How do I use the Grade Editor?

  • Updated:

The Grade Editor allows you to make changes to a specific student’s score on a specific activity

Accessing the Grade Editor

You will use the Grade Editor in many instances; the most common ways to access it include:

  • Selecting an activity directly from the To-do List.
  • Opening the Performance/Gradebook tool and clicking the cell where a specific student and activity meet.
  • Opening the Performance/Gradebook tool, selecting a student name, clicking Grades, and clicking an assignment row.

Grading with the Grade Editor

The Grade Editor is made up of two panels:

  1. The student panel on the left.
  2. The grading panel on the right.

Student panel

The student panel displays information about an activity for the selected student:

  1. Click the activity title under the student's name to preview the activity without leaving the grader.
  2. Click the Print icon to print grade details.
  3. Content previews the completed activity if available. Where applicable, you can adjust scores on individual questions or grading rubric criteria or modify the due date for the selected student.
  4. Score/Activity History tracks all activity attempts, time spent, and scores beginning with the first attempt.
  5. Submission History displays the most recent grade submission and the date it was completed.
  6. Class Statistics summarizes how the student is performing in comparison to the rest of the class.
  7. Objectives (only appears for assessments) displays the objectives aligned with the assessment and the student's performance on each.

Grading panel

The grading panel allows you to edit the following components of the grade:

  1. Points earned. This number is automatically calculated when possible; if you change it, you can click Revert to Calculated to reset the score.
  2. Full Credit automatically assigns full points, No Credit assigns zero points, and Clear removes all points.
  3. Save Draft allows you to save the data you’ve entered without submitting the score, so you can return and edit later.
  4. Submit Score saves the grade to the Gradebook where the student can see it.
  5. Excuse removes any requirement for the student to complete the activity; excusing a student from an activity saves an X to the Gradebook for that activity and doesn’t count it when calculating the student’s score. Once selected, Excuse reads Un-excuse; click it to undo the excuse.
  6. Allow Retry does just that; the student can see that a retry has been permitted, but you may want to send them a message to notify them. Once selected, Allow Retry reads Un-allow Retry; click it to undo the allowance. Allowing retries on activities with an expired due date prompts you to modify the due date for that student.
  7. If you’ve designed the activity to require students to successfully complete it before they can continue to other activities, you can use Override Complete to remove that requirement for the student.
    • Once selected, Override Complete reads Un-complete; click it to undo the override.
  8. Use Mark as missing to indicate that a student has not completed an activity.
  9. You can edit the Feedback and Private Note fields in the same way, but notice that the Feedback is visible to the student and the Private Note is just for you.
  10. You can use premade feedback templates by clicking them and/or create or edit reusable templates by clicking Edit templates.
  11. A Returned Attachments field appears between the Feedback and Private Note fields if the activity allows student dropbox submissions (available for Assignment and Custom activity types). Use this field to return attachments and feedback.
  12. Click this arrow to collapse the grading panel, giving you more space for activity content.

Using Missing and Allow retry together

The Missing option does not initiate Allow retry for the student. If you want to Allow retry and use the Missing flag for an activity:

  1. Provide a score and select Allow retry.
  2. Go back to the Grade editor for the activity and click the Missing option.

If you choose Allow retry after choosing Missing, the Missing flag is cleared. To use both, always Allow retry first.

The following items can be batch updated for multiple students in a single activity: Score, Mark as missing, Excuse, Allow retry, Clear.

Learn more: How do I Batch update an activity score for multiple students?

How to use "Mark as missing"

The Mark as missing scoring option is designed to give teachers a way to alert students to a missing activity (or a missing part of an activity), usually to encourage the student to take some action to address it (retry where allowed, talk to the teacher, etc).

When Mark as missing is used for an activity: 

  • Teachers can return a score without marking the activity as complete, so students know how the missing activity will be scored if they don't address it and activities that require completion for access are not made accessible. 
  • An icon (a clipboard with an exclamation point) appears with the activity in Grades screens to notify students and teachers.
  • A Status: Missing message appears in the activities Grade details screens.

Using Mark as missing with other scoring actions

After Mark as missing has been assigned to an activity, any action taken by the student (like retrying the activity) or by the teacher (like submitting a score or using the other grading options in the Grade editor) automatically clears Mark as missing with an updated status.

This is because Mark as missing is intended to motivate a student to notice and address the problem of not completing work and a new action should indicate that this has happend. For example, if a teacher marks an activity as missing, and the student talks to the teacher and they decide together that the student will retry the activity. The teacher simply has to click Allow retry, and the missing status is removed.

Use the following rules when using Mark as missing.

  • Any activity can be marked as missing, whether submitted or not.
  • If you want to provide a score with the missing status, enter the score, then click Mark as missing. The status will be saved with the score.
  • If you want use Mark as missing without a score, simply click it.
  • If you want to use Allow retry or Override complete with Mark as missing, assign one of those first. Then, return to the Grade editor for the activity and use Mark as missing. The initially assigned option and Mark as missing are saved to the activity. If you do it in the reverse order, Mark as missing is cleared.
    • Note: Assessment activities are an exception to this rule in relationship to the Allow retry option. For Assessments, clicking Mark as missing automatically provides a retry.
  • The Mark as missing and Excuse options cannot be used together (as they have conflicting meanings), so assigning one when the other is selected always clears the first one. Excuse means the student is not required to complete the activity for one reason or another.

Use minimal mode for more content screen space

In minimal mode you can collapse the side grading panel of the Grade Editor to make reviewing content easier.

To use minimal mode:

  1. Click the collapse arrow in the top right corner.
  1. Manually enter the score in the top bar.
  2. Click the Score tools [wrench] icon to use the Full credit, No credit, Clear, and Revert to calculated shortcuts. Click Save or Submit after manually entering scores or using the Score tools.
  1. Use the side menu to Excuse, Allow retry, and Override complete.

To close the Grade Editor, click Save Draft, Submit Score, or the X in the top, left corner.


  • Buzz previews submissions under the Content tab in the formats listed here. Because the preview function depends on third party tools, support for the listed file types may change or vary depending upon changes made by the preview tool provider:
    • Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides)
    • Microsoft Office (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
    • PDFs (.pdf)
    • Images (.gif, .jpg, .jpeg, ,png, .svg)
    • And more (.3gpp, .avi, .bmp, .eps, .mov, .mpeg4, .mpegps, .mts, .ps, .py, .tiff, .txt, .xml)

Additional articles


  • Create feedback templates to save time grading while still providing thoughtful feedback.
  • With the Activity Grader you are able to toggle between students without closing the window.
  • When adding images with text editors in Buzz, you are able to resize the image to best fit your needs.
  • When you give an activity a score and choose Save Draft, an orange pushpin appears next to it in various locations.

Have a question or feedback? Let us know over in Discussions!