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The University of Arizona

Creating Formula Grade Items

Formula grade items can be used to generate scores based on scores earned on other grade items.

Please Note: Formula grade items cannot be part of a grade category. They also cannot be used as a Bonus item.


To create a Formula grade item:

1. Make sure you're in Manage Grades. Manage Grades is the default landing page in the Grades tool, but you can change this preference in Personal Display Options.


2. Click the New button and select Item.


3. Select Formula from the list of available Grade item types.


4. Enter the Grade Item Name.

5. Enter a Short Name for the Grade Item if you'd like. The Short Name is only visible to members of the Teaching Team with access to the grade book.

6. Enter a Description if you'd like to share additional information about the Grade Item. By default, the Description field is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Description to expand it.

7. Enter the Max Points possible for the Grade Item. If the Grade Item belongs to a Category, this option may be grayed out depending on Category Settings.

8. Use the Formula Editor to enter a formula for calculating the Points Received. This is how your participants will be graded.

9. Check the box under Can Exceed if participants will have the possibility of earning more than the maximum points set in Step 7.

10. Use the Grade Scheme drop down menu to select a custom Grade Scheme if you have previously created one.

11. Click the Add Rubric button to attach a Rubric to the Grade Item. It is recommend that you create the Rubric first in the Rubrics tool.

12. Override the grade book's set Display Options by checking the box next to the display option(s) you'd like the Grade Item to have. By default, Display Options is collapsed, so you may need to click Show Display Options to expand it. You can review the grade book's display options by going to Class Display Options.

13. Click one of the Save options at the bottom of the screen to save your changes:

  • Save and Close: Saves any changes and returns you to the Manage Grades screen.
  • Save and New: Saves any changes and allows you to begin creating a new grade item/category.
  • Save: Saves any changes and stays on the same screen.

Tip: You can restrict access to the Category using options on the Restrictions tab. Visit our Visibility Restrictions and/or Release Condition Restrictions help pages for more information.

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Using the Formula Editor

Using the Formula Editor can be a bit tedious, but it can be helpful when you'd like to set up a grade calculation that is a bit out of the ordinary. Please don't hesitate to contact the D2L Support Team at D2L@email.arizona.edu for assistance with using the Editor.

Tip: When using the Editor, the only thing you can type into the equation is a comma (,). You'll enter all other parts of the formula using the drop down menus and/or calculator buttons provided.

To use the Editor:

Click the Edit Using the Formula Editor link1. Click the Edit Using the Formula Editor link under Points Received.


Select Formula2. Use the Function drop down menu to select the type of formula you would like to use.

3. Click the Start button.


Formula Example4. Use the Grade Item drop down menus and Calculator buttons to complete your formula.

5. To see if your formula is configured correctly, click the Validate button at the top of the Editor window.

(As an example, the formula pictured in the image says "If the average of the scores on Exam I and Exam II is less than the Final Exam score, use the Final Exam score. If it is not, use the average of the scores on Exam I, Exam II, and Final Exam.")


Insert Button6. When you are satisfied with your formula, click the Insert button.


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