What is the difference between a Grade Items and a Grade Categories?

In Grades, there are two options when creating a new object – Grade Items and Grade Categories. Items are the object you would put a grade on. For example, this might be an essay, quiz or some other method of assessment.  Additionally, grade items can also be notes, or other fields unable to be calculated. Grade categories on the other hand serve three basic purposes:

  • Categories make math easy when it is not simple to calculate in your head – for instance if you have Quizzes worth 15% of your final grade, but you have 9 of them throughout the semester, you can make each quiz worth 1.66666666667%, but it’s much easier (and more precise to let the system do that for you.
  • Categories allow you to drop the lowest items in the category. For instance if you have 7 quizzes but want to only take the top 5 of the 7 grades, categories will allow you to drop the 2 lowest grade items within the category.
  • Categories organize your grades sheet.

One other difference between grade items and grade categories is that you can manually enter a grade into a grade item, but not a grade category. If you have designed a grades sheet that you cannot manually enter a grade into, then you might have accidentally used categories rather than items.

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