The gradebook includes a category setting for Exclude empty grades, by default this setting is not turned on. This can be useful if you would like students to see their course grades based on assignments that have been graded and not see a grade that is considerably lower based on future ungraded assignments. It is important to note with this setting turned on assignments that students should not get credit for will need to give 0s (e.g. an assignment or quiz a student did not do will need to be given 0 points in order for the students grade to be accurately shown).
You can access the setting in your gradebook setup page by clicking on the Edit settings icon for a specific category in your gradebook. Under Grade category, check the Exclude empty grades box.
Both settings have specific advantages and disadvantages that instructors should be aware of when deciding on how best to set up their gradebooks:
Exclude empty grades (yes/checked)
If exclude empty grades is set to yes, empty grades in a category will not be calculated as part of the category total.
This setting will allow students to see their current grade in a course based on the assignments they have completed thus far. This setting is often more beneficial for students; however, it requires instructors to more actively manage their gradebook by making sure to insert zeros for assignments or activities that were not completed by a student.
Exclude empty grades (no/unchecked)
If exclude empty grades is not set, empty grades in a category will be calculated as zeros for the category total.
In the setting, if an assignment or activity is not submitted by a student; the instructor can leave the grade empty and it will calculate as a zero. The main drawback with using this setting is that students may not be able to track their progress in the course as easily during the quarter, since calculated grades will include zeros for any future, yet-to-be completed assignments or activities.
Note: if this setting is selected, instructors will likely want to hide their category and/or course totals until all grades have been entered.