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mdthomas
Community Participant

Calculation of Weighted Assignment Groups

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Our institution is moving to Canvas and we want to understand how weighted totals and assignment groups are calculated.  In a course where quizzes are 50% of the grade and there are 5 quizzes with varying points (22, 22, 22, 34, 24) - it looks like the weighted total is based on the total points earned versus total points possible.  However, the faculty member would like each of the quizzes to be treated equally in the overall percentage toward the final grade.

So, given a student with the following quiz grades:

  1. 20/22 - 90.91%
  2. 18/22 - 81.82%
  3. 22/22 - 100%
  4. 24/34 - 70.59%
  5. 15/24 - 62.5%

It appears the weighted total calculates this as the total points earned/possible (99/124) = 79.8% versus the average of each of the percentages which would be (81.16%).

Is there any way to select whether the assignment group calculation can treat each of the activities equally weighted regardless of the points associated with each quiz?

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

To summarize what  @kblack  has posted,

  • Individual assignments within an Assignment Group do NOT count equally, it depends on the number of points an assignment is worth.
  • If you want the assignment grades to count equally then you can either:
    • Separate each assignment (quiz, etc) into their own Assignment Group and assign each group the same weight.
    • Make each assignment in the Assignment Group worth the same number of points. Ex: All assignments in the HW group are worth 100 points. The instructor grades the HW and the student gets 17/20 points or 85%. In Canvas the instructor enters 85 for the HW grade (out of 100) instead of the 17/20. Next homework the student gets 15/25 or 60% so the instructor enters 60 for the HW grade. [Note this definitely isn't the best work around and wouldn't work at all for quizzes done inside of Canvas.
  • Why is the grade calculated this way? I'm not 100% sure, but I'm guessing because that's mathematically the way weighted averages work.
    • (total points a student has earned from assignments in a group)/(total points possible in the group) = percent that shows up for that group in the Canvas gradebook
    • From the example above --> (Student earned HW 1 points + Student earned HW2 points)/(HW1 + HW2 total points possible) --> Minnie Mouse = (10+90)/(25+100) = .80 or 80%

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12 Replies
kblack
New Member

Oh, there is a long history to this very topic that is outlined in the old Community here:  Weight Assignments Within Assignment Groups : Help Center .  I admit I have not fully searched it out in this new community, but one of the workarounds mentioned in that thread is one that I have suggested to my own faculty members, which is that you basically have to create each individual quiz within its own assignment group.  A bit clunky, to be sure, but it works.  So (for example) Quiz One has its own group (consisting of just that one quiz), Quiz Two has its own group (consisting of just that one quiz), and so on.  Each group can then be weighted equally.  I'm sure other members of the community may have their own ideas, but that's one that we've used here.

musselwhited
New Member

We have a question about how the gradebook in Canvas works: we know how to weight categories, but do the entries in each category count equally, or will it depend on how many points each item is worth?

Example: say I have a homework assignment worth 25 points and a homework assignment worth 100 points. Will the gradebook count these as two equally-weighted homework assignments within the homework category, or will homework #2 count four times as much towards the overall category grade?

mdthomas
Community Participant

Deactivated user​ - That is exactly the same question I am asking.  From testing - I believe homework#2 count four time as much as #1.

Thank you so much! Have you tackled the question of weighting a SEMESTER

EXAM or FINAL EXAM as 20% of the entire cummulative semester term grade?

We are struggling with how to accomplish this in Canvas.

Denise Musselwhite

Director of Technology

TRINITY PREPARATORY SCHOOL

5700 Trinity Prep Lane

Winter Park, FL 32792

321.282.2507

musselwhited@trinityprep.org

"Our mission is to develop individuals who will excel in college and in

life, contribute to their communities, lead in a changing society, and grow

spiritually."

****Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.****

On Wed, Jