Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Grade Categories

What are grade categories?

Grade categories are used to organize the appearance and calculation of grades in the gradebook. You can filter your gradebook view by category. You can also use categories to combine grades, drop the lowest grade, and weight a group of grades.

Example: Set up your gradebook to show divisions in time such as semesters and quarters by using categories. For example, Semester 1 = main category 1 with quarter 1 and quarter 2 as sub-categories; all of Semester 2 = main category 2 with quarter 3 and quarter 4 as sub-categories.

Example: Use gradebook categories for different types of assignments. For example, a category for "assessments" might include all quizzes and term papers, while a "participation" category could include graded forums and attendance.

More on grade categories on the Moodle website (may be available in English only)

Use categories to organize your gradebook

Steps in Snap: Course tools > Gradebook > Setup > Add category

Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Administration > Course administration > Grades > Setup > Add category

  1. From Setup in the gradebook, select Add category.
  2. Select how you want to combine grades in the category from the Aggregation menu.

    More on grade aggregation on the Moodle website (may be available in English only)

  3. Optionally, complete the following.
    • Select Exclude empty grades to not count them in the aggregation.
    • Select Include outcomes in aggregation. To learn more, see Outcomes.
    • Type how many grades you want to drop from the aggregation in Drop the lowest.
  4. Select a type from the Grade type menu.
    • Value: Use a numerical value for grading. Type the Maximum grade and Minimum grade that can be earned.
    • Scale: Use a scale to grade. Select the scale you want to use from the Scale menu.
    • Text: Use text to give your students feedback only.
  5. Type the minimum grade a students needs to pass in Grade to pass.Select how you want the grade to appear in the Grade display type menu.
    • Real: Show the actual grade.
    • Percentage: Show the grade as a percentage.
    • Letter: Show the grade as a letter that represents a range of grades.
  6. Type the minimum grade a student needs to pass in Grade to pass. Grades that pass are green in the gradebook. Fails are red.
  7. Optionally, set the following.
    • Overall decimal points: Set the number of decimal points to display for each grade. It has no effect on grade calculations, which are made with an accuracy of 5 decimal places.
    • Hidden: Hide the grade for this item from students. If you want to show students the grade for this item later, select a date from the Hidden until menu.
    • Locked: When selected, the item can't be automatically updated by related activity. You can set a date for when you want to lock the grade in.
    • Weight adjusted: Uncheck this to reset a grade item weight to its automatically calculated value. Checking this will prevent the weight being automatically adjusted.
  8. Optionally, type a value for the Weight.
  9. Select Save changes.

To get the most out of categories you must add them to your gradable activities. From the activity settings, expand Grade and select the category from the Grade category menu.

Add a grade category to an activity

Steps in Snap: Add an activity > Grade

Steps in other themes: Add an activity > Grade

When you add or edit an activity you want to grade, expand Grade. Select the category from the Grade category menu.

You must create categories in the gradebook before you can add them to activities.