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Top 5 Gradebook Tips & Timesavers

The Gradebook can be a useful tool for organizing grades and sharing grade information with students. To use the Gradebook effectively and efficiently, consider incorporating the following best practices into your course.

The Gradebook:

  • Students can access their individual grades and feedback through their Grades page and by accessing individual Assignments from the Assignments or Modules page (if applicable).
  • Students will only ever see their own grades and will never see the grades of any other students through Quercus.
  • Students should understand that the Grades area in Quercus gives them early access to preliminary grades, and does not represent their official final marks.
  • By default, the total column is hidden from students in Quercus, and final grades must not be shared with students through the Gradebook. Final grades should only be posted through ACORN (formerly known as ROSI).
  • Note:  There is a feature in Gradebook that allows you to set up late penalties.  However, the late penalty is calculated on the full marks for the assignment (what it is out of, not what they receive as a grade).

Top 5 Gradebook Tips & Timesavers

1. Download Student Grades after each assessment and at the end of every term

One (1) month after the sessions ends, the course is placed in a read-only state for Students, TAs and Designers. Instructors must retain a copy of the gradebook and graded assignments for a period of one year after the last class for each course they teach. Save yourself time by downloading a copy of your Gradebook after you grade each assessment and also at the end of the term once all of the marks have been entered. Downloading a backup of your Gradebook also provides you with quick access to student marks in the event that any of your students petition their grades or request deferred exams.

2. Hide totals in student grades summary

By default, the total column is hidden from students in Quercus, and final grades must not be shared with students through the Gradebook. Final grades should only be posted through ACORN (formerly known as ROSI). For more information on University of Toronto policies and guidelines regarding the posting and distribution of grades, please visit:

3. Hide Gradebook column grades

By default, the Grade Posting Policy is set to hide all Gradebook columns (including the Total column).

We recommend that you hide the grades contained in Gradebook columns, and then post them when you would like them to be visible to students.


  • If corrections are made when entering grades or if grades need to be adjusted—students may become concerned as they see their grades change and receive notification(s) that include their grade.
  • If only some students' marks are posted into Gradebook. e.g., the marks for only one tutorial, other students who speak with their friends from that tutorial may become concerned when they do not see their mark.   

If you hide grades, you will be able to add and adjust marks as your time permits, and then can make the grades available to students once they have been verified. Note, when a Gradebook column is hidden, students can still see the name of the Assessment on their Grades page. You can post the grades when you are ready to release them. At that point, students will receive a notification with their grade and will be able to access their mark in the Grades area in Quercus.

Note: In order to make a Gradebook column and assignment invisible to students, you must unpublish the corresponding assessment.

Note:  If a Gradebook column for a Turnitin assignment is hidden, students will not see their originality reports until the grades are posted.

4. Use Assignment Groups to create "weighted totals"

You can use Assignment Groups to group assignments into categories that can then be assigned a specific weight and automatically calculate a weighted final grade. The grade displayed in this column will be calculated based on the raw score entered for each assignment in the Assignment Group.

Assignment Groups

5. Securely share grade files

If you are sending electronic copies of grade files to your department, to other course instructors, or to your TAs, you need to ensure that files are sent securely. Email is never secure; don't email grade files or assignments. To send password protected grade files securely, use UT Send or share them using an encrypted USB key. For more information view the UTM encryption instructions.

Additional Resources: