The Grades tool in Pilot allows faculty and students to track student progress in each course. Faculty can also connect grade items to assignment submissions, quizzes, and discussion boards. This leads to all grading in the course being automatically published to the online gradebook.
Pilot provides a Setup Wizard to assist you in determining the appropriate settings for your grades. If the Wizard doesn’t appear when you open the Grades tool, click on “Setup Wizard”.
Choose Your Grading System
- Weighted: Grade categories are assigned a percentage of the final grade. Grade items are assigned a percentage that represents their value within the category.
- Points: Grade items are assigned point values and the final grade is calculated as the sum of points earned divided by total possible points.
- Formula: Grade items are calculated using the points system, but a formula is used to determine how each grade item contributes to the final grade.
Final Grade Released
- Calculated: A student’s final grade is based upon the grading formula that is set and you cannot adjust it without manipulating individual grade items.
- Adjusted: You have the option of modifying a student’s grade before releasing it.
- Ungraded Items: Pilot will either omit missing grade items from the final grade calculation, or will assign missing grade items a value of zero.
- Auto Update: Final grades are automatically updated when changes are made to grade items.
Choose Default Grade Scheme
- Choose to default to a percentage scheme or to use an organizational letter grade scheme. Use the percentage scheme during the term. You will switch to the organizational letter grade scheme before submitting your final grades to Banner.
- The default percentage scheme in Pilot is the 90/80/70/60 scale. You can set up your own percentage grade scheme by clicking on Grades > Schemes > New Scheme.
Managing View Display Options
- Select the number of decimal places to use in displaying grades in your view (must be between 0 and 5).
Student View Display Options
- Choose whether you want the student to see Points Grade (percentage) and/or Grade Scheme Symbol (A,B,C,etc.)
- Select the number of decimal places you want to display, to students, in the gradebook (must be between 0 and 5).
Click on Finish.
In the future, if you want to change any of the settings that you’ve chosen, click on Settings, in the upper right corner of the Gradebook view. If you reopen the Setup Wizard, you must run through the entire Wizard.
Each column in your gradebook represents a Grade Item. Every graded assignment, quiz, etc. has to have its own, individual, Grade Item assigned to it. Grade Items can be grouped under Grade Categories, particularly if you are using a weighted grading system, or they can stand alone, without categories, if you are using a points grading system.
To create a Grade Item:
Inside your course, open the Manage Grades view. Click on New and select Item from the dropdown menu.
Select the Grade Item Type (usually Numeric).
Name the new Grade Item and, if you have created categories in your Gradebook, select the appropriate category. For a tutorial on creating Grade Categories, click here.
Enter the total point value of the assignment. If it is possible for the student to earn more than the point value (i.e. it is possible to receive a score of 11/10), check the Can Exceed box.
If the entire value of the Grade Item is to be considered as bonus points, also check the Bonus box. Note: this will only add to the points earned, not the total possible points, in the final grade calculation.
If this grade item is for bookkeeping purposes only and should not be included in the calculation of the final grade, you can check “Exclude from Final Grade Calculation“. Note that, if you check this box, the point value of this item will not be included in any of the grade calculations.
The Default Grade Scheme should be Percentage.
You can attach a grading rubric to the Grade Item. You have the option of selecting an existing rubric or creating a new one.
You can set Display Options for the students’ Gradebook view, and for the view that is seen by those with Faculty and TA status (Managing View).
Under the Restrictions tab, you can set a specific date range for a Grade Item to be visible, or you can hide the Item from view. Hiding the Item is an option if you want to grade all student submissions before anyone sees their grade. To unhide the Item, return to the Restrictions tab and select “Grade item is always visible“.
Remember to Save your changes.
Gradebook categories can be used to organize and group related grade items together. For example, you may want to create separate grade categories for Quizzes, Dropbox Submissions, Discussions, etc. By organizing your grades in this way, you can evenly distribute points between grade items in each category, or drop the lowest item grade in a category.
From the Grades page, click on Manage Grades. From the New menu, select Category.
Name the category. You can, also, enter a short name that will be displayed as the heading in your gradebook column and a description for the category (although neither is required).
If you are using a “Points” grading scheme
If, due to the awarding of bonus points, the value of the category may exceed the assigned value, click on “Can Exceed”.
If you don’t want the grades entered in the category to be counted in the calculation of the Final Grade, click “Exclude from Final Grade Calculation”
If you are using a “Weighted” grading scheme
You will assign a weight to the category that indicates how it will be calculated into the Final Grade. You can also choose to allow the value of the category to exceed the assigned value.
You can choose to have Pilot distribute points equally among the items in the category. You can also drop the number of highest or lowest scores that you indicate.
Step 1: Grade Settings
Click on Grades on the Navigation bar and then on Settings, found in the upper, right corner of the screen.
On the Grade Settings page, click on the Calculation Options tab.
Under the Final Grade Released section, select Adjusted Final Grade. If the Adjusted Final Grade is already selected, you don’t have to change this setting.
If the Grade Calculations option is set to “Drop Ungraded Items”, be sure that you have filled in zeroes in all of the grade columns that don’t contain grades. Or you could change the setting to “Treat ungraded items as 0”.
Click Save at the bottom of the page.
Step 2: Change Scheme to a Letter Grade
The final grades you submit to Banner must be letter grades. If your final grades display as percentages, as they will by default, you must change the “Grade Scheme.”
On the “Manage Grades” page, click the triangle next to “Final Adjusted Grade” and choose “Edit Grade Item.”
On the “Edit Adjusted Final Grade” page, change the “Grade Scheme” to “Organizational Letter Grade,” (or to a custom letter grade scheme, if you have one).
Click “Save and Close.”
Step 3: Transfer Final Calculated Grades to Final Adjusted Grades
Open the Enter Grades view in the Grades tool.
In the Final Calculated Grade column, click on the down arrow and select Enter Grades.
Click on the down arrow beside Final Grades (at the top of the page) and select Transfer All.
Step 4: Adjust Final Grades (Optional)
You can adjust grades in the Final Adjusted Grades column. Note that Pilot does not round up when calculating a grade that ends in .5, so you will have to make that adjustment manually.
Step 5: Release Final Adjusted Grades
When you are satisfied with the grades in the Final Adjusted Grade column, go back up to the top of the page and, again, click on the down arrow beside “Final Grades”. This time, select Release All from the menu. This action releases the final grade to the students.
Click Save and Close at the bottom of the page.
A Confirmation window will pop up. Click on Yes to release the grades.
To verify that the grades have been released, open the Enter Grades view. In the Final Adjusted Grade column, an icon next to each grade indicates that the grade has been released. If you see this icon with a line through it, go back and repeat Step 4.
Step 6: Export Final Adjusted Grades to Banner
The final step is to Export the grades to Banner. From the “Enter Grades” view, in your Gradebook, click on Export Grades to Banner. If you don’t see this option, verify that you are the faculty of record in Banner for this course. Only the faculty of record can submit final grades.
A list of your students with their Adjusted Final Grades will be displayed. Check over the grades. If you need to make any changes, enter them under the Override Grade column,
Also, please note that there are three columns on the Export Grades screen that for the time being should be ignored: Last Attendance Date, Default Incomplete Grade, and Incomplete Extension Expiry Date.
To complete the grade submission to Banner, click on Export in the bottom left corner of the page.
When the grade transfer is complete, an Export Details page will appear and in the Result column it should say “Accepted by SIS.”
You can also verify that the grades were submitted by logging into Wings Express and, under the “Faculty” tab, open “Faculty Grade Summary.” You have one hour to change any grades that you have submitted. After that time, you’ll have to click on “Change Grade” beside the student’s grade and complete and submit the form.
If you have any problems with grade submission, or if you have questions, call the CTL at 937-775-2885 and someone will assist you.
There are three parts to making this happen:
- Make sure the calculations are set correctly.
- Make sure the settings will display the results to you and your students.
- Release the calculated grade to your students.
Go to “Grades” and click the “Settings” link near the top right of the screen.
Near the top of the “Settings” screen, click the “Calculation Options” tab.
On the “Calculation Options” screen, under “Final Grade Released,” check “Calculated Final Grade.” (You will change this to “Adjusted Final Grade” at the end of the semester if you want to export grades from Pilot to Banner.)
For “Ungraded Items,” choose “Drop ungraded items.” (Otherwise, any grade items you have not yet used will be counted as 0 and included in the calculation. That can cause mass panic among your students.) Please keep in mind that with this option checked, if a student did not complete an assignment that has already been graded you will need to enter a zero and not just leave the grade blank. A blank will be dropped and the final grade will be effected.
At the bottom of the screen, check “Automatically keep final grades updated” and click “Save.”
Still in “Settings,” click the “Personal Display Options” tab at the top.
Under “Grade Details,” select at least “Points grade” and “Grade scheme symbol.” (Other boxes, such as “Grade scheme color” are optional.) “Save.”
Click the tab labeled “Org Unit Display Options.”
Under “Student View Display Options,” once again select at least “Points grade” and “Grade scheme symbol.” (By default the “symbol” will be the percentage grade. But your grade scheme could display something else, such as letter grades.)
Save and close.
Finally, once again click “Grades.”
Next to “Final Calculated Grade,” click the little triangle and choose either “Enter Grades.”
On the next screen, click the triangle next to the “Final Grades” heading at the top of the page and choose “Release All.” When asked if you are sure, click “Yes” to continue.
Then all the boxes should be checked in the “Release Final Calculated Grade” column.
Click “Save and Close” to return to “Grades.”
Check Your Work
You can use a Demo Student to see what your students will see. If you have not yet created a demo student, click “Classlist,” then click “Create a Demo Student.” When you finish creating your demo student, you will find yourself at your Classlist.
You may want to put some values in the demo student’s Grade items next so you will see more than just zeros.
Back in your Classlist, find your demo student whose name will be “ZZStudent, ZZDemo.”
Click the triangle next to your demo student’s name and choose “Impersonate,” then confirm that that is what you want to do.
You can now click “Grades” and see what a student will see.
After you have viewed your course through your demo student’s eyes, click the demo student’s name in the top right of your screen. Then click the “X” to stop impersonating the demo student and return to your faculty role in the course.
In a Grade book with a Points grading system, the Final Calculated Grade is 0/0.
To fix that,
This rare glitch showed up in December of 2018.
Go to Grades and click the blue “Settings” link near the top right of the page.
Click “Calculation Options.”
Scroll to the bottom of the Calculation Options page and check the box to “Automatically keep final grades updated.“
Click “Save,” then “Close.”
Grades in Pilot can be organized by points or by percentage weights. The default course setting is “Points,” so the steps below describe the process of changing to “Weighted.”
Go to Grades and click on Settings.
On the Settings screen, select the Calculation Options tab.
On the Calculation Options screen, select “Weighted” instead of “Points” and click Save to complete the process.
You can export all information from a grade book, including the original point values, grade scheme symbols and ‘out of’ grades to a .cvs or .xlsx file that can be opened with Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet applications.
Go to the Grades tool and select Enter Grades.
Select the Download Grades as CSV tab near the top of the page.
The “Export Grades” page appears.
- By default, “Export Grade Items for” is set to All users. Leave it as set.
- Choose whether to export the “Org Defined ID”, “Username” or “Both” for each user.
- Select the grade values you wish to export: “Points grade” and/or “Grade Scheme”.
- Select the User Details you wish to export.
To export all Grade values, check the ‘Select all rows’ box just below “Choose Grades to Export” and above “Grade Item”.
To export individual grade items, select the boxes by each grade item.
Press the Export to CSV button or the Export To Excel button near the bottom to export the gradebook data as a .csv file or .xlsx file, respectively.
When the file is ready to be downloaded, click the link presented. You will have the option to save the file.
Deleting a grade item isn’t very hard as long as you know the order of the steps to accomplish that:
Under Manage Grades, place a check beside the items you wish to delete and then choose Delete under the More Actions menu:
You will then have to select the items a second time before Pilot will let you delete them!
As far as new grade items go, if an external tool creates a new grade item, it will always created without being placed into a category. You can assign it a category by editing the Grade Item’s Properties:
You can also create a Hidden, Holding Area Category for those assignments you do not yet want students to see, just check “hide this category” under the Category Item’s Restrictions tab:
As long as you are using a weigh by categories grading scale, assigning the category a weight of Zero also keeps that grade from impacting their overall grade until you later place it in an unhidden category…
If/When you want to show students that grade, just re-assign it to a regular category under Edit Grade item/Properties.
Under the Edit grade Item properties, check “can exceed:”
Don’t check the “bonus” checkbox in this instance as that makes ALL points earned for this assignment Bonus.
In Grades, create a category for your quizzes and put all the quiz grade items in that category.
Go into Grades and then choose Manage Grades;
Next the Quiz CATEGORY (It will be in a grey bar) Click on the Actions arrow and select Edit Properties
Under the quiz properties, place a check next to distribute points across all items (if not already checked) and then define how many non-bonus quiz grades to drop for each user and click “Save.”
It is best to do this after students have submitted at least one quiz more than the number being dropped. Otherwise, the first quiz a student submits will be labeled “Dropped.” Although it’s the only quiz, it’s also the lowest grade so far. You will get emails from alarmed students.
When sending grades to Banner, some faculty get this message:
Error: There are no final grades to send to your SIS.
That happens when…
- Banner has failed to create a section for the course
- or an attempted grade export had failed and corrections need a kick start.
To remedy the problem if the course does not have a section…
Go to Course Admin and click Course Offering Information.
Check the Course has sections box.
Go back to the Course Admin page and click Sections.
Click Add Section and create a section with a name and code that match the format used in other courses.
So the section name should be the same as the course name and the section code should be “Sec – ” followed by the full CRN.
A Previous Attempt Failed
If you try to submit grades to Banner without having everything prepared correctly, the export will fail. If you release grades, change the grade scheme, or whatever needs to be done then try another export, you may run into the “no final grades” error. In this case, the old failed state of the submission seems to get cached. If you know you have a section and that the Grades tool is now in order, the ignore the error message and go ahead and click “Continue.” The page with the list of students, their grades, and the little pencil “Edit” icons should pop up. If it does, then you are on your way.
First, make a grade item, just like any other. Click the blue "New" button and choose "Item."
Then choose "Numeric" for the "Grade Item Type."
Then you’ll find yourself on the "New Grade Item" page, which is where you’ll work your bonus point magic.
The difference between this bonus grade item and any other grade item is that you will scroll down and check the box that says "Bonus," and save it.
Now, any points you put in that grade item will be bonus points.
For example, suppose you had five grade items, each worth 25 points. Normally, Pilot would calculate the sum of all the items’ points–in this case, that’d be 125–and divide that by the number of points a student gets. But if you make one of those items a bonus grade, then only the other four grade items would be used to calculate the sum of all the items’ points. In this case, the maximum points would be 100. Any bonus points students earn will raise their scores. But it won’t subtract from their grades if they don’t earn bonus points.
If you also check the "Can Exceed" box, you will be able to put however many points in that grade item as you want, you won’t be limited.