D2L - Final Grade Calculations (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.

Calculating final grades within D2L can be done manually, or automatically. Additionally, D2L breaks final grades down into two categories, Calculated and Adjusted.


Final grades can be set to either be manually or automatically calculated by clicking on Settings at the top right of the screen and then Calculation Options. Under the Grade Calculations heading, you will see the following options:

Drop ungraded items

This setting excludes ungraded items from the calculation of grades.

Treat ungraded items as 0

Checking this setting assigns a value of 0 as the points received for all ungraded item. For this reason, it causes the final grade (whether automatically or manually calculated) to appear inaccurate, as all grade items are counted in the final total. Final grades can be hidden from students as described below under "Student View."

Auto Update

When any change is made that affects the final grade calculations (i.e. modifying a user's grade, changing the 'bonus' property of a grade item) the final calculated grade will re-calculate automatically. If this option is not checked, the final calculated grade must be manually re-calculated. Out of date final calculated grades are indicated with a calculator icon. Note: Because this is a resource-intense option, it should not be used in large courses. Because only the calculated grade is automatically updated, additional steps are necessary to update the adjusted grade for end of semester grade submission.

Calculated Final Grade vs. Adjusted Final Grade

D2L separates grades into two categories:

  • Calculated: The calculated final grade is the tabulation of grades based on item points or weight. This column can be updated manually or automatically.
    • Automatic Update: if the Auto Update box under Settings > Calculation Optoins is checked, as described above, the Calculated column is automatically updated with any gradebook change.
    • Manual Update: For courses with manual updates of the calculated final grade, a small calculator icon alerts the instructor that the grade is out of date (Calculatoricon.png). To update the calculated final grade:
      1. Click on the Grade All (Editicon.png) in the final grade column dropdown menu
      2. Click on the dropdown menu to the right of Final Grades at the top of the page, and clickRecalculateAll.png
      3. Click Save
  • Adjusted: The adjusted final grade allows instructors to manually make changes to student final grades. The adjusted grade is what is used in end of semester grade submission. In courses where grades are not automatically submitted at the end of the semester, the Adjusted grade can be safely ignored.
    • Adjusted final grades must first be calculated (manually or automatically) as described above.
    • To use adjusted final grades it is necessary to transfer calculated grades to adjusted grades.
      1. Click on the Grade all (Editicon.png) in the final grade column dropdown menu
      2. Make any necessary adjustments to student grades
      3. Click on the dropdown menu to the right of Final Grades at the top of the page, and click Transfercalculatedfinalgrade.pngTransfer All
      4. Click Save

Student View

Instructors may select to reveal either the Calculated or Adjusted Final grade. For more information on revealing student grades, please see D2L - Making Final Grades Available for Students to View.

Keywords:learn@uw learnuw d2l desire2learn grade grading grades calculate calculated update transfer hide reveal release manual automatic   Doc ID:4661
Owner:Learn@UW Madison .Group:Learn@UW Madison
Created:2006-05-04 19:00 CDTUpdated:2017-12-01 12:20 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Learn@UW Madison
Feedback:  2   16