The University of Iowa

The Elements of Success set-up lets instructors set their own settings, including Grade Estimation. It is possible to skip any step and come back to it at a later time. Is also possible to undo any settings - if you need help with setting up your course, please contact the ITS Help Desk to reach the Elements of Success team.


To get to Elements of Success set-up, go to your Elements of Success course and in the menu at the top, select Course Settings. Then go through these steps.

Elements of Success Menu with arrow pointing to Course Settings


Step 1: Assignment Groups

  • Elements of Success will show you your assignment groups from ICON. Select all the assignment groups that will be considered in student grades (even if some don’t have grades  in them yet.)
  • This works best if you set up your assignment groups before you run the set up wizard.  If you do make changes later, you can redo this step.

Step 1: Assignment Groups


Step 2: Activities

  • Select the activities you would like students to be able to track their progress on. The default is to have all three checked, and we recommend only unchecking ones you know will not be helpful for your course.

Step 2: Activities


Step 3:  Course Copy

  • If you’ve used Element of Success in the past, you can copy over settings from a past course.
  • Check the settings you’d like to copy. If you aren’t sure,  it is generally easier to copy past settings and make changes to them than set everything up from scratch.
  • Select what settings you would like to copy, and click Copy Settings.
  • If you haven’t used Elements of Success in the past, or don’t want to copy any past settings, click Next.

Step 3: Course Copy


Step 4: Options

  • Choose what grade information you would like students to see initially. You can always change this later in the semester. You can select as many as you find useful.
  • Show Total shows the number of points the student has compared to the total number of points available in the class. This is useful in most classes.
  • Show Grade Estimation will take you to the Grade Estimation step at the end of the set up.
  • Show Percentile Rank shows the student’s score compared to the rest of the students in the course. This is especially helpful in courses with curved grades

Step 4: Options


Step 5: Ready!

  • Look over the options you’ve selected.
  • Under Course Status, you can select the Course Status.
    • Select Active to make the course available to students.
    • Select Instructor Only if you only want instructors to see the information in Elements of Success.
    • Select Inactive to make the course inactive for both students an instructors.
  • Click Save to finish.
  • If you want to make changes, click Previous to adjust settings, then Next to get back to this page.

Step: 5 Ready!


Grade Estimation (Optional)

  • If you copied Grade Estimation Settings under Course Copy, the past Grade Estimation Settings will have copied over.
    • You can review or edit those settings, then Click Update Grade Estimations.

Grade Estimation Settings


  • You can also set up new grade estimation settings.
    • Set the Instructor to yourself.
    • If your course uses a straight scale (it isn't curved) select Straight Scale at the bottom. (If you primarily use a straight scale, but curve a little at the end, stick with straight scale).
      • You can use Grade Cut Points to set the minimum course percent to receive that grade (so potentially 93% for A, 90% for A-, etc.)
      • Click Update Grade Estimation to save, then Next to move on.


  • If your course is curved, select Custom Distribution at the bottom.
    • Fill in the percent of the course that will receive each grade. So if 18% of the class receives an A, type 18% for A.
    • Click Update Grade Estimation to save, then Next to move on.
  • The last page will have links to get back to your Elements of Success course.


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