You may notice that your students have an unusually low grade at the beginning of the semester. This is likely due to a grade calculation setting. The “Drop Ungraded Items” is the recommended method for grade calculation.


Dropping ungraded items is the default setting for grade calculation. D2L Brightspace will treat any ungraded assignment as if it didn’t exist. The benefit to this is that as long as you enter a grade (even if it is a zero for someone who did not turn in an assignment or take a quiz) D2L Brightspace can present the student with a total that tells them how they are doing at the current point.


The downside being that if a grade is not entered for a student, D2L Brightspace will treat that assignment as if it should not count towards the total and the student will think they are doing better than they are. The remedy to this is: Don't wait too long to give zeros for missed assignments.


  • Click on Grades on the NavBar.
  • Press the Settings button in the top corner.
  • Click on the Calculation Options tab.
  • Scroll down to Grade Calculations.
  • Select “Drop ungraded items.”
  • Press Save.


Be sure to mark any missed assignments with a zero, signified by a dash. As you do so, students’ grades will adjust to a more accurate grade point. There will be a discrepancy in the “out of score” for each student until all dashes have been replaced with a zero. Afterwards, your students should all have the same “out of score.”


Watch this tutorial video for the recommended way to set up your grade book.