Have only 6 out of 11 grade items count towards a grade
We have 11 discussion topics for an Assessment. Students are only required to choose 6 out of the 11. The 6 items should be reflected in gradebook. How do we set the gradebook to reflect this as students may choose a random 6 topics. Some students will do 8, not 6 but only their best 6 will count. Others will only do 4. Is this a schema thing? Can you please help
Answers

You will want to utilize a Grade Category and use the Drop the lowest grade feature. In your case, you can set it to drop the lowest 5 items. This may look a bit weird, but it should make sense on the student end. Grade the items like normal, but then enter 0s for the ones that the students don't complete (or use the Treat Ungraded Items as 0 in the Grades setting), then only the best 6 will be graded. In the case of the student completing only 4 that you mentioned, they will have 4 graded, 2 with 0s that will count towards their final grade, and 5 also with 0s that will be dropped.
I hope that helps!
Johnny
D2L LAM 
Dear Johnny, this is helpful. I actually created this formula
=SUM{ [Post 1.Points Received], [Post 3.Points Received], [Post 4.Points Received], [Post 5.Points Received], [Post 6.Points Received], [Post 7.Points Received], [Post 8.Points Received], [Post 9.Points Received], [Post 10.Points Received], [Post 11.Points Received], [Post 2.Points Received] }  (MIN{ [Post 1.Points Received], [Post 2.Points Received], [Post 3.Points Received], [Post 4.Points Received], [Post 5.Points Received], [Post 6.Points Received], [Post 7.Points Received], [Post 8.Points Received], [Post 9.Points Received], [Post 10.Points Received], [Post 11.Points Received] } / 6)
[Edit Using the Formula Editor]But what if the academic wants only the first 6 to count, and subsequent ones are ignored? I have min in this equation, (which I can now see is not needed) because of your response above, but what would be the command if only first 6 count (so remove MIN and have another command)?
I'm sure I'm confusing.

If you wanted only the first 6, or if you wanted to select which ones each student do more directly, then you could also use Exemptions. This would allow you to mark which ones don't count/the student doesn't have to do. Would be some manual work to add in the exemptions for each student, but it's another option at least.
Formula grade items can be nice, but there is one caveat that I should warn you about. Formula grade items are merely a calculation based on other items. The Formula grade itself holds no points or weight towards a student's "Final Calculated Grade". This is also true for the Calculated grade items as well. The only time those would count is if you changed the Final grade calculation to be "Formula" instead of Points or Weighted. Then put the formula you want into the calculation for the Final grade. I hope that makes sense.
Johnny
D2L LAM 
Hi Johnny, that is very helpful advice. THank you. Especially the caveat.
I discovered something else yesterday and that is, if you set the formula at the beginning of session, it shows zero across all students and potential grade items, which will serve to confuse the academic.
So the best way forward is just a category with 11 items and then drop the lower 5??

Using a category with the 11 items and dropping the lowest 5 is what I would do based on what you said that you wanted. It's the simplest way to address your goal, at least in my opinion. As with many things in Brightspace, there are multiple ways to accomplish the same thing, the difference between them is always: How much work do you want to put into it? Sometimes the easiest solution isn't perfect for what you need, and the additional work is warranted. So, it's up to you to decide if just using a category and dropping lowest 5 is good enough for what you are trying to do.
Sorry I can't give you an emphatic "yes, that is the best way forward" 😅, but I hope all this information is helpful for you to decide the best path for your course.
Johnny
D2L LAM 
Thank you Johnny. Good food for thought. Dropping the lowest 5 is definitely the best option.