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Setting Up a Points-Based Flat Gradebook

Setting Up a Points-Based Flat Gradebook

The flat gradebook eliminates category weights to allow a points based gradebook which features individually weighted coursework items. 

To Set-Up a Points-Based Flat Gradebook: 

  1. From the 'Gradebook setup' page, access the parent category's 'Edit settings' option. (Note: The parent category is typically titled with the name of the course.)
  2. Set the 'Aggregation' type to 'Natural' and save. (By default, the aggregation type is set to 'Weighted Mean of Grades.)
  3. Delete all weighted categories. (You do not have to move items out of the category first.) All coursework items will now have a checkbox in the 'Weights' column, displaying their natural weight.
  4. You can leave these items at their natural weight, or you can define set weights for specific items if you prefer. Simply check the checkbox(es) to the right of the desired item(s) and adjust the numerical value(s) accordingly. For example, if the final is weighted at 20% of the course, simply check the checkbox to the right of the Final and update its weight to '20.' The system will then automatically determine the weights of all other coursework items, relative to the values you have entered in the checkboxes. The cumulative checkbox values cannot exceed 100 points
  5. Once your changes are complete, click 'Save changes.'

Setting Up Extra Credit in a Flat Gradebook: 

The flat gradebook also allows extra credit to be setup so that its impact applies to students' overall course total points (as opposed to being filtered through the category level as in a non-flat gradebook). 

  1. Add or determine which coursework item will be extra credit.
  2. In the 'Gradebook Setup' page, access the 'Edit settings page' for this item. 
  3. In the 'Parent category' pane, check the 'Extra credit' checkbox and save.
  4. In the 'Weights' column, adjust this item's numerical value accordingly. (For example, if an extra credit assignment is worth 3% of students' total grades, check the checkbox to the right of this item and update its weight to '3.')
  5. Click 'Save changes' to save. 

Things to Consider When Teaching an LTI Course with a Flat Gradebook: 

If you are teaching a simple LTI course through Canvas, Blackboard, or D2L, please note that the 'Natural' aggregate type will pass over students' running grade totals as point values completed, NOT percentages, and will not exclude empty grades that have not yet been completed (even if the exclude empty grade display setting has been set in the Connect For Education gradebook). 

If you wish to have a flat gradebook which passes a score that excludes empty grades (to exclude any work that has not been completed yet from being factored into students' course totals), you may choose to use the 'Weighted Mean of Grades' or 'Simple Weighted Mean of Grades' aggregate types. It is important to note that 'Simple Weighted Mean of Grades' allows for the use of extra credit while 'Weighted Mean of Grades' does not. Both of these aggregate types will pass over students' running grade totals as percentages excluding empty grades. 

*Please note, if you are using LTI integration, the grade sync process is unable to transmit grade percentage values that exceed 100%. As a result, any course percentage totals that exceed 100% (as a result of extra credit) will be transmitted to your Canvas, Blackboard, or D2L gradebook as 100%.

When using the 'Natural' aggregate type, if your flat gradebook has values exceeding 100 points for specific items (i.e., Midterm Exam worth 200 points), the grades should pass over correctly once you've made the following adjustments:

  • Canvas: Access the course link (if simple LTI) or specific grade item (if deep link) from the Modules page and select 'Edit Assignment Settings.' From the edit screen, you will need to adjust the number of points and change the 'Display Grade As' setting to 'Points':

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  • Blackboard: Access the Full Grade Center and locate the web link (if simple LTI) or specific grade item (if deep link). Click the downward facing arrow on the column for that item, then select 'Edit Column Information' and adjust the 'Points Possible' field:

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