Creating Gradebook Assessments

Gradebooks automatically exist for courses and all their associated curriculum periods, however each gradebook must be populated with assessments


Article Content

This article covers the following topics.  Click on the topic to go to that section of the article.

Gradebook Assessments

Gradebook assessments are created within a course's gradebook and are required to track student grades and use the rest of the gradebook's functions. There are many configuration settings possible within a gradebook assessment and this guide will explain these in detail, as well as how to set them up. After creating assessments, they will appear in the program's gradebook under the curriculum period they were created under.
Gradebooks and their assessments are configured at the program level, however once you have assessments in one gradebook, you can copy and apply them to new curriculum periods and courses as needed.

Reminder: You must have staff: admin permissions or be a program coordinator or faculty director associated with a course in order to access assessments in a course gradebook. Only staff: admins and program coordinators can add new assessments (course directors can edit existing assessments).

 If you have multiple assessments in a gradebook that share multiple details (e.g. graders, groups, weight, etc.) it may be fastest to create one assessment then copy it multiple times and adjust each copy as needed to reflect the unique assessments required.
You can also copy a group of assessments from one course to another (with some limitations). Schools with relatively consistent gradebooks across courses may find it most efficient to build one gradebook and then copy it to other courses and adjust it as needed.
 Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Setting a Grading Scale for a Course Gradebook

One reason to set a grading scale for a course gradebook before doing anything else is that if a grading scale is set for a course gradebook, all assessments added to the gradebook will inherit the course grading scale. This can be a time saver if you use the same grading scale for multiple assessments in the a gradebook. Note that users can optionally change the grading scale of an assessment when it is being made.
  • Navigate to Admin > Manage Courses.
  • Search for a course as needed.
  • Click the cog icon to the right of the course name and select Gradebook.
  • Ensure you are in the correct curriculum period and adjust by using the period selector in the top right if needed.
  • Below the list of assessments, and beside the options to delete and copy assessments, look for the Grading Scale dropdown selector.
  • Select the appropriate grading scale.
  • The selected grading scale will display in the grading scale space.
 Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Creating New Gradebook Assessments

  • Navigate to Admin > Manage Courses.
  • Search for a course as needed.
  • Click the cog icon to the right of the course name and select Gradebook.
  • Ensure you are in the correct curriculum period and adjust by using the period selector in the top right if needed.
  • Click Add New Assessment (right side).
  • Fill in the required fields.
 Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Assessment Details

These are the details that are included within the settings of the gradebook assessment.

