Grading Scheme (Scale)
As part of the process of managing your gradebook, it is critical that faculty enable the UNCC Default Grading Scheme to their course before submitting grades into Banner. A grading scheme is a set of criteria that measures varying levels of achievement in a course. Course-level grading schemes are grading schemes that can be defined at both the course level and the assignment level. With this enabled, the total column in the gradebook will now display the letter grade associated with the final score.
Canvas provides a simple method to submit mid-term and final grades to Banner. We encourage faculty to set-up their gradebook and use Canvas for submitting grades. Below are some helpful items you should know to setup the Canvas gradebook.
- Does it matter if I enter assignments in terms of point value vs percentages?
- This will not matter as the grade total will show percentages. If the grading calculation is based on points, then faculty can choose to show the grade total as points or percentages. If the grading calculation is based on weights, then only percentages will be shown. Faculty should enable the UNCC Default Grading scheme to their course. Once the grading scheme is enabled, the total points column in the gradebook will show the points (or percentage) and the letter grade.
- How important is the grading scheme for Canvas courses?
- The grading scheme serves to assign numerical equivalents to actual letter grades as stipulated by the institution. Additionally, course grading scheme must be enabled to publish the correct letter grades to Banner. Verify you have enabled the UNCC Default grading scheme. Starting 2017 summer 1, the UNCC Default Grading Scheme will be enabled for all undergraduate courses.
- Are there grading schemes for undergraduate and graduate courses?
- There are grading schemes for undergraduate and graduate courses. They are named as UNCC Undergraduate Scheme and UNCC Graduate Scheme.
- Faculty can enable the UNCC Grading Scheme in their Canvas courses.
- What are the critical points to note when publishing grades from Canvas to Banner?
- The three most important things to note concerns ungraded assignments, muted assignments, and treat ungraded as zero.
- Canvas will publish the Final Grade to Banner as is, meaning any ungraded assignments with a point value will be calculated as zero. The Gradebook does not display a Final Grade column. Faculty must ensure that all assignments have a grade; not a dash.
- Muted assignments will not be included in the grades passed to Banner. Verify all assignments are unmuted before publishing the Final Grade.
- Treat ungraded as zero is only seen by the instructor. Enabling this option has no effect outside of the instructor view of the gradebook; students cannot see any difference in their grades.
- What are the options to display grades in Canvas?
- The options to display grades are:
- Letter Grade
- GPA Scale
- If faculty choose the option, Letter Grade, to display the assignment, the system will ask the faculty to indicate the Grading Scheme being used. See Question 1 for instructions on enabling a Grading Scheme.
- Does the Gradebook look the same to both faculty and students?
- The grades that faculty see are not necessarily the same grades students see. Within the exported CSV copy of the Gradebook, there is a Current Grade and a Final Grade column. The Current Grade calculates all the assignments that have been graded. The Final Grade column calculates all graded and ungraded assignments. As noted above, any ungraded assignments with a point value will be calculated as zero. The Gradebook stores all information about student progress in the course, measuring both letter grades and course outcomes. See example below of an exported CSV gradebook.
Example Excel CSV Copy of Gradebook:
- Notice that the Current Grade is actually the Total Grade column, as seen in the gradebook in your Canvas course. The Final Grade is what Banner will be using. The difference between the Current and the Final Grade columns is due to a combination of ungraded and muted assignments. Faculty must grade all assignments and un-mute muted assignments so that students see their true final grade.
- To compare the Current Grade and Final Grade column in the exported CSV (Excel) gradebook file, use the following formula:
- AO3 is the first cell within the Column AO (Current Grade) that you want to compare the cell in Column AP (Final Grade), and range $AP$2:$AP$14 (Final Grade) indicates the Final Grade column that you want to be compared with.
- What if I want certain assignments to remain muted into Final Grade period?
- Those muted assignments will affect negatively the grades of your students. It is best to either:
- Unpublish those assignments.
- Check the option “Do not count this assignment towards the final grade”.
- Create an Assignment Group and weight it at zero points. Add those muted assignments to this assignment group.
- Choose the option to Display Grade As “Not Graded”.
- What about things like discussion posts that might be graded as check +, check, check -, but be worth 5% of the total grade collectively?
- There is no option in Canvas Discussion Posts to show grades as check +, check, check -. Rather grades in Canvas can be either points or percentages. Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes are seen as true graded assessment items. As noted in the next question, by using the Assignment Group option, faculty can apply 5% to the grouped assignment called ‘Participation and Attendance’.
- How can faculty use grouped assignments in terms of point value vs percentages?
Grouped assignments are used by faculty to show weights based on percentages of the course grade total. For example:
|Assignment Groups||Assignment Weights (%) *|
|Participation and Attendance||5|
- * - Weight final grade based on assignment groups.
- The course grade will show the grouped assignments as a percentage and the course total also as a percentage. By hovering over each grouped assignment, students and faculty will see assignments points over the total points (E.g. 41.5/50) for that assignment group.
- What about 'dropping the lowest quiz grade’ -- is that calculated as the semester goes along or only at the end?
- This rule is applied as more assessment items are added. Applying the rule to drop the lowest grade or as Canvas calls it, ‘ignore the lowest score’, can only occur in an Assignment Group. This rule is true for Assignments, Discussions, and Quizzes. As faculty add graded items to an Assignment Group, the calculation will occur as more assessments are added over the semester. We encourage faculty not to apply this rule to an Assignment Group until two or more assessments items have been added.
- What about points for participation?
- Points for participation can be applied using a No-submission Assignment with say 15 points. Some faculty use polling questions (Turning Clickers or Poll Everywhere) as participation/attendance points.
- Any best practices regarding the gradebook?
- Some best practices for using the gradebook are:
- Add a Grading Scheme early to your course. As of Summer 1 2017, the UNCC grading scheme will be automatically added to all courses. Faculty can also create Grading Schemes.
- Periodically download the gradebook (CSV file) to check the Current Grade vs Final Grade Column. Both columns should have the same letter grades for each student.
- Add grades to the Test Student role (Settings > Student View) to compare Current Grade vs Final Grade that students see.
- Use the Speedgrader when grading assignments to help simplify your grading process.
- Do not add the rule 'ignore the lowest score’ in Assignment groups until you have two or more assignments.
- Remember that only graded assignments, graded discussions, graded quizzes, and graded surveys that have been published appear in the gradebook.
- Check your muted and ungraded assignments as the semester comes close to the final grading period.
- You can message students from the gradebook who haven’t submitted an assignment yet, or who scored more than X, or less than Y on an assignment.
- Treat Ungraded as Zero is a feature only for instructors. It only helps the instructor see the change in gradebook calculations if ungraded assignments were given scores of zero. Canvas will not populate actual zeros in the gradebook. Dashes will still display for each student submission.
- See additional information on grades and gradebook.
- See how students view the gradebook.