Creating and Managing categories

In the Grade Center, you can use categories to group related columns together and organize the data.

With categories, you can:

  • Filter your view of the Grade Center. For example, you can filter using the Assignment category and view only assignment columns in the Grade Center grid. To learn more about filtering, see About the Grade Center Action Bar.
  • Calculate grades. For example, you can assign a weight to a category when calculating final grades using a Weighted column. To learn more, see About Calculated Columns in the Grade Center.
  • Create a Smart View. Smart Views are views of the Grade Center based on a variety of student criteria. For example, you can generate a Smart View that only displays columns associated with the test category. To learn more about Smart Views, seeUsing Smart Views in the Grade Center.
  • Create a report. You can create a printable report that displays statistics of performance for all of the columns in a certain category. To learn more, see Working with Grade Center Reports.

By default, the following categories are created in the Grade Center:

  • Assignment
  • Blog
  • Discussion Board
  • Journal
  • SafeAssignment (when the tool is available and a SafeAssignment has been created)
  • Self and Peer Assessment
  • Survey
  • Test
  • Wiki (when the tool is available and a wiki has been created)

Note: The Self and Peer Assessment, SafeAssign, and Wiki tools are not available with a Basic License.

When you create a gradable item from the preceding list, a grade column is created automatically for the item in the Grade Center and the column is associated automatically to the appropriate category.

Example:

You create a gradable discussion forum titled “Week 1 Discussion.” A grade column with that name is included in the Grade Center and the column is associated automatically to the Discussion category.

You cannot edit the name and description or delete seven of the default categories, but you can move a column from one category to another category. When they appear, you are allowed to edit the name and the description of the SafeAssignment and Wiki categories, but you cannot delete them. You can also create an unlimited number of categories to organize grades. You manually associate columns to categories on the Column Organization page or by editing an individual column’s settings. To learn more, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data and How to Edit Columns, Hide Columns, and Select Options for Grade Center Columns.

You can create as many categories as needed to organize your Grade Center data. The Categories page in the Grade Center displays the default categories and any you create. Each category’s row displays an optional description and the grade columns associated with that particular category.

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Tip: When you create a grade column, you can associate it with a category. To learn more, see Creating and Managing Grade Center Columns. If you do not, it defaults to No Category. You can also create custom categories before manually creating grade columns. Then, when you create a grade column, you can select the appropriate custom category. For example, you can create a Group category and associate the group participation and attendance grade columns to it.

Once you have created a new category, you can do the following:

  • Associate new columns to the category when creating the columns.
  • Move existing columns to the category.

Use the following steps to create a category.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Categories.Image illustrating associated text
  3. On the Categories page, click Create Category on the Action Bar.
  4. On the Create Category page, type the category Name and an optional Description. The description can help differentiate categories and explain a category’s purpose.
  5. Click Submit.Image illustrating associated text

Result

In the Grade Center, the new category appears in the list on the Categories page.

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Sorting, Editing, and Deleting Categories

On the Categories page, you can sort the list, and edit and delete categories you created. You cannot edit the name and description or delete seven of the default categories. When they appear, you are allowed to edit the name and the description of the SafeAssignment and Wiki categories, but you cannot delete them.

Note: The SafeAssign and Wiki tools are not available with a Basic License.

To sort the Title column, click the column heading or caret. If many categories exist, click Show All to display all categories on one page. Click Edit Paging to change the number of items to view per page.

To edit or delete a category you created, click its Action Link ( Action Link icon ) to access the contextual menu and select Edit or Delete. Alternatively, select one or multiple check boxes or select the check box in the header row and click Delete on the Action Bar. You cannot delete a category that has columns associated with it.

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In the Grade Center, you can view the columns associated with a category in two ways. You can filter the view of the Grade Center and select a category, or you can view all categories and associated columns on the Column Organization page. If columns were not associated with a category when created, you can manually associate columns on the Column Organization page or when editing a column’s settings. For example, you can create a category for a group project and associate the columns that pertain.

How to Use the Filter Function

  1. In the Grade Center, click Filter on the Action Bar to expand the Filter field.
  2. In the Category drop-down list, select a category. The columns associated with the category appear in the grid. The view remains in the Grade Center until you change it or close your browser.
  3. Click the X to collapse the Filter field.Image illustrating associated text

How to Use the Column Organization Page

On the Column Organization page, you can:

  • Move one or more columns to a category, a different category, or no category.
  • Show and hide columns in the Grade Center grid.
  • Change the order of Grading Period tables and columns.

To learn more, see About Organizing the Grade Center Data.

Use the following steps to view and associate columns with your categories.

  1. In the Grade Center, point to Manage on the Action Bar to access the drop-down list.
  2. Select Column Organization.Image illustrating associated text
  3. On the Column Organization page, view each column’s association in the Category column. To sort a column, click the column’s Action Link ( Action Link icon ) and set an ascending or descending order.
  4. To move a column to a category, a different category, or no category, select its check box. For example, you can move a column from the Discussions category to a category named Extra Credit. Select multiple check boxes to move multiple columns to a category in one action.
  5. On the Action Bar, point to the Change Category to… drop-down list and make a selection.
  6. Click Submit. If you try to navigate away from this page without clicking Submit, a pop-up window warns you to save the changes.Image illustrating associated text

Result

After submitting, the column is associated with the new category or no category, and the change appears in the Category column.

IMPORTANT! Changes you make on this page do not affect what students see on their My Grades pages. For example, if you choose to hide a column using the Show/Hide drop-down list on the Action Bar, the column is only hidden from your view in the Grade Center grid. You must edit an existing column’s settings to hide a column from students on their My Grades pages or select Show/Hide to Users in a column’s contextual menu. In the Grade Center grid, the Column Not Visible to Users icon ( Column Not Visible to Users icon ) appears in the column header for any column hidden from students. To learn more, see How to Edit Columns, Hide Columns, and Select Options for Grade Center Columns.

How to Associate Columns Manually

You can also associate a column with a category, a different category, or no category by editing the column’s settings from the Grade Center grid.

  1. In the Grade Center, click the Action Link in the column header.
  2. Select Edit Column Information.Image illustrating associated text
  3. On the Edit Column page, make a selection from the Category drop-down list in the Column Information section.Image illustrating associated text
  4. Click Submit.

Result

After submitting, the column is associated with the new category or no category, and the change appears in the Category column on the Column Organization page.

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