  • Assessment Name: Required; will display to learners and any graders associated with this assessment.
  • Assessment Description: Optional; this will be displayed on the Edit Assignment screen, will be seen by learners when reviewing or submitting an assignment tied to this assessment, and will also display if you choose to include this assessment in the gradebook display on a course website.
  • Assessment Weighting: This can be left as 0% if an assessment carries no weight towards the final course grade. Otherwise, enter the weight this assessment will have towards the final course grade.
  • Audience Options: Use this optional field to create an assessment for a specific course audience. Your options are for the entire course enrolment, a course group or groups, specific cohorts or individuals in the course, or a custom list of learners.
    • Click the radio button for the appropriate audience option and then select the audience using selector. Be aware that you can search the list of cohorts/groups/learners as needed.
    • If you assign the assessment to specific course groups and you want all learners in one group to have the same grade recorded, check off Apply the same grade to all learners in the selected groups. If you use this option and an assignment drop box, one member of the group can upload the assignment and once graded, the mark will be applied to all group members.
    • If an assessment is assigned to a specific audience only those learners will see the assessment in their My Gradebook view (assuming the assessment is released for view) and have its weight (if any) applied to their grade calculation.
  • Notify if grade is below: Use this feature to automatically send an email to the selected audience if students score below the designated threshold.
    • Check the box on the left to enable this feature.
    • Enter a threshold (e.g. 65%) and click Select Who Gets Notified to add the name(s) of people to notify. The options available will be based on the course contacts (e.g. course director, curriculum coordinator, and associated faculty).
    • If no options appear, make sure the course has course contacts on the Course Setup page. You can add multiple people to the list. To remove someone from the list, click the red minus button beside a name.
  • Assessment Due Date: This is not a required field but if used will create a due date visible to learners. If the assessment later has a drop box assignment added the drop box assignment will inherit the assessment due date.
  • Learners are required to complete this assessment: This creates a flag in the database for this assessment but does not impact the learner's experience.
  • Link existing online exams: Existing exams can be linked to gradebook assessments so that the exam grades automatically populate the gradebook. See the Attaching an Exam section here. For information on creating an exam, please see here.
  • Characteristic: Required; this is assessment type (test, paper, oral exam, etc.). The list of assessment characteristics can be modified in Admin > System Settings. Please see details here
    •  Selecting different assessment characteristics will dynamically open additional fields:
      • Track Late Submissions: This adds a late submission column that allows you to identify students who have submitted assessments late with a checkmark. This will be visible in the course gradebook.
      • Track Resubmissions: This adds a resubmission column that allows you to identify the number of times a student had to resubmit an assignment.
      • Extended Options: This allows you to define the type of questions used in the assessment. This stores information but is not currently used in reporting, nor is it visible to learners.
  • Marking Scheme: Elentra supports Pass/Fail, Percentage, Numeric, Complete/Incomplete, Grading Scale and Floating Numeric marking schemes.
    • If you choose Numeric you'll be prompted to ender the maximum points for the assessment (i.e., the denominator in the score). When entering grades you'll enter the numerator in the score.
    • If you chose Grading Scale as a marking scheme it means users will be able to choose from the grading scale characteristics (e.g., Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail) to enter grades.
    • Floating Numeric can be used for numeric grades that do not have a denominator. Note that grades using this marking scheme can only have a weight of 0%.
    • Pass/Fail and Complete/Incomplete Marking Schemes
      If you use the pass/fail or complete/incomplete marking schemes the information stored in the Elentra database about a learner’s grade will be 100 or 0, regardless of what you enter to record the grades. For instance, if you enter that Student A got a 65% and that registers as a P, the database will store a grade of 100 for them.
      You can control the threshold of what percentage score counts to register as a pass or complete with the database setting gradebook_passing_grade. (So for example you can make it so that a 50 registers as a P or that a 60 registers as a P. Either way what the database actually stores for a P is a 100.) 
      • Record specific learner percentage grades in the database but represent them as a P or F to learners, you should build a grading scale that can be applied to an assessment for the purposes of displaying grades. That will allow you to record a 65 for a learner, store the 65 in the database and include the 65 in the student’s final grade calculation, but display a P to them in the gradebook.
  • Grading Scale: Optionally set a grading scale for an assessment. (If you chose Grading Scale as your Marking Scheme make sure to select a Grading Scale!)
    • Be aware that if a grading scale was set for the entire course gradebook, that grading scale will be selected by default for newly created assessments. Users can edit the grading scale as needed.
    • If a grading scale is used, you can control how the learner will view their results (e.g. see grading scale, marking scheme, both). The option to set how learners view their results will be visible if you select Show this Assessment in Learner Gradebook further down the page.
    • The list of grading scales can be configured in Admin > System Settings. Please see here more details
  • Assessment Type: Formative and Summative are the options. Typically, formative assessment is to monitor student learning and provide ongoing feedback, and summative assessment captures overall student learning at the end of an instructional unit. You may wish to check with your institution’s student assessment coordinator or education consultant to clarify how your institution uses these terms. The number of formative and summative assessments in a course is reported by course in the Assessment Summary Report.
  • Narrative assessment: Check this off if students receive written feedback for this assessment. This information is reported by course in the Assessment Summary Report.
  • Self-assessment: Optionally check this off if students are assessing themselves. This does not give the learner the ability to enter his/her own grade in My Gradebooks, however it will prevent any other grader associated with this task from grading it.
    • There is no existing report that displays which assessments are flagged as self-assessments, however a developer might be able to retrieve it from the database if required.
  • Show Assessment details to learners in the Gradebook and Course Website
    • Check this box if you wish to show the assessment to learners in their My Gradebook view (whether or not a grade is entered), AND you want to show this assessment on the course website if you include a Gradebook page (visible to learners, faculty, and staff).
    • Note that displaying assessments using the above option won't display individual grades associated with them.
  •  Show Grade in the learner's Gradebook
    • Check this to control if and when to show a grade for the assessment in the learner's My Gradebook view.
    • Set the appropriate start and finish times. Students will be able to see this assessment grade during the active date range. If you enter grades after the designated start time, students will see their grades immediately when you save your work.
    • Choose how to display grades to the learner. Optionally select to show them the marking scheme, grading scale, or both.

Note: The green checkmark that displays in the Gradebook overview page shows whether a gradebook assessment is set to be visible in general (i.e., in the learner's gradebook and on the course website if a Gradebook page is in use). It does not currently reflect whether the assessment is set up to display an individual's grade to them.

Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1


Assessment Event: Link Assessment to a Learning Event

Linking an event to an assessment in the gradebook allows you to provide data for the AAMC Curriculum Inventory Portal.
  • Click Attach Learning Event.
  • Begin to type the learning event name and click on the appropriate event when you see it. You will only be able to pick from events associated with the specific course/program you’re working on. If an event you expected to see is not visible, check that the event is assigned to the course you are in, and that you are working in the correct curriculum period.
  • Click Attach Learning Event. The event should now display on the Edit Assessment page. When you visit the event page as an admin., you'll see the event type displayed in the event information overview in the top left. You can also link to the assessment from there.
  • Be aware that you can only link an assessment to one event.
Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Assessment Graders: Assign Faculty or Learners to Grade Assessments

This allows you to give specific faculty or learners designated as TAs for a course access to view assignments and enter assessment grades for their assigned learners. First add graders to the list, and then assign learners to the graders. Currently, each student can only be assigned to one grader.
Graders will not save unless they have been assigned learners.
To add graders:
  • Begin to type a grader name into the search field and when matches appear, click on the appropriate name and select Add.
  • You may add multiple graders to one assessment.
  • Be aware that to add a student grader to an assessment and have them successfully access their grading tasks, the student must be listed as a Teaching Assistant on the Course Contact list managed on the course setup tab via Admin > Manage Courses. (The user interface in the gradebook will appear to let you add a student not assigned as a TA to the assessment, but the user won't be able to access the course via My Grading Tasks.)
If you assign multiple graders to an assessment you can distribute learners to the graders randomly or manually.

Note: If you have set an assessment as a group assessment the interface will look slightly different. Please see more details on the Group Assessments page.

  • To randomly assign learners to graders click the blue Randomly Distribute Learners to Graders button.
  • To manually assign learners to graders, click the checkbox beside multiple learner names and click Assign Selected to Grader.
  • In the popup window, click the checkbox beside the appropriate grader name click Assign Learner.
  • The selected learners should appear beside the grader name in the Grader/Assigned Learners table on the left.
  • To delete a learner from a graders list, click the red minus icon.
To delete a grader, check off beside the grader name and click the Remove Selected Graders button. If a grader you remove had learners assigned to him/her, those learners will automatically return to the Learners list on the right.
 Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Assessment Portfolio: Give Access to View a Portfolio from an Assessment

Linking a gradebook assessment to an existing portfolio allows course directors, and curriculum and program coordinators to access portfolio entries while in the gradebook. This can be particularly useful if a form is also attached to the assessment and the user can see a portfolio entry and assessment form simultaneously. Linking a portfolio to a gradebook is a setting option that can be turned off if desired.

Warning: Be aware that portfolio artifacts are not available to be viewed by individual graders (i.e., if you've added graders to a gradebook assessment). Portfolio artifacts can only be viewed by users with access to Admin > Manage Courses > Gradebook (e.g., course director, curriculum coordinator).
Additionally, there is no integration between portfolio artifacts and gradebook assessment assignments. Attaching a portfolio to an assessment that also has a dropbox created for it will not result in artifacts uploaded by learners also populating the dropbox.
To link a portfolio to an assessment:
  • Click Attach Portfolio.
    • If no Portfolios appear for you to select, make sure you are working in the correct curriculum period and that the affiliated cohort has an active Portfolio.
  • Select the appropriate portfolio and click Attach Selected Portfolio. The name of the portfolio should display underneath the Assessment Portfolio heading.
If you've added a portfolio to a gradebook assessment but aren't seeing anything when attempting to grade it, please confirm that a) there are artifacts uploaded to the portfolio, and b) the artifacts are set to be visible/assessable in the gradebook.
Note: There are additional database system settings that allow an organization to define who can control the visibility of portfolio artifacts in a gradebook. The options include making all artifacts assessable by default, allowing the learner to control which are assessable and allowing the advisor to control which are assessble.
All three settings are enabled by default. There is an additional database setting to control whether you can view portfolio comments when accessing the portfolio via a gradebook. This setting is off by default and if you'd like it enabled, please contact Elentra support.

To remove a portfolio from an assessment click Remove Portfolio.

Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Assessment Form: Attach an Assessment and Evaluation Form for Graders to Use

Assessment Form allows you to link an existing assessment form to the gradebook assessment. This permits online, electronic grading by faculty. If you need to create a form navigate to Admin > Assessment and Evaluation > Forms. For more detail, please see the Assessment and Evaluation section.
Warning: If you add a rubric item to a form, please ensure you have made a grouped item (even if it is just one line). A form with just a single rubric attribute attached will not display properly when attached to the gradebook.
Do not use forms that include item types like date selector, numeric answer field, or autocomplete (multiple responses). They will not work. (Even if it seems like the system lets you add a form with these items, and even though an admin. user may be able to complete the form, faculty graders will not be able to use the form via My Grading Tasks.)
When attaching a form to a gradebook assessment it is recommended that you only use forms that rely on multiple choice, dropdown selector, rubric (grouped item only), and free text items.
To provide a form for graders to use in the gradebook:
  • Click Attach Assessment Form.
  • Begin to type the form title and options should appear. Click on the form you wish to attach and click Attach Assessment Form.
  • The assessment form will now appear on the assessment screen.
  • You must indicate a score for each possible response on a rubric and give a weight for items on the assessment form (a free text item will have no weight). The weights should total 100%. This information is what allows the system to automatically create a grade after the form is complete.
  • If the database setting gradebook_assignment_show_form_options is enabled you may see the option to define form visibility settings.
    • Options include: show the learner the graded assessment form only, show the learner the ungraded assessment form only, show the learner the ungraded and graded assessment forms, and never show the learner the assessment form.
  • Click Save. The form will be attached to the assessment and you'll be directed to the main Grade Assessment page where you can input grades.
  • To remove an attached assessment form, click the red Remove Form button.

Warning: You must have permission to access the form you are attempting to attach to a gradebook. To manage form permissions a user with access to the form needs to go to Admin > Assessment and Evaluation > Forms

Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Assessment Objectives: Assign Curriculum Tags to Assessments

Assessment Objectives allows you to map anything in your Curriculum Tags sets to an assessment.
Adding curriculum tags to a gradebook assessment:
  • The Curriculum Tag Selector is hidden by default. Click the greyed out Assessment Objectives heading to open it.
  • The tag selector will be filtered by course by default. Curriculum tags assigned to the course will display for you to select from.
    • To remove the course filter and access all curriculum tag sets in your organization, click Filter by Course and deselect Course. Click the Filter By button to close the module.
  • Click the magnifying glass to search for a specific curriculum tag.
  • After finding the appropriate curriculum tag, click the green plus sign to assign a curriculum tag to the gradebook assessment.
  • Selected tags will appear on the right side Associated Curriculum Tags list.
  • To add a context-based link, save the assessment and reopen the edit screen. You'll now be able to assign context-based linkages by clicking the link icon.
  • Pick Draft or Publish to indicate whether you want to finalize the assessment or leave it in draft mode. Once published, an assessment can still be edited, however if it is already shown in a learner gradebook, learners may see any changes made.
  • Click Save.
By default, when you save your work the system will redirect you to the Grade Assessments page where you can input student marks depending on your user permissions. To select a different destination after saving use the dropdown menu immediately to the left of the blue Save button.
 Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Attaching Exams

You can attach an exam to a gradebook assessment from the gradebook or from an exam post. Doing this creates a link between the two so that exam grades will automatically populate the gradebook.

Note: If you include questions in an exam that need to be manually graded (e.g., short answer), student grades will initially be calculated and displayed in the gradebook without including their possible points from those questions. As such, it is recommended that if you include manually graded questions, you delay the gradebook assessment visibility to learners until you know the exams will be graded.

Attaching an exam post to a gradebook assessment from a gradebook assessment
To attach an exam to a gradebook assessment, the exam must first be posted to an event in the appropriate curriculum period. The curriculum period for the gradebook and the event to which the exam is posted must match.
  • Create a gradebook assessment using the instructions in the Gradebook help section.
  • Click the checkbox beside Link existing online exam to this assessment.
  • This will cause the Add Exam Post button to appear, click this.
  • Begin to type the name of the exam and select it from the displayed list.
  • Click Attach Exam Post.
  • Be aware that you have a new item to configure which is exam scoring method. Your options are to: show average of all scores, show first score, show highest score, or show latest score in the gradebook. These options only apply if you set the exam to be taken multiple times by learners.
  • Set the other parameters for the assessment and click Save. You do not need to set graders for an exam in the gradebook assessment since you add graders to specific exam posts in the Exams module.
  • When the exam is completed and grading is complete (if required) the grades will automatically display in the gradebook.
It is possible to attach more than one exam post to a single gradebook assessment. This might be useful if you have two sections of learners writing the exam at different times but the grades will populate the same gradebook assessment.

