4. Click the “Save changes” button.

Curves and grade letters Grading on a curve and translating numeric grades to letter grades are important tools for adjusting student grades to reflect the performance of students relative to each other rather than an objective standard. When the subject matter is very difficult, or if you are trying a new course design, this can be very useful for maintaining fairness. The gradebook provides two tools for adjusting grades after you have awarded a raw score. On the Set Categories page you can set a maximum score for a scored activity below the original point amount. This is equivalent to grading on the curve. Usually, you will set the curve after the scores are completed. You may want to set the curve to equal the highest grade in the class. If you set the curve score below the highest score, students who score above that level will receive a score higher than 100 percent. Allowing scores above 100 percent may be a useful way of rewarding students who have done exceptionally well, and would have otherwise blown the curve. You can also use the grade-letters scale to curve the total class score. There’s no law that an “A” grade has to be 90 percent and above. You can use whatever scale you want, as long as you are clear about it up front. Jason: One of my favorite teachers in high school challenged us by making an “A” 93 percent and above. The modified scale encouraged the students to put that much more effort into their work to try to meet his higher standard.

Categories and Weights If you have a course design where it is useful to give a lot of low-stakes practice (like weekly or daily homework), it can be difficult to balance the number of points possible in the practice with the number of points in higher-stakes assessments, like finals. For example, if you have 10 homework assignments, each worth 10 points, you will have 100 possible homework points. But if you want homework to equal only 10 percent of the final grade, your midterm and final would each have to be worth 450 points (for 900 points of assessment) to balance out the homework. Categories and weights make it much easier to manage activity types and give them the correct weight when you calculate the total grade. If you want homework to be worth 10 percent of the total grade, create a “homework” category and give it a weight of 10 percent. Then create a “tests” category and give it a weight of 90 percent. You can then create two 100-point tests and assign them to the tests category. Put all of the homework assignments in the homework category. It won’t matter how many points the homework assignments are worth. All of them together will only count as 10 percent of the final grade.

Effective Grade and Scale Practices | 201

The second edtion of the O'Reilly book "Using Moodle" by Jason Cole and Helen Foster. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attri...

Published on Jun 24, 2008

The second edtion of the O'Reilly book "Using Moodle" by Jason Cole and Helen Foster. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attri...

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