Set up Gradebook

System: Wattle »


This guide explains how to set up your gradebook or update the gradebook from a ‘rolled over’ course.  It is a requirement that all ANU courses use Wattle gradebooks to keep track of and calculate marks and feedback and it is every convenor’s responsibility to ensure their gradebooks are set up correctly at the beginning of every semester. 

The gradebook is included by default in all Wattle sites, and is visible to students unless hidden by the lecturer in the course settings (but this is not advised). Most types of activities (such as Assignments or Quizzes) are automatically added to the Gradebook but it is good to get them organised so they appear as they do in the official course outline. 



Setting up your gradebook correctly before any assessment items are submitted can save a lot of time

The gradebook does all the calculations for you so you don’t double up work by keeping a separate spreadsheet. 

Allows you and students to view and keep track of progress without delays. 

When you have a lot of assessment items, Categories keep the gradebook organised

They can also help with more complex grading options, such as dropping the lowest one or two scores from a series of assessment items. 

They are also useful if you have different cohorts e.g. UG and PG or face-to-face and online students with different assessment items. 



For further information on assessment go to Wattle Basics Online and self-enrol in this course, then go to the section called “Assessment and Grading.” 



Step 1
View Gradebook setup

  • Click on the cog icon to open the Gear menu in the top right corner under your profile and select Gradebook setup
  • OR Click Grades in the Nav Drawer (under the Hamburger menu), then chose Setup from the tabs across the top. 

You will be taken to the Gradebook Setup page where you will see the list of assessable items and a number of different columns showing the weights for each item, the maximum grade and an action column, with a tick box next to each item to enable you to move or delete them. 

Step 2
Check aggregation of Gradebook and Categories

At ANU the default aggregation is ‘Weighted mean of grades. Include empty grades.’ So check that that it says this under the course and category totals.  If not: 

  • Click the top Edit button for the whole gradebook or category. 
  • Click Edit settings.
  • Choose the Aggregation Weighted mean of grades
  • Click Show more… 
  • Make sure the ‘Exclude empty grades’ option is not ticked. 
  • Then scroll down and click Save changes. 

Step 3
Ensure all items appear

  • Check that all the activities you wish to assess have appeared in the gradebook. 
  • If students will need to submit something through Wattle, you will need to add the appropriate activities on the front page as covered in Create assignments 
  • If students do not need to submit anything through Wattle (eg. Participation) you can add a grade item (as explained next).

Step 4
Add a grade item

This is used for assessment not associated with any activity or submission through Wattle. 

  • Scroll to bottom of Gradebook setup. 
  • Click Add grade item.
  • Type in the name as it appears in your official course outline. 
  • Scroll to bottom and click Save changes

Step 5
Add Category

Categories allow you to group similar items together (eg. Weekly quizzes) or have separate components of one assessment item (eg. Report, Presentation and Reflection). 

  • Scroll down to bottom and click Add category
  • Type in a name (best to leave the default Aggregation as ‘Weighted mean of grades’).
  • You may also decide to drop the lowest one or two scores by typing a number in the box provided. 
  • Scroll to bottom and click Save changes

Step 6
Rearranging items and categories

To avoid confusion, it is best to organise your assessment items so they appear as they do on your official ANU course outline. 

  • To move one item, click the double-ended arrow next to the item then click the dotted box where you’d like to place it. 
  • If you’d like to move multiple items into a category, click their tick boxes then scroll down and choose the category in the Move selected items to dropdown list. 

Step 7
Adjusting item weights

  • Type the weight of the assessment items and categories into the Weights boxes.  If an item or category will not be assessed, give it a weight of zero.  If you are using categories, it is best to create a separate category of non-assessed items with a weight of zero. 
  • Check that individual assessment items and category totals add up to 100%.
  • Scroll to bottom and click Save changes.

Step 8
Adjusting Max Grade (What to mark out of)

The default max grade is 100.  To avoid complications, we recommend you leave it at the default of 100.  You can change it to mark out of another amount but you must make sure you mark out of that amount when you enter the grade otherwise students will not get the marks they deserve. 

  • To change the Maximum grade of a category or regular grade item, click Edit then Edit Settings within Gradebook setup.
  • Type in the Maximum grade
  • Scroll to bottom and click Save changes.
  • If you want to change another item (eg Assignment, quiz etc) find that item on the front page and click Edit then Edit settings. Then scroll down to Grade and enter your desired Maximum grade

Please note:  Always keep the minimum mark at the default ‘0’ otherwise students could get automatic marks for nothing.

Step 9
Hiding and showing Grades from students within Gradebook Setup (basic)

Click Edit next to the item then Hide or Show

Please note:  It is best to keep the Course total and at least one other item hidden until the final result release date to allow for moderation. 

Step 10
Hiding grades for a grade item or category until a specified date

  • Click Edit next to the item then Edit settings.
  • Click Category total 
  • Click Show more… 
  • Click Enable and adjust the date. 
  • Click Save changes

To hide Turnitin grades, change the Post Date within the Turnitin Assignment’s Settings.