Setting up Gradescope

Gradescope is a powerful tool for administering and grading assignments, tests, and quizzes, and it has recently been integrated with UVA Collab. This tool allows instructors and TAs to coordinate seamlessly on grading large numbers of exams or homework very quickly. It also has the capability for instructors to annotate directly on a pdf the student submitted—this could be a helpful solution for everything from grading essays online to giving feedback on STEM assignments. Instructors love the time-saving and streamlining capabilities of the grading platform. Read on to discover how to set up Gradescope in your course.

Linking Collab with Gradescope

  • (Note: Even if you are using Teams or another platform as your course home, you will still want to link Gradescope with the Collab site associated with your course. This will allow for a seamless syncing of grades with SIS at the end of the semester.)
  • Under Site Settings on your Collab site, go to Manage Tools. Scroll to the bottom, select “Plugin Tools” and check the box for Gradescope.
Gradescope plugin
  • Open the Gradescope tab in your course. If you already have a Gradescope account tied to your UVA Netbadge, it will automatically open within Collab. If you do not have an account, by opening Gradescope in Collab you will automatically create an account for yourself (Gradescope will email you a link to create your password.)

Setting up a Gradescope course

  • If you have never used Gradescope before, opening it within Collab will automatically create a Gradescope course with the same name as your Collab course.
  • If you already have an account with Gradescope, you will be able to create a new course within Collab, or you can select a course you have already created in Gradescope itself. (It’s probably easier to just create a new course within Collab so it is automatically linked with your course.)
Link to Sakai

Syncing your roster with Collab

  • Within Collab, select “Roster” from the Gradescope left menu.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Sync Sakai Roster.” Anytime there are changes to your roster, you will need to manually sync the roster.
  • Students will be emailed with their Gradescope account info (via the email address on the roster) and a link to set their password.
Sync Roster

Creating an assignment

  • In the Gradescope left menu, select “Assignments.” To create a new assignment, scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Create Assignment.”
Assignment Types
  • You will be given a few options for creating assignments. Select the type that meets your needs.
    • Exam/Quiz—You will be asked to upload a PDF template with the exam/quiz questions. Students will respond to the questions (either handwritten on their own paper; written on a digital or printed version of your template; or typed in a new document) that they download and print) and then upload their responses as a jpeg or pdf.  
    • Homework/Problem Set—You will be asked to upload a PDF template with the homework problems. Students respond to the questions (either handwritten on their own paper; written on a digital or printed version of your template; or typed in a new document) that they download and print) and then upload their responses as a jpeg or pdf.
    • Bubble Sheet—While not relevant for online courses, this assignment option allows you to create a multiple-choice exam which students would take in class on a bubble sheet.
    • Programming Assignment—This option allows your students to submit code as their assignment.
    • Online Assignment—You will be prompted to create questions that the students will respond to online. For each question, type the title and how many points it is worth. To choose the question format, select “Insert Field” and then choose which question type you would like to create: short answer, free response, multiple choice, select all, or file upload. Each online assignment can have multiple questions in any of these different formats.
      • Note: If you select the “File Upload” option, students will be able to upload a file in any format. If they upload a pdf in an online assignment you will NOT have the same annotation ability that you would on a pdf submitted in one of the other assignment types (homework or exam). If you need to write directly on a submitted pdf, do not select this assignment type.
Create Assignment
  • Once you have selected your assignment type, enter the assignment name, the release date/time and the due date/time. You also have the options to allow late submissions, enforce a time limit, or allow group submission of assignments. For assignments that required a template, you will be prompted to provide titles and point values for each question on the template.
  • Note: There is not a good way to integrate Gradescope assignments into Lessons—linking Gradescope here will simply open up the entire Gradescope platform. In order to complete Gradescope assignments, students will need to go into the Gradescope tool itself.


  • Gradescope has robust grading functionality. You are able to create detailed rubrics, annotate directly on uploaded pdfs, and provide detailed comments on student work. 
  • Gradescope simplifies the process of dividing grading among multiple TAs and sections. Rubrics are retroactive: if one grader changes something, all previously graded questions will have the updated rubric applied.
  • For some tutorials on grading, check out Gradescope’s library of videos.

Publishing and posting grades

  • Once you have finished grading, select “Publish grades” to release your grades and commentary to the students.
  • Select “Post grades to Sakai” to sync the grades with Collab’s gradebook.
    • Note: Do NOT create an item directly in Gradebook for your Gradescope assignments. (If you do create the item in Gradebook, you will not be able to sync it with Gradescope. If you gave it the same name as the Gradescope assignment, Gradescope will simply create a new item named after the assignment with random numbers after it.) Instead, under the settings for the assignment, click “Link” under “Sakai Gradebook Item.” In the next dialogue box, select “Click here to create and link a new gradebook item.” This will create an item in Gradebook that will correctly sync with your Gradescope assignment.
Publish Grades

Check out this guide from Pomona College on setting up Gradescope in Sakai.

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