Scenario:

1. How does Gradelink calculate class grades?

2. We believe that Gradelink is not calculating class grades correctly.


Solution:

In Gradelink, Class Grades on the grade sheet are calculated using the following process:

  1. Convert any Non-Percentage Grades into Percentages.
  2. Add the Weight of each Assignment together.
  3. Multiply the Percentage Grade for each Assignment by its respective Weight.
  4. Add the values calculated in Step 3 together.
  5. Divide the number calculated in Step 4 by the number calculated in Step 2.


Let's look at this process in more detail using the following grade sheet as an example. We'll be looking specifically at the student Susan B. Anthony.



Step 1 - Convert any Non-Percentage Grades into Percentages

In the example above, every grade on the grade sheet already appears as a percentage, excluding the white "IC" (which stands for "Incomplete") and the green check marks (which are used for non-graded assignments) - we'll talk about them in a minute. However, while these grades appear as percentages, that isn't necessarily because every assignment was graded using percentages. In Gradelink, the grade sheet automatically converts grades into the appropriate format depending on which View is selected.



If we switch to the "Points" View, we can see that one of the assignments was actually graded using points and those grades were being converted into percentages.



Assignments that were graded using points are easy to convert into percentages: Gradelink simply divides the points a student received by the total number of points possible. However, how does Gradelink convert assignments that are graded using Letter Grades?


The answer is that grade scales in Gradelink include a mandatory field called Letter Grade Conversion. The Letter Grade Conversion explicitly defines what Percentage Grade each Letter Grade should be converted to.



There are two types of grades that are not converted into Percentages: Assignment Grade Codes and Non-Graded Assignments.

  • Assignment Grade Codes are built-in to Gradelink and include non-traditional grades such as "Incomplete" and "Excused". By default, the only assignment grade code that can influence the class grade is "Incomplete", which converts to 0%. However, this can adjusted by schools if they wish.
  • Non-Graded Assignments will never impact the class grade under any circumstances.


Step 2 - Add the Weight of each Assignment together

The next step in calculating a class grade is to calculate the "Total Weight" by adding together the Weights associated with each assignment.


Before Teachers can add assignments to their classes, they must create "Assignment Types". Assignment Types allocate a specific percentage, or 'weight', of the overall class grade to specific types of assignments. For example, a Teacher may want to guarantee that Tests make up 30% of a student's grade.


When an assignment is created, it is given an assignment type. As more assignments use the same assignment type, the 'weight' of each individual assignment goes down. For example, if the assignment type "Homework" is worth 20% of the class grade, and there are 4 Homework assignments, each one will have a weight of 5% (20% divided by 4 assignments). If the Teacher added a fifth Homework assignment, then each would be worth 4% (20% divided by 5 assignments).


On the grade sheet, you can view the current weight for each assignment by switching to the Percentage view and looking at the numbers that appear above the "Grade" button.



However, just because an assignment has a weight associated with it does not mean it affects a student's class grade. In the example above, we can see that no grade has been entered for one assignment (the blank space in the third column). 


When no grade is entered for an assignment, that assignment will not contribute to a student's class grade even if the assignment has a weight associated with it.


Therefore, in the example above the Total Weight is 37.5% (7.5% + 15% + 15% + 0%).


Step 3 - Multiply the Percentage Grade for each Assignment by its respective Weight

The next step in calculating a class grade is multiplying the grade a student has received in each assignment by its respective weight.


The student in the example shown above received 100% on an assignment with a weight of 7.5%. Multiplying these numbers together results in a value of 7.50%. Repeat this process for every assignment where the student received a grade.


Step 4 - Add the values calculated in Step 3 together

After repeating Step 3 for every assignment, Gradelink then adds those values together.


For the example shown above, the result would be 22.5% (7.5% + 15% + 0% + 0%).


Step 5 - Divide the number calculated in Step 4 by the number calculated in Step 2

Finally, we're ready to calculate a class grade. The last step is to divide the number we calculated in Step 4 by the number calculated in Step 2. In other words, we're dividing the amount of 'weight' a student actually earned via grades by the total amount of 'weight' that was available.


For the example shown above, that would mean 22.5% divided by 37.5%, with a result of 60%.