Note: When you attach an exam to the gradebook from the edit assessment page, the system automatically determines the point total based on the number of questions on the exam (e.g. 5 questions = 5 points) if you are using a numeric marking scheme.


Attaching an exam to a gradebook assessment from an exam post
If you wish to attach an exam to a gradebook assessment directly from an exam post, go to Manage Exams> Click or create an Exam> Click on the Posts tab> Add New Exam Post> Step 4: Feedback of the Add Post configuration settings. On the Attach GradeBook to Post field, select an existing gradebook entry to attach the exam to (the list will prepopulate based on the course and event selected in earlier steps and the contents of the gradebook for the relevant curriculum period).

Note: You can't set the exam scoring method from here; you must navigate to the gradebook assessment to do so.

Grades from Exams
Exams created with the Elentra Exam module can also be attached to a gradebook entry so that when the exam is graded, the grade automatically forwards to the gradebook. Attaching an exam to a gradebook assessment can be completed from an exam post or from a gradebook assessment (assuming a post already exists).
 Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Attaching Discussion Posts

You can attach a discussion post to a gradebook assessment for grading purposes. Students can then be graded for their course discussion contributions.

To attach a Course Discussion Forum to a Gradebook assessment, you must have the following in place:

1. Your Course Website must be associated with a Curriculum Period.
2. Your Course Website must have a Discussions page type containing at least one Forum.

Note: Follow this link for the help guide on how to create a Course Website for your course in the Communities module.

Follow the below steps to attach a Discussion Forum to an Assessment in the Gradebook:
  • Create a Gradebook assessment.
  • Click the checkbox beside Attach a course discussion to this assessment for grading.
  • The checkbox is below the area where you define the assessment characteristic, marking scheme and grading scale.
From the Select a Discussion to Grade dropdown menu, select one or more forums that you want to associate with the assessment.
  • If you select more than one forum, your grader(s) will be able to switch between forums to access the learners posts and replies for each.
  • Assign your learners to Assessment Graders as required.
  • Optionally, attach an Assessment Form to assist your graders in grading the discussion forum.
  • Optionally, create an Assignment Dropbox for the assessment, if the learner is also required to make a submission.
  • Click Save.
 Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1

Group Assessments

Group Assessments allow learners to upload one assignment on behalf of their whole group and when a grader grades the assignment, the grade will be applied to all group members. When creating as assessment in the gradebook you can create a group assessment. This will allow learners to upload one assignment (if you use a drop box) on behalf of their whole group and when a grader grades the assignment, the grade will be applied to all group members.
If you use this tool, graders can still tweak individual grades after the group grade has been entered.
To use this feature, you must have course groups built. Please see the Course> Groups page here for more detail.
How to Add Groups to a Group Assessment
  • Navigate to a course's Gradebook either through Admin> Manage Gradebook or Manage Courses> Select a Course> Gradebook tab.
  • Create a new assessment by pressing Add New Assessment, or edit an existing assessment by clicking the pencil icon


  • In the Audience Options section (found under the Assessment Details heading), check This assessment applies to specific course groups
  • If you want learners in the same group to get the same grade, check the Apply the same grade to all learners in the selected group box.
  • Under Select Audience, select the course groups you wish to apply the assessment to in the dropdown. Click the X beside the search or somewhere outside the selection window to close it.
  • The selected groups will display on a list below the Select Audience dropdown.
  • To remove a group from the list, click the X beside the group name.
  • Press the Save button at the bottom of the page to save the changes made.
How to Assign Groups to Graders
  • Navigate to a course's Gradebook either through Admin> Manage Gradebook or Manage Courses> Select a Course> Gradebook tab.
  • Create a new assessment by pressing Add New Assessment, or edit an existing assessment by clicking the pencil icon
  • Underneath the Assessment Graders heading, begin to type a name into the Graders search field and when matches appear, click on the appropriate name and select Add.
  • You may add multiple graders to one assessment.
  • If a course group(s) has been added as per the above section, you can assign groups to graders. The added groups will appear in the Learners box to the right of Graders. Click the checkbox beside the course group names you wish to add, and click Assign Selected to Grader
  • In the popup window, click the checkbox beside the appropriate grader name click Assign Learner.
  • The names of individual learners in each group should appear beside the grader name in the Grader/Assigned Learners table on the left.
  • To delete a learner from a grader's list, click the red minus icon. Be aware that the learner will not be added back to learner's list since it only shows groups. If you remove an individual learner from a grader's list you need to ensure the student gets graded some other way.
Return to Article Content Section Image Beveled v1