Data & AssessmentIlluminate U! U200 GradebookU215 Customizing Your Gradebook

U215 Customizing Your Gradebook

This lesson will guide you through customizing your Gradebook: Preferences, Categories/Tags, and Custom Marks. To review how to use Gradebooks, refer our help manual Gradebooks.

Use this as a guide to facilitate the training in a computer lab. Show the videos before users log in or view one video at at time for users to follow along.

Before You Get Started

  • Sites/District may have particular Gradebook Preferences, Custom Marks, Categories, Tags or Grading Scales, to setup Gradebooks properly. Please check with your Illuminate Admin Team or Administrator for details.
  • Your district could have set a school-wide grading scale which cannot be modified. Grading Scales may not be an option for your gradebook.
  • Completion of training or course U200 Getting Started with Gradebook.


Navigation: Grades > My Gradebooks > Select a Gradebook > Setup > Preferences

Discuss with users that preferences by default are setup for success. This is where you can setup your own custom options to meet your needs. All preferences are optional to the viewer, unless requested by your Illuminate Admin Team, Site, or Administrator.

Gradebook Prefences can be applied to areas such as Calculations, Assignments, Students, and Other. All preferences are set up for success or are defaulted in support of the selected Gradebook:

Calculations How Grades are Calculated

  • For Points-Based calculations, options may include how to calculate blank scores, rounding with decimals, display of custom marks, and how to enter scores.
  • For Standards-Based calculations, options only include how to calculate blank scores and display custom marks.

Assignments How Assignment Information is Displayed

  • Options may include whether or not to display categories, assignment due date, creation date, shown in portal, max score, and assignment mark or grade.
  • Flexibility on assignment sorting viewed in the gradebook is located here.
  • By default, assignments are sorted by Due Date

Students How Student Information is Displayed

  • Options may include whether or not to display components of a students name, birthday, attendance, demographics, birthdate, gender, etc.
  • By default, basic student demographic information is shown such as First/Last Name, abilty to quickly change or alter student filters, and alphabetical order is provided

Other How Other Components Can Be Displayed

  • Options may include setting the default entry view, adding custom fields, attendance, and other information to the view, and the ability to save and apply preferences changed to other Gradebooks by choosing any or all appropriate Gradebooks
  • By default, the default entry view is set to spreadsheet view, autosave, and showing student name in an Excel or PDF view when downloaded.

Preferences applied are only changing the teacher's view of information. If using Illuminate Report Cards, calculations and information may change based on how the Report Card is setup.

Don't forget to select Save Preferences when any changes have been made.

For more information, visit the Gradebook Preferences lesson in our Gradebook Manual.

Categories and Tags

Navigation: Grades>My Gradebooks>Select Gradebook>Setup>Categories and Assignment Tags.


Think of tags as labels that you can give assignments so you can do all kinds of reporting (i.e. to see how students are doing on "literature + peer review + essays"). They make it easy for you to organize and manage your assignments. Your can add multiple tags to the same assignment. Keep in mind, tags do not impact the students' overall grades (that would be "weighted categories").

Example Tags: Homework, Difficult, Reading Assignment, The Iliad and the Odyssey, Essay, etc

  • Type your tags into the box under Tags. Press enter after each word/phrase you want to use as a tag. Using the example tags above, you would type Homework > press Enter then type Difficult > Press Enter, etc.
  • Also Save This To- Allows you to save this to multiple gradebooks at once. Select All Gradebooks or just the ones you wish these to apply to.
  • Once you've entered all the tags you would use on assignments, press Save.


The reason you may want categories is to show how the students are doing on the different categories within the gradebook. For example you can have one gradebook called Language Arts, and set up the categories for the different areas that make up Language Arts (i.e. Reading, Grammar, Writing, etc.). You may want to create categories if you are using standards based grading. You might also want categories if you want to weigh areas within the gradebook. For example, the Gradebook Math has homework, tests, quizzes, and projects as categories.

Review what a Category is in a Gradebook and if applicable, use examples from previous Categories used. Have users create Categories for their Gradebooks and apply to additional Gradebooks.

  • Add the Name and Icon to create aCategory.
  • Enter category Weights (%), and be sure that all your categories add up to 100%.
  • Select + Add Category to add an additional Category.
  • After you create your Categories, click Save.
  • For more information, visit the Create, Modify, or Delete Categories and Tags lesson in our Gradebook Manual.

Custom Marks

Custom Marks

Navigation: Grades>My Gradebooks>Select Gradebook>Setup>Grading Scales.

Grading Scales allow users to change percentages, assign specific values to marks, and modify color schemes to fit the percentages in your Gradebooks.

Review what a Grading Scales is in a Gradebook and if applicable, use examples from previous Grading Scales used. Have users create a Grading Scales (if able) for their Gradebooks and apply to additional Gradebooks.

  • Add marks such as A,B,C,D,E,F, or 1,2,3,4,5. If you assign + and - to grades, you will want to add those in at the blank field. You can add in A+ and A-, etc. and assign it a minimum or lowest percentage as well.
  • Each value can have colors if desired.
  • After you create a Mark click Save (5) and apply to other Gradebooks, if desired.

For more information, visit the Create, Modify, or Remove Grading Scales lesson in our Gradebook Manual.

Additional Resources

Want to expand on Customizing Your Gradebook? Check out our Gradebook Manual for more details!