Quest's grading scheme page allows you to control how the course average is calculated from the assignment grades. It appears immediately after creating a new course, but can be edited throughout the semester via the link in the left-hand menu under Grades. The Grading Scheme offers the top level of settings for assignments–what is set on this page cascades to assignments of the given type for your class.


The minimal grading scheme only includes Homework and Learning Modules:

University of Texas at Austin Instructors

The default grading scheme for a UT course also includes 3 bubble sheet types, Quiz, Exam, and Final. These can be removed upon request, but their presence doesn't affect student's grades unless a weight is applied.

Notice the groups column–if you plan on needing start time variance for types of assignments check this box after asking us to turn on groups for your class (providing the URL of your class is much appreciated). A start time is needed in order for students to be able to have a hyperlink for an assignment, so be sure to turn this on at the beginning of the semester (and if needed, back fill older assignments so students still have access).

If you would like to add an assignment type that is not graded, simply put in 0 for the weight–this could be optional practice problems for students to do. If you'd like to add another kind of assignment type feel free to do so. Of note, the submission method may be 1) web based (which will present information as a pdf and offer multiple tries to students, an example here as homework), 2) learning modules (which offer the greatest flexibility–can be used for mini teaches, uploading video and picture content, and/or used for timed exams), or 3) manual (a response system, grades collected from sources--clicker systems/attendance/etc).

Weight (%) and # Drops

Each assignment type has a percent weight. Weight is the percentage of the final grade that that assignment type will be worth. You can also give any number of drops for each assignment. If you choose to drop 3 assignments, Quest will ignore the lowest three grades in that assignment type when calculating the average; all grades will appear in the gradebook, but the lowest grades will be crossed out.

Retries Allowed

You can decide whether students will have the ability to retry answering a question. If switched on, a student will have as many retries as choices for multiple choice questions, and up to 7 tries for short answer, and numerical and algebraic free responses. For more information about question types click here: Basic Question Types

Randomize Order

When selected, this option specifies that each student will see a unique version of the assignment with the questions in randomized order.


Participation Credit

Use the drop-down menu to choose the criterion that defines "participation" for assignments of this type:

  • "Normal", which leaves participation grading off
  • "Respond one", which defines a participating student as being one who responds to at least one question in a particular assignment
  • "Respond all", which defines a participating student as being one who responds to all of the questions in the assignment

The numerical field is the percent of the whole assignment that is awarded as participation credit. The remaining points in the assignment are awarded based on performance, as in a normal assignment. Assignments for students who do not meet the participation criterion are graded normally.

For example: the instructor sets up an assignment type to be scored as "Respond one" with "10". If a student answers only one problem and the response is incorrect, then that student gets 10% on that assignment. If a student completes half of the assignment and gets all of those questions correct, then that student gets 55% on that assignment: the student is awarded 10% for responding to at least one question, and half (45%) of the remaining credit (90%) was earned by answering half of the questions correctly, for a total of 55% on that assignment.

You can turn off participation grading on an individual assignment by selecting "Override Default Participation Credit" under Assignment > Edit Settings.

No Negative Points

By default 

In response to a request from the UT Student Senate (during fall 2018), we have moved the default setting for new courses to utilize a Zero-Floor grading scheme (No Negative Points) for the spring 2019 semester moving forward.  "No Negative Points" prevents students from being penalized on the overall assignment for incorrect tries to a problem. 

The alternative option of accumulating negative points on an assignment is still available (note it is not possible for students to gain a negative assignment score); to do so simply uncheck the "No Negative Points" box. In this situation, a student gains less credit for each subsequent try to a problem within one assignment, with the possibility of a student being awarded negative points for a question. 


You can test various scenarios using this tool: Grading Style Tool

Multiple Choice questions depend on the number of choices

A multiple choice question worth 10 points that has 8 options will have 7 attempts to get the correct answer with the following possible grade outcomes based on the selected reduced score grading method:

AttemptNo Negative PointsNegative PointsOne Free Try
Never correct0-100

Free response questions are different as they do not have a provided list of suggested answers

If you'd like to calculate your own: (question points) * .93 ^ [number of misses]

Free response questions do not have listed options to limit the number of retries, so these questions allow you 7 attempts. The reduced score grading calculation is slightly different as negative points do not apply.

AttemptNormalOne Free Try
Never correct00

This is to encourage students to think seriously about a problem before answering, however it can be confusing for students and we recommend that you explain the selected grading method in your syllabus.

Adding additional assignment types

Simply click "Add Type", then name the type and select the submit method. Be very careful to give unique names to all the assignment type definitions for easy distinction when creating assignments later on. For more information about assignment types and submit methods click here: Assignment Types

As with the other settings on this page, the added assignment types will not persist unless you save the changes to your grading scheme.

The next section in your grading scheme controls how Quest calculates averages within assignment types.

  • "sum points in group" makes each assignment weighed based on how many total points the assignment is worth 
  • (default) "weight assignments equally in group" makes each assignment's weight within the type equal, regardless of how many points each assignment is worth
  • "scaled score" makes assignments scale based on various student scores, similar to grading on a curve

The last two settings are a bit more self-explanatory:

The grade distribution allows you to determine what score students must reach for each letter grade in the course. The grade breaks listed do not round, e.g. an A set to 90 would mean that a score of 89.95 does not get an A.

Once you have finalized your settings, select "save changes" at the bottom of the page. You will have the ability to come back at a later time and make changes to your grading scheme.