D2L - Importing and Exporting the Gradebook (UW-Madison)


UW-Madison is adopting Canvas as the single, centrally supported learning management system, and discontinuing support for Desire2Learn (D2L) and Moodle. Access to D2L and Moodle will permanently end June 1, 2018. For information about retaining materials from D2L or Moodle, please refer to this document.

Grade items, bulk grade uploads, external grades, and grades modified by a formula can be imported from an excel spreadsheet into the D2L gradebook.

WARNING: Student content and grades are regulated by FERPA. Please store data in accordance with University FERPA policies, defined here: https://registrar.wisc.edu/ferpa_guidelines_faculty_staff.htm

1.  Gradebook Setup

If you anticipate importing grades into the D2L gradebook, it is recommended that your D2L gradebook first be completely set up.  This measure will ensure that all grade items are assigned the correct weights (when using the weighted system) and categories.

The exported file will be used for inserting or changing number grades only. All other kinds of changes should be made within D2L.

2.  Exporting

If you plan to import grades into D2L, it is critical that you EXPORT  your gradebook first.  This will ensure that the spreadsheet is formatted correctly.  NOTE:  Using the The example spread sheet provided under "Import" in the gradebook is not recommended.   

  • Start by clicking Grades in your course's navigation bar, go to the Enter Grades tab, and then click on the Export button. You are presented with a number of options related to the data included in the exported file

  • "Export Grade Items For"
    • You can either select "All users" or "Groups."
  • "Key Field" 
    • It is recommended that the StudentID option be selected for proper import. The other option is to select Both
    • The "#" symbols in the export file in front of Org Id and Username need to be retained for re-import.
  • "Grade Values"
    • Currently, only the Points Grade option (i.e. the 'Out Of' Grade option: a students numeric grade on an item) can be successfully exported and imported. 
  • "User Details"

    • You may select whether the exported file includes a students first or last name, and if the student's e-mail address is included.
  • Under Choose Items to Export, you may also select which grade items will be exported. Note that if the final grade column may be included in the export for your reference, but the file cannot then be imported back into D2L. 
  • "Export to Excel" Click "Export to CSV" or  when ready.

NOTE:  Currently, it is not possible to export a letter grade or data from a text item. Additionally, a "selectbox" grade item type will not export the label.  Instead the number of the "Start %" (or lowest number) in the scheme range is exported.

2. Make changes in the Downloaded spreadsheet

D2L will export a CSV (comma separated value) spreadsheet formatted correctly. Do not change the headings or formulas.  However, you can add a new column (or grade item) and grades.  Insert a column where you would like the new grade item to be placed.  In this example, a new column was added at the end of the current grade items.  It is labled "New Assignment" and highlighted for example purposes only.  

excel spread sheet

3.  Import the CSV back into the gradebook

Prior to importing, be sure when saving within your spreadsheet program that the file remains as a ".csv" type. On a Macintosh, be sure that the file is saved as CSV (Windows). Note: Please use the Sample "Grades_Sample_Import_File.csv" file as a guide on how to format your imported spreadsheet.

(For older versions of Excel that don't have the "Windows .csv" file type, try .csv comma delimited as the file type.)

To import a (.csv) file:

  • Click on "Import"
  • Be sure to click the box asking if you would like new grade items automatically created.  You will be able to create these on the fly while importing. 
  • Choose a file from your computer and click Open.
  • Click "Continue." The file will process.
  •  If there are no errors found, click "continue" again.
  • A preview will appear of your imported grades. If everything looks correct, click "Import"

If your (.csv) file contains items that are not yet in your grade book and you have a points-based grade book without categories, then you can create new grade items in your grade book at import.  Follow the same import steps as above, with these additions:
    Click the check box for "Create new grade item when an unrecognized item
    is referenced."
    Choose the type of grade item (typically numeric)
    Enter the maximum points for the assignment

If your modified file cannot be imported back into D2L, please refer to D2L - Problems Importing the Gradebook.

Keywords:learn@uw learnuw d2l desire2learn grades gradebook import export importing exporting Excel xls csv   Doc ID:3203
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW Madison
Created:2004-09-08 19:00 CDTUpdated:2017-12-01 12:21 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW Madison
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