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Grading Assignments

When you create an assignment, a column is added automatically to the Grade Center. An assignment that has been submitted, but not graded, is indicated with an exclamation mark—the needs grading icon.

You can access assignments that have been submitted by students and need grading from the:

  • Needs Grading page


  • Grade Center

Depending on your grading style, you can access and grade one assignment attempt, view all the submissions for one assignment, or view all the assignments with submissions that need grading.

How to Access Submitted Assignments From the Needs Grading Page

For courses with many enrolled students and gradable items, the Needs Grading page can help you determine which assignments need grading first. For example, you can sort by the date submitted to provide feedback to the earliest submitters first.

To access the Needs Grading page:

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
  2. Select Needs Grading. The total number of items to grade appears on the Needs Grading page.

To filter and sort attempts:

  1. Use the Filter drop-down lists to narrow the list of items to grade by Category, Item, User, and Date Submitted. For example, make selections in both the Category and User drop-down lists to display assignments submitted by a particular user.
  2. Click Go. The filtered items appear on the Needs Grading page.
  3. Click a column heading or the caret to sort the assignments. For example, sort the assignments by Item Name.
  4. Click Grade All on the action bar to begin grading the assignment attempts.
  5. The filtered assignment attempts appear on the Grade Assignment page in the order they were sorted and filtered on the Needs Grading page.

To learn more, see About the Needs Grading Page.

How to Access Submitted Assignments From the Grade Center

The Grade Center shows all gradable items. The number of items may influence how you organize your time for grading tasks. You may also find it beneficial to view a student's previous grades as you grade.

To access the Grade Center:

  1. On the Control Panel, expand the Grade Center section.
  2. Select Full Grade Center or the Assignments smart view to access the assignment columns.

To grade a single assignment attempt:

  1. Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
  2. Access the cell's contextual menu and select Attempt.
  3. The Grade Assignment page appears.

To grade all submissions for an assignment:

  1. Access the assignment column's contextual menu.
  2. Select Grade Attempts.
  3. The Grade Assignment page appears.

About the Grade Assignment Page

You access the Grade Assignment page from the Needs Grading page or the Grade Center. You can navigate among users and attempts, view rubrics, grade anonymously, and view information about an assignment.

Inline assignment grading might be available on the Grade Assignment page. If you do not see it, your school has not turned it on. This feature enables you to annotate student submissions in the browser instead of downloading the file and provides grading features in a sidebar next to the submission. To learn more, see Inline Grading For Assignments.

On the action bar, you can:

  • Click Hide User Names to grade attempts anonymously. Click Show User Names to display user information.
  • Click Jump to and select another attempt to view or grade.
  • Navigate among available attempts.

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Expand the Assignment Information link to view the following information:

  • Instructions
  • Due Date
  • Submitted Date
  • Status: Needs Grading, In Progress, Completed

If an assignment is listed as In Progress, you must submit the assignment to grade it.

How to Use the Grade Assignment Page

  1. On the Grade Assignment page, view the submission text, attached files, and student comments.
  2. Type a Grade for the assignment, or if you associated a gradable rubric, click View Rubric. To learn, see Rubrics.
  3. Optionally, type comments in Feedback to User box and attach a file for students. Optionally, you can use the content editor functions to format the text and add files, images, links, multimedia, and mashups.
  4. Optionally, type comments in the Grading Notes box and attach files that only you can access. This text is not seen by students.
  5. Click Save and Exit to return to the Full Grade Center, the Needs Grading page, or the Grade Details page, depending on where grading began.


    Click Save and Next to display the next user, when available. If you assign no grade for the attempt, clicking Save and Next will not change the status of the attempt.


    Click Save as Draft to save your comments and feedback for the user and return to grading at a later time. The assignment remains ungraded and an exclamation mark appears in My Grades and in the Grade Center. Students cannot access your draft comments through My Grades. If you type a score, Save as Draft prevents the score from appearing in the Grade Center and My Grades and the score is not saved.


    Use the arrows to navigate through or grade the attempts in the queue one at a time.

About Multiple Attempts

If you allowed multiple attempts for an assignment, and a student has submitted all attempts, they appear in the grade cell's contextual menu.

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After selecting an attempt, type a grade and feedback. Click Save and Next or use the arrows to navigate between attempts. The last attempt's grade appears in the cell by default. If the last of the multiple attempts is ungraded, the exclamation mark remains in the cell.

To change the displayed grade to the first graded attempt, highest grade, lowest grade, or an average of attempts, access the Grade Center column's contextual menu, select Edit Column Information, and select the attempt to score from the Score attempts using drop-down list.

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How to Grade Assignments Anonymously

You can grade assignments anonymously to ensure impartial evaluation of student work. For example, an opinion-based assignment that you grade anonymously may offer students a higher level of comfort when expressing themselves.

In anonymous grading, all identifying information is hidden and attempts appear in random order. Each student is assigned a number, such as Student 8.

To grade anonymously from the Needs Grading page:

  1. Access an assignment attempt’s contextual menu.
  2. Select Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.

To grade anonymously from the Grade Center:

  1. Access an assignment column's contextual menu.
  2. Select Grade Anonymously. The Grade Assignment page appears.

To grade anonymously from the Grade Assignment page:

  1. On the action bar, click Hide User Names.
  2. Click OK in the pop-up window to verify the action. If grading was in progress, any unsaved changes to the open attempt are lost. The Grade Assignment page refreshes and all identifying information is hidden.

How to Allow Additional Attempts

If a student has submitted the maximum number of attempts for an assignment, but you want to give them another opportunity, you can invite them to submit again.

To allow an additional attempt:

  1. Locate the cell for a student's assignment containing an exclamation mark.
  2. Access the cell's contextual menu.
  3. Select View Grade Details. The Grade Details page appears.
  4. Click Allow Additional Attempt and confirm.

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    The Allow Additional Attempt function only appears if the student has already submitted the maximum number of attempts allowed for that assignment. You can continue to offer opportunities to resubmit attempts each time the student reaches that maximum number. You do not have to grade previous attempts to allow a student to submit again.

    Alternatively, click Ignore Attempt to ignore the attempt’s score in grade calculations and not count it against the maximum number of attempts.

video  Cleaning Up Assignment Files (Flash video | 2m 40s)