An Instructor’s Guide to the CCLE Gradebook
[NOTE: For questions related to MyUCLA Gradebook, the contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org.]
The Gradebook is an integral part of CCLE course pages that contains assignments, quizzes, or other graded activities. The default view of the Gradebook is called the grader report which gives an overview of student grades on graded activities in a table view. There is also a user report view, which shows the grades of any one student in the course.
Many courses opt to use the MyUCLA Gradebook rather than the CCLE Gradebook for simplicity, since MyUCLA Gradebook is the official channel for submitting student grades at the end of term. CCLE is commonly used exclusively as a repository of files for student access, and the instructor and/or TAs keep grades entirely offline. However, if a CCLE course has an assignment, quiz, or other graded activities, the associated grades will be reflected in the Gradebook. If this is the case, spending a few minutes configuring the CCLE Gradebook can be useful.
There are a few different ways to view grades. As an instructor, you have two different methods.
In the Admin panel, click on Grades. This opens the Grader report under the View tab, a spreadsheet in which enrolled students are the rows, and graded items and categories are the columns. This lets you review grades for your entire class.
Clicking the up or down arrows beside the assignment name or category allows for sorting of grades by score. By default, the gradebook is sorted alphabetically by student's last name and can be sorted by both first and last name.
Students can also be filtered by first or last name by clicking a letter under All Participants above the gradebook.
Clicking on the Turn editing on button enables an editing mode that allows for grades to be manually adjusted by assignment. This option is useful for one-off adjustments. Selecting Single view from the second row of tabs also allows for this behavior. Note that the preferred way to regrade an activity is through the activity’s normal grading interface.
Students view their grades by clicking on Grades on the left side of the CCLE site. They will see the User report, which lists only their grades. If you as an instructor wish to see this view, select User report from the second row of tabs. Then, you can select the users whose grades you wish to view using the Select all or one user drop-down menu on the top right side of the report.
Setting up the Gradebook: Creating Categories
Categories allow instructors to group different graded items in the Gradebook, and then establish how the aggregate value of those scores impacts a student’s final grade. Some common scenarios might include:
Quizzes are worth 20% of the final grade, the final exam is worth 30%, and essays are worth 50%.
The highest eight scores of ten weekly quizzes are worth 20% of the final grade.
Categories can either be made at the start of your course or partway through. They can also be shuffled, changed, or re-weighted at any time. To edit categories:
Select Grades from under Users & Groups in the Admin panel or alternatively click Grades in the course menu on the left-hand side of the course page towards the bottom. Select Setup tab. By default, there will be one pre-existing grade category, named after your site. All of the activities that you have created so far will be listed here, underneath that category. At the bottom will be a row titled “Course Total” that adds up all of the graded activities in the course
Scroll to the bottom of the page. Select Add Category.
On the next screen you will see a list of settings for that category, divided into sections (Grade category, Category total, and Parent category). The sections also have a Show more... button that will reveal less commonly used configuration settings. These options are not explained below; click on the question mark next to them or contact your local support for guidance.
Category name: Give the category a name. This name should explain to students what kinds of grades are aggregated in the category.
Aggregation: Determines how the category total is calculated. The default is simple weighted mean of grades. (See below for more information on what this means.) *This is an extremely important category that is explained further below under Calculating Grades.
Show more. . .
Exclude empty grades checkbox: This doesn’t count assignments that have not been completed or attempted. So if a student doesn’t do an assignment, it does not count it as missed! Most of the time, you’ll need to go in and make sure this is unchecked after all grades of the quarter have been entered. However, it is checked by default.
Drop the lowest: You can input how many of the lowest graded assignments in the category that you’d like dropped. The default is 0.
Grade type: Allows you to determine the type of grade associated with this category. There are three types:
Value: A numerical grade. (Can be converted to a letter grade under Grade display type, which is viewable after clicking Show more...) This is the common default setting.
Scale: A text item selected from a list. Using scales instead of values is a major choice, because the way CCLE adds scales together isn’t always obvious. We recommend that instructors contact local support to discuss using scales.
Text: Feedback only. This allows you to give your students feedback on their performance, but the activities will not impact their final course grade in any way.
Scale: Applicable only if scale is selected in grade type. Otherwise, it will be grayed-out.
Maximum grade: This is the value of the assignment in points.
Minimum grade: The default is 0.
Hidden: Clicking on this box will prevent students from seeing this item in their User Report. (There is also an option to hide for a specific period of time under Show more… additional settings.) Makes the grade invisible to the student.
Locked: Clicking on this box will prevent grades from being changed for this item via the Grader report. Use this after all of the students’ final grades have been input, to prevent accidentally changing a grade (There is also an option to lock for a specific period of time under Show more… additional settings.)
