FoxTALE Faculty: Advanced Gradebook

FoxTALE Grade Book

When you use FoxTALE as your grade book, students can log in and see their grades.  Grades are protected so that a student can only see his or her grades.  FoxTALE activities are graded in FoxTALE, but you can also enter grades for activities that occur outside of FoxTALE.

Although you can create a grade item that only appears in the grade book, we recommend using the graded activities that show both on the course home page and in the grade book for the greatest benefit of feedback to the student.  All graded activities are automatically entered in the grade book.

Your grade book can have weighted categories.  For example, your course’s final grade is comprised of 40% Quizzes and 60% Research Project.  This document describes procedures for setting up weighted categories.  See the FoxTALE Basic Grades quick guide for an introduction to the FoxTALE grade book.

Table of Contents 
  • Adding Weighted Categories to your Gradebook 
  • Set the Course Aggregation
  • Add Categories 
  • Move Activities into Categories 
  • Setting the Aggregation Method for the Course and Categories
  • Bonus Points on an Activity (offset)
  • Extre Credit
  • Rounding Grade Calculations
  • What do Students See? 

Adding Weighted Categories to Your Grade Book        

An example of the use of weighted categories is a final grade comprised of 40% assignments,  40% quizzes, and 20% discussions and participation.  If you have such a grading scheme, then you’ll need to set those categories as shown in this example:

Example of a Gradebook in FoxTALE

Set the Course Aggregation        

  1. Locate the Administration  Block.
  2. The Administration Block is located on the left side of the course home page in Clean Theme.

Administration Block in Clean Theme

  1. To reach the Administration Block in Boost Theme, click the screw setting in the upper right corner

Screen Shot 2017-08-29 at 1.35.49 PM.png

Administration Block in Boost Theme

  1. In Administration > Gradebook Setup.
  2. In the Actions column, select Edit > Edit Settings
  3. Then under Grade Category there is an option to change the Aggregation. In these setting options select Weighted Mean of Grades.

Add Categories        

  1. In Administration > Course Administration > Gradebook Setup.
  2. Click Add category at the bottom.
  3. Enter the Category name, and choose an aggregation method for this category.  If you are undecided about the aggregation method, use the default Simple weighted mean of grades.  (points earned out of possible points)  For more information on aggregation methods, see Setting Aggregation Methods in this documentation.  
  4. Leave the Maximum grade at 100 unless you want to have the total scaled to a different number.
  5. Click Save changes.
  6. In the Weight column, enter the Weight as a whole number (for 25% enter 25 and not 0.25), and click Save changes at the bottom.              

Move Activities into Categories    

  1. In Administration > Course Administration > Gradebook Setup
  1. Move each activity into its category folder by checking the box on the far right, and select the category in the Move selected items to drop down menu at the lower left of the page. You can select multiple activities to move into a single category.

Categories in Gradebook

  1. You can also move each activity up or down into its category folder by using the Move icon to the right of the activity. This gives you a page with boxes for you to indicate where to move the item.  This only allows you to move one item at a time but is good to re-order your assignments.
  1. Alternative method:  If you set up categories before you set up the activities, you can set the category when you create the assignment, forum, or quiz.  At the bottom of the setup screen, you’ll see the Grade category under Grade settings.

Setting the Aggregation Method for the Course and Categories

FoxTALE allows you to determine how the grades are aggregated (calculated) for each category and for the entire course.

Navigation:  Administration > Course Administration > Gradebook Setup

In the Actions column, select Edit > Edit Settings

Then under Grade Category there is an option to change the Aggregation.

Recommended aggregations for a weighted category grading scheme:

  • Course:  Weighted mean of grades.  (You assign weights to each category.)
  • Create Categories:  Simple weighted mean of grades.  (Items within the category are weighted according to their point value while you apply a weight to the entire category.       

For any category or for the course, click the question mark icon to the right of Aggregation to see this list of aggregation methods:

  • Mean of grades - The sum of all grades divided by the total number of grades
  • Weighted mean of grades - generally used for categories.
  • Simple weighted mean of grades (Default and MOST COMMON)- most commonly used for simple grading scheme.  Points earned out of possible points.
  • Mean of grades with extra credits - Obsolete; DO NOT USE.
  • Median of grades - The middle grade when grades are arranged in order of size
  • Lowest grade
  • Highest grade
  • Mode of grades - The grade that occurs the most frequently
  • Natural - The sum of all grade values, with scale grades being ignored but with weighted boxes that can be customized

Bonus Points on an Activity (Offset)

If you want to give all students extra points on a particular activity, you can add an offset.  Note that the offset could give some students grades over 100% for the activity.  

  1. In Administration > Course Administration > Gradebook setup 
  2. Click the Edit > Edit Settings link inline with the activity.
  3. Under the category Grade Item click show more, then find the Offset category and enter the number of bonus points in the Offset field. This number will be added to everyone’s grade for that activity.        

Extra Credit

You can create an extra credit assignment, or you can enter extra points on an existing assignment. The grade for an individual assignment, category, or course total can go over 100%. For example, you could give a student 11 points for a 10-point assignment.

NOTE: Marking an assignment as “extra credit” is only available where the course or category aggregation is set to “Natural” or “Simple weighted mean of grades”, thus in a weighted gradebook the extra credit item must be located in a category with “Simple weighted mean of grades”.

Existing activity? Start with step 3 below. 

New activity

If you want to create a new extra credit assignment in a category:

  1. From the course home page, create the extra credit assignment.  For more information on setting up an assignment, see the Assignments quick guide.  
  2. Move the assignment to the desired category by using either method a or method b.
  • method a:  When you set up the assignment, choose the Grade category in the Grade settings.
  • method b:  Go to Administration>Gradebook Setup.  Move the extra credit activity into the category’s folder by using the Move icon.
  1. Inline with your extra credit item, select Edit>Edit settings

Extra Credit Settings

  1. Scroll down to check the box for extra credit and save changes.

Explanation of Extra Credit in FoxTALELocation of Extra Credit Button

The amount of extra credit points should be relative to the total number of points possible in the category or course. The extra credit points will be added to the student score but not to the points possible in the category or course.  As you increase the percentage of extra credit there is a potential to dramatically change the student’s course grade.


Course Total possible points - 650/650 or 100%

Extra Credit assignment points - 20

20 points is 3% of the course total.   As you increase the percentage of extra credit there is a potential to dramatically change the student’s course grade.

Student's end of course total without extra credit is 580/650 points or 89%

With 20 points extra credit added - 600/650 or 92.3%

Extra credit adds to the students points without adding to the course total.

NOTE: If the extra credit grade is in a weighted category, the result will be contained within the category.

  1. Save changes at the bottom.
  2. A “plus” icon now displays with the assignment, indicating extra credit.

An Example of How Extra Credit Will Look on Course Homepage

Rounding Grade Calculations

FoxTALE uses five decimal places in performing all grade calculations.  Even if you choose to display fewer decimal places, all five decimal places will be used for grade calculations.     

What do students see?

Students can click the Grades link in the Administration block of the course.

Administration Block Clean Theme

Each student will see his or her User report, which shows a list of his or her grades and feedback for each graded activity, category totals, and the course total.  The student can click on the activity to see the activity details and instructions.  Students only see their own user report.

For a grade book with categories, each student will see the category totals for each category.

Example of Gradebook on FoxTALE

Students also have an Overview Report tab to see course totals for all the courses they’re enrolled in.

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