Using the Grade Center to Calculate Weighted Grades

Many of us calculate grades based upon a combination of single grades (such as attendance or papers) or categories of grades (such as a set of chapter quizzes or exams).

Bb enables you to customize categories in order to create a single column that will allow you to calculate final grades based on % weights that you have for each grade.

I will be using my PSY 101 (face to face) class as an example here. The final grade in the course is calculated based on the following weights:

  • Attendance (25%) - this is a single grade
  • Lesson Quizzes (20%) - this is a combination of a set of quizzes
  • Module Quizzes (20%) - this is a combination of a set of quizzes
  • Quantitative Analysis Assignment (5%) - this is a single grade
  • Problem Solving Assignment (5%) - this is a single grade
  • Research Paper or Service-Learning (25%) - this is a single grade


The first step is to go into the Bb Grade Center and create custom "categories" for each type of grade...I do them even for the single grade categories just for simplicity.

Click HERE to see the page on creating Categories.

I've created the following Categories corresponding with the different weights in my class grading:

  • Attendance
  • Lesson Quizzes
  • Module Quizzes
  • QA
  • PS
  • Final Paper


Next, you want to go into the full Grade Center and select "Manage" and then "Column Organization"

You should see a list of all your grade columns.

To assign your Categories to the correct items, select the item and then click "Change Category to..." button at the bottom of the screen.

In this case I made sure that the "attendance" grade was given the category "Attendance", and that all the Lesson Quizzes were assigned the category "Lesson Quizzes", etc. etc.


Next, go back to the full Grade Center and select "Create Calculated Column" and then "Weighted Column"

The interface you get enables you to select either single items from your grade book or categories from your grade book and assign weights to them.

Since I've added categories to all my items I simply drag over the attendance, lesson quizzes, module quizzes, QA, PS, and Final Paper categories and assign them the % weight from my syllabus.

By selecting a category Bb will average all the items contained in that category and assign the weight.

The REAL advantage of using custom categories is that you can take different kinds of assignments and call them all "Online Assignments" or something like that.

Be sure to note that there is an option to keep a running total in the interface for this type of grade...if you select "YES" then the grade is calculated based on what the student has attempted to do (meaning skipped assignments are NOT included in the total...this provides a very false grade at the end of the class.)

If you select "NO" then the skipped assignments are graded as zeroes.