Weight adjusted: Checking this will prevent the weight being automatically adjusted. Leaving this unchecked will set a grade item weight to its automatically calculated value. Then you set the Weight in the text box underneath.
Parent category: This shows you the category’s “parent” category. The only time when you would change this from the default (the category named after the course site title) is when creating subcategories, e.g. a “Midterms” subcategory that is nested under an “Assessments” parent category that might include other types of assessments like mini quizzes and a final exam.
Once you have finished editing the settings for the category, click Save changes. You should then return to the Gradebook setup screen and see your new category nested under the parent category for the course. Repeat this process until you have created all of the categories that you want for your course.
Setting up the Gradebook: Creating Items
Each course activity, such as a Quiz or Assignment, will automatically be listed in the Gradebook when created. Graded items can also be created directly within the Gradebook without a corresponding CCLE resource in order to keep a record of activities occurring outside of CCLE.
Click on the Setup tab in the Gradebook and scroll to the bottom of the page. Select Add Grade Item.
The next screen presents a list of settings for the grade item, divided into two sections (Grade item and Parent category).
Grade category: This shows the item’s “parent” category, that is, which grading category it counts for.
Extra credit: This allows instructors to add extra credit graded items where the maximum grade designated for that item will not be added to the maximum grade of the parent category.
Once you have finished editing the settings for the item, select save changes.
Listing Activity under Grade Category After Setup
If categories have been implemented in the Gradebook, there are a few ways to assign an activity to a particular category. Activities may be in only one category at a time.
In the settings for each activity, under the Grade section, there is a drop-down box labeled Grade category. All of the existing categories are listed here. The default is Not categorized, which places an activity in the top level of the gradebook, at the same level as categories. Choose the desired category, adjust any other settings, and choose Save and return to course or Save and display, as appropriate. By creating categories first, graded items can be easily slotted into them as necessary.
In the Gradebook Setup, select the checkboxes to the right of one or more activities. Then scroll to the bottom of the screen for a drop-down box labeled Move selected items to… The values in this box correspond to the categories that have already been created. Select the desired category to move the selected items, and then press Save changes, directly above this drop-down box.
Using the Gradebook: Calculating Grades
For each grade category, you can set the Aggregation type, which determines how the grades of items in the category are added together. Understanding the aggregation type that you’ve chosen is of critical importance in using the CCLE gradebook. Otherwise, your students’ grades may not be calculated the way that you intend.
By default, grade values in a CCLE course are aggregated using a simple weighted mean of grades model. This means that they are “weighted” according to the total point value of the activity: a 100-point activity has twice the impact on a student’s final grade as a 50-point activity. In almost all cases, the result of this is the same as if you added up all of the student’s points.
There are a number of other options. You should take the time to read the description of the different aggregation types on Moodle’s documentation site (https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Grade_aggregation) and discuss them with your local support, if you have any questions.
To change the grade calculation/aggregation formula, go to the Gradebook setup tab and click on Edit in the main course category row.
As long as you have the correct aggregation type selected and have set the relative values of your categories and activities correctly, then the gradebook will automatically calculate grades on the fly, enabling you and your students to see at a glance how they are doing in your course.
Assigning and changing grades
Although you can change grades through the gradebook (via the Single view screen), you should almost never do so. There are a couple of reasons for this:
Most gradable activities have their own interface to grade student work on that activity. This interface provides information about student work, e.g., how they answered questions or a link to an essay that they submitted. Also, this interface lets you give the students immediate feedback on their work. The gradebook interface gives you neither of these benefits.
If you change a grade via the gradebook, it overrides the grade that the student was assigned by the relevant activity. This means that, if someone goes back and changes the student’s grade in the activity interface, their grade in the gradebook will not necessarily be updated, as well. This can lead to confusion.
In general, you should only use this interface to manually override select grades in exceptional circumstances. If you want to override all of the grades on a particular assignment or even category, speak to your local support about the best way to do so.
What if I don’t want my CCLE Grades to be visible to my students?
Hiding certain grades in CCLE will prevent the grades for that item from being pushed over to MyUCLA and from being visible to students on CCLE. As the instructor, you’ll still see the graded item in the CCLE Grades view, but your students won’t see the grades for that item.
To hide the grade for an item:
From your course Admin panel, click on Grades.
Select the Setup tab, and then the Preferences: Grader report sub-tab.
Under “Show/hide toggles”, choose from the “Show/hide icons” dropdown
Once enabled, in the Grader Report, when editing is turned on, a show/hide icon (eyeball) is shown for each grade for controlling its visibility to the student.
Look for the set of icons to the right of the item for which you wish to hide the grade.
Click on the eyeball icon that corresponds to your item. With a click on the correct eyeball, you can hide: a single item from a single student, a single item from all students, a single category from all students, and all grades for the whole course.
The grade for this item is now hidden (on both CCLE and MyUCLA) from the students’ view.