How do I enable grading periods in my course?

Grading periods are used to divide courses into independent parts. They can be used to divide a year-long course into two semesters or to divide a semester long course into quarters. Grading periods can also be weighted to calculate a final course grade. Create separate grading periods, so you can easily divide grades by date range without building additional courses in Echo.

Here are some use cases:

  • A district has a policy where the final semester grade is calculated by weighting Quarter 1 at 40%, Quarter 2 at 40% and the Final Exam at 20%.  
  • A year long course that had very little student movement at the semester and that used the same course ID. The course could be configured to have two grading periods (Semester 1 and Semester 2).

Enable grading periods in your course

NOTE:  Before grading periods can be set up in a course, the "grading periods" feature must be turned on at the domain level by an Echo Admin.

An Echo admin can visit this article to learn how to enable the "grading periods" feature for teachers for an entire domain. An Echo Admin can visit this article on how to configure grading periods at the domain level to be used in courses.

Once grading periods have been enabled for a domain, follow the directions below to set them up for a course. 


From the homepage, select the "Editor" icon on the course that needs grading periods enabled.



Click the "Tools" icon located in the top toolbar.



Click on "Course settings" in the dropdown.

Configuring Grading Periods in the Course


 To configure grading periods:

  1. In the course settings, locate the School Year and select the current school year.
  2. Scroll down and locate the"Grading Periods" panel.
  3. Check the "Use grading periods" option. The system will display the first grading period labeled "Period 1".  Click on the grading period label to edit.
  4. In the resulting edit panel, select the grading period from the drop down menu*.  If "weighting" has been turned on in the school's domain settings, an additional "Weight" field will be displayed. Click "Done" to close the edit panel.
  5. To add a second grading period, click the "Add grading period" link.
  6. Click "Save" in the upper right side of the menu bar to save the changes made to the course settings.

* NOTE:  If grading periods have not been configured in the school domains settings, users can manually enter custom grading period labels.  Conversely, if grading periods are configured in the domain but a unique set is desired for the course, deselect the "school year" option in the course settings. Warning: grades for courses with custom grading periods will not be visible in the School Browser tool.




Special Note For Weighted Year-Long Courses:  For year-long courses that want to use weighting, users must choose to either separate semesters into separate Echo courses -or- weight the currently unused grading periods "0". For example, during semester one, first quarter, second quarter and final exam might be weighted as 40%, 40%, 20% respectively, while the other three grading periods would be set to 0% so that they are not included in the semester grade.  At the end of the semester, teachers would need to manually change the weighting for the second semester so that the first three grading periods are weighted as 0% and the last three are weighted as desired.


Assign activities to a grading period


From the homepage, select the "Editor" icon on the course that needs activities assigned to a grading period.

1. By default, the course editor will default to the current grading period (set by the Echo Admin). The current grading period is denoted by the name in the top right hand corner.

2. Find the activity that needs a grading period assigned. Click the Edit button (pencil icon) on that activity.

In the Activity Editor, click the Settings tab.

By default, the activity will be set to the current grading period.

If the activity is set to gradable, then make sure the grading category in the Gradebook and Submission section is set to the correct grading period.



Using the Gradebook Filter to view grades


From the homepage, click on the "Editor" icon located on the course that needs the gradebook filter to view grades.



Click the "Menu" icon on the left hand side of the top tool bar.  



Click on "Gradebook" in the main menu.

By default, the gradebook display is filtered by the current grading period.

Click on the name of the grading period to view a dropdown menu to choose a different grading period view.


  • We don’t recommend using grading periods if there is significant enrollment changes between grading periods. In this case, it’s better to create a new course and re-enroll students for a fresh start. This is also true if there is a different course code for each semester.

Additional resource: Ensuring Activities Are Displayed in the Correct Grading Period




Echo is constantly being improved based on the feedback from users and we strive to keep our documentation up to date.  If this document doesn’t match what you are seeing in Echo, please let us know.




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