. For example, it helps you make decisions about how grades should be calculated and displayed in the gradebook.

To get started, click the Start button at the bottom of the screen.

Step 1: Choose Grading System

The grading system determines how the grade items in your gradebook contribute to students’ final grades. Select the button next to your choice and click the Continue button.

Grading system


Grading Systems


Grade items and categories are calculated as a percentage of a final grade worth 100%. The Max. Points assigned to individual grade items can be any value, but their contribution toward the final grade is always their assigned percentage value.


(Default) Grade items are calculated using a points system in which the points assigned to each grade item are totaled for the final grade.


Grade items are calculated using the points system, but a formula is used to set conditions around how grade items contribute to the final grade. (Very few people choose this method.)

Step 2: Final Grade Released

The type of final grade to release determines if a calculated or adjusted final grade is released to students. Select the button next to your choice and click the Continue button.

If you want students see their current overall grade, choose Calculated Final Grade. You must keep the grades current for the grade to be accurate for every student.

Option Description
Final Grade Options
Calculated Final Grade (Default) The final grade calculated by the gradebook.
Adjusted Final Grade A modified or adjusted final grade entered manually by you.

To see their final grades in the course, which will also allow them to see their current averages throughout the semester, you will have the option to select "Automatically release final grade." This setting will be copied from semester to semester if you copy your course content.

Step 3: Grade Calculations

The grade calculations step provides additional choices for calculating students’ grades. Specifically, it lets you decide how you want to calculate ungraded items and if you want to keep students’ final grades up to date automatically. Select the button next to your choice and click the Continue button.

Option Description
Grade Calculation Options
Drop ungraded items (Default) Grade items you have not entered grades for are not counted towards students’ final grades. They are ignored in the final grade calculation. If you select this option, you will need to manually assign a grade of 0 for any grade item you want to be graded as 0.
NOTE: This calculates student current grades, which will be artificially high unless you assign 0 to any missed grades.
Treat ungraded items as 0 Grade items that you have not entered grades for count as 0 towards students’ final grades.
Select this option if you leave grade items blank because no work was submitted and you don’t want to manually change the grades to 0.
NOTE: This option can cause students’ final calculated grade to appear artificially low early in the semester.
Automatically keep final grade updated If you select this option, final grades are automatically adjusted after changing a grade item or a calculation option. If you do not select this option, you must tell the gradebook when to recalculate final grades.
TIP: You should rarely, if ever, need to turn off this option.

Step 4: Choose Default Grade Scheme

Grade schemes define how grades are organized or labeled within a course or for a particular grade item. Grade schemes can be created at the organization level and made available to courses or at the course level and used within that particular course. The Grades Setup Wizard lets you set the default scheme for your course. You should not have a choice to make here, so just click the Continue button.

  • The original default grade scheme will show the percentage grade for each assignment.
  • You may set up a letter grade scheme that matches the LSCS standard for determining what qualifies as an A, B, C, etc. for each assignment, but this may not be as helpful as the percentage for students.

Step 5: Managing View Display Options

This step controls how you see grade calculation data. Enter a number and click the Continue button.



Display Option

Number of decimal places to display

You can set the number of decimal places you want to see for items in your gradebook. The default value is 2 and the maximum value is 5.

NOTE: This option only changes how many decimals are displayed; D2L does not round any grades.

Step 6: Student View Display Options

This step controls how grades appear to students. Make your desired choices and click Continue.



Student View Display Options

Points grade

(Default) Releasing the points grade to students shows them the value a grade item was marked out of and their score.

E.g., 6/10.

Weighted grade

Releasing the weighted grade to students shows them how much the grade item is worth in relation to its category or the final grade.

E.g., 3/5 (for a student who scored 6/10 points on a grade item worth 50% of a category worth 10% of the final grade).

NOTE: This option is only available if you chose the weighted grading system in step 2.

Grade scheme symbol

(Default) Releasing the grade scheme symbol to students shows them the scheme symbol for the score they received on a grade item.

E.g., “97%” or “A” if you create a new grade scheme.

Grade scheme color

Releasing the grade scheme color shows students the color associated with the scheme level they received.

NOTE: If you select colors for your grade scheme color, they will be turned on by default for the instructor view.

Number of decimal places to display

Controls the number of decimal places students see in the gradebook. The default value is 2 and the maximum value is 5. E.g., If places is set to zero, 88.75 would display as 88.

NOTE: This option only changes how many decimals display; it does not control how many decimals the Grades tool rounds to when calculating grades. D2L does not do any rounding of final grades.

Number of characters to display for Text items

Controls the number of characters students see for a text item. The maximum value is 50.

Display final grade calculation to users

Displaying the final grade calculation to students allows them to view how their final grade was calculated. They can see which grade items contributed to their final grade and how much, the weight a grade was given in a weighted grading system, which grade items were bonus grades, and whether their grade was adjusted.

NOTE: This option is only available in the weighted and points grading systems.

Step 7: Grade Setup Summary

The final step simply summarizes the choices you made while setting up your gradebook. If you change your mind about any of the choices, click the Go Back button to return to the step and adjust it. Clicking the Finish button completes the setup.