Calculate Grades Using Formulas


This guide pertains to Ultra Course View.

If your course is in Original Course View, see the Original Course View tutorial collection.


About Gradebook Calculations

You can easily add calculations to your course Gradebook. A calculation is a formula that produces a numerical result used to view or assign grades, usually based on other graded items.

You can create your own formulas and use common arithmetic operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and use group operators (parentheses).

You can add calculations based on the average, total, maximum, or minimum of the variables you include, such as categories, graded items, and other calculations. For example, add a calculation that displays the average of all assignments so students have an overall picture of their performance. You can add as many calculations as you need.

More on Grading Schema


Create Calculations Inline

From the Gradebook, List View, select the purple plus sign wherever you want to add a calculation, then select Add Calculation.

Add calculation option in the gradebook


Calculation Interface

Add a title to name the calculation. Optionally, add a description and make the calculation column visible to students. Students see calculated grades on their Grades pages, but they don't see your descriptions or formulas.

Determine how the result of the calculation appears. In the Select a Grade Schema menu, choose Points, Percentage, or Letter.

Create your formula. In the left pane, select a function, variable, or operator to add it to the right pane. Note:  Items listed under Functions & Variables and Operators, appear on the right simply by clicking on them.

Instructor grading calculation

Functions and Variables

  • Average: Generates the average for a selected number of graded items, categories, and other calculations. For example, you can find the average score on all tests.
  • Total: Generates a total based on the cumulative points, related to the points allowed. You can select which graded items, categories, and other calculations are included in the calculation.
  • Minimum: Generates the minimum grade for a selection of graded items, categories, and other calculations. For example, you can find the minimum score on all assignments.
  • Maximum: Generates the maximum grade for a selection of graded items, categories, and other calculations. For example, you can find the maximum score on all discussions.
  • Variable: Select an individual graded item or calculation from the menu. You may only add one variable at a time. Continue to add variables from the left pane to add as many variables as you need.


  • Add ( + )
  • Subtract ( - )
  • Divide ( / )
  • Multiply ( * )
  • Open Parenthesis (
  • Close Parenthesis )
  • Value: After the text box appears in the formula, click in the box to add a numeric value. You can include seven digits before a decimal point and four digits after it. When the calculation is generated and appears in students' grade pills, only two digits appear after the decimal point.

Create Your Formula

For example, select Total in the left pane to add that function to the right pane. Expand the list and select the check boxes for the items you want to add to the formula.  When you choose a category, all items in that category are included. You must choose graded items and other calculations individually. Scroll through the list to view all items. In the Variable menu, select an item to choose it.

Add functions and variables to gradebook calculations

After you make a selection in a menu, click anywhere outside of the menu to exit and save the selection in the right pane. Each element you add to the formula appears at the end. You can press and drag any added element to reorder your formula. To remove an element, select it and select the X. You can reuse any function, variable, or operator.

When you select Save or Validate, the system checks the accuracy of your formula. Validate checks the formula while you remain on the page. You can't save a calculation until it's mathematically valid.

Select Clear to remove all elements from the right pane and start over.

Example formula for the total for the first quarter:

Create a Total calculation that includes the Assignment and Test categories and the Attendance grade, but doesn't include the Pop Quiz grade.

The Assignment and Test categories are in the Total menu. Attendance and Pop Quiz are individual graded items in the Variable menu.

Formula: Total of Assignment category + Test category + Attendance - Pop Quiz

Example of gradebook calculation

If the formula isn't valid, an inline error message appears next to Validate. Problems in your formula are highlighted in red in the right pane.

Example error messages:

  • Unmatched operator: Symbols such as (+) or ( -) don't match up with another part of the formula. Example: Graded item + (nothing).
  • Unmatched function, variable, or value: Typically appears when an operator is missing between two variables, such as two graded items or categories.
  • Some error messages are specific, such as Unmatched opening parenthesis, to alert you to exactly what's missing.

Example of gradebook calculation error


Your newly created calculated item appears in your Gradebook. In List View on the Gradable Items tab, press the Move icon in the row of the calculation to drag it to a new location and release. The order you choose also appears on the Students tab page.

Example of calculation in gradebook

Reminder: Students won't see the calculation until it has a grade and you make the item visible to them.

Delete Graded Items in a Calculation

If you delete a graded item used in a calculation, you receive a warning when you open the calculation:

An item was removed from the Gradebook that was used in this calculation. We've updated the calculation where possible, but it may need your attention.

You may need to update the calculation. Students see the updated calculation on their Grades pages if you made the calculation visible to them.

See Also:



Article ID: 37037
Fri 4/14/23 9:23 AM
Fri 4/14/23 10:03 AM