Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > Desire2Learn > Tools > Grades > Using Calculated Grade Items

# Using Calculated Grade Items

A Calculated grade item shows cumulative achievement across multiple grade items and categories in a course. Whereas final grade calculation scales to fill to 100% of a student’s grade, using a Calculated grade item drops items from the sum total of the calculation, basing it on the specified weights or points in the gradebook. Because they are meant to show an accumulation of scores, Calculated grade items cannot belong to a category, cannot contribute to the calculated final grade, and cannot be associated with assignments like Submissions, Quizzes, or Discussion Boards.

Calculated grade items can be set up in Weighted gradebooks or in Points gradebooks.

## Set up a Calculated Grade Item in a Weighted Gradebook

1. Go to Grades.
2. Select the Manage Grades tab.
3. Select New.
4. From the dropdown menu, select Item.
5. For the grade item type, select Calculated.
6. Enter a name for the grade item (e.g. “Current Grade”).
7. (Optional) If an extra credit grade item will be used in the calculation, select the checkbox under "Can Exceed."
8. Under the “Calculation” heading, select the checkboxes for all items that should contribute to the grade item.
9. Under the “Calculation Method” heading, select the radio button for either “Milestone Grade” or “Final Grade,” depending on the purpose of the Calculated grade item.
10. Select Save and Close.

Note: Different gradebook settings will affect the way the milestone grade is calculated in a weighted gradebook. Refer to the table below to adjust settings according to whether or not there are exemptions and how ungraded items are treated.

Ungraded Items Treated as 0
Weighted gradebook with exemptions Denominator and numerator of the calculated grade are both scaled across selected grade items so the denominator reflects the sum of available weight for items selected.
Denominator of the calculated grade is the sum of the total available weight for individual students out of items checked. This excludes any exempted items.
Weighted gradebook without exemptions Denominator of the calculated grade is the sum of the total available weight for items selected. Denominator of the calculated grade is the sum of total available weight for items selected.

## Set up a Calculated Grade Item in a Points Gradebook

A Calculated grade item in a points-based gradebook can be helpful if ungraded items are treated as 0 because the Calculated grade item will contextualize the overall grade for students. In a points-based gradebook that drops ungraded items, the Final Calculated Grade will accurately reflect the current grades in the class, so a Calculated grade item is not necessary.

1. Go to Grades.
2. Select the Manage Grades tab.
3. Select New.
4. From the dropdown menu, select Item.
5. For the grade item type, select Calculated.
6. Enter a name for the grade item (e.g. “Current Grade”).
7. (Optional) If an extra credit grade item will be used in the calculation, select the checkbox under "Can Exceed."
8. Under the “Calculation” heading, select the ​ checkboxes for all items that should contribute to the grade item.
9. Select Save and Close.