D2L - Understanding Grades Schemes | Office of Information Technology

D2L - Understanding Grades Schemes

Last Updated: 04/03/2017


A grade scheme is a way of organizing users’ performances on grade items into levels of achievement. A grade scheme can include any number of achievement levels. Each achievement level has its own range of acceptable grades and a symbol, such as a numeric value, letter, or text description, to represent it. You can create your own grade schemes or use the pre-set grades schemes.

Access/Choosing Grades Schemes

  1. Click on Grades from the Assessments drop-down menu.
  2. Click on Schemes.
  3. To choose a grade scheme, click on the faded check mark in the Set as default column of the scheme you would like to use.

Grade Scheme Examples

  • Letter Grades: A, A-, B+, B, B- ...
  • Percentage: 95%, 85%, 75% ...
  • Numeric: 4.0, 3.7, 3.3, 3.0 ...
  • Text: Below Expectations, Meets Expectations, Exceeds Expectations

*Note: The grading schemes that come standard in a CU Boulder D2L course are Percentage and Letter Grades. In order to upload your course final grades into the Registrar's web grading system, a Letter Grades grading scheme is necessary. To learn more about exporting final grades for web grading please visit the Export Grades for Web Grading tutorial.

Create Grades Scheme

Creating a grading scheme is useful when you grade your class on a different system than standard grading. An example of this case would be, an instructor using a different range of percentages to correspond to a grade than is generally used (e.g. A = 90% - 100%, A- = 85% - 89%). Please use the following steps to create a custom grades scheme.

  1. Click New Scheme in Grades Schemes.
  2. Type a Name for the scheme.
  3. Type a Short Name to display in the grade book.
  4. Define your grade Ranges.
    1. Type the symbol you want to display for the grade range in the Symbol column (e.g, “A” or “Excellent” or “4.0”)
    2. Type the lowest grade to include in the range in the Start % column.
      *Note: The first range starts at 0 and ends at the next range’s Start %.
    3. Select the color you want associated with the range in the Color column.
    4. Type the numeric grade you want users to achieve when they are evaluated using the grade scheme in the Assigned Value % field (e.g, selectbox grade items use the Assigned Value % to apply a points value to the item for calculating the final grade)
      *Note: If you do not assign a value, the start percentage is used as the default.
  5. Click Add Ranges to add additional grade scheme levels.
  6. When you are finished click Save.

Copying a Grades Scheme

If you want to use a similar grades scheme to another, it is useful to copy that scheme and adjust the values/ranges as you need. Please refer to the instructions below to learn about this process.

  1. Click the Copy icon in from the More Actions drop-down menu.
  2. Select the scheme you wish to copy from the options in the Copy to Scheme screen.
  3. Enter a title for your scheme in the New Scheme Name: text box.
  4. Click Copy
  5. Adjust the values and settings of this new grade scheme.
  6. Click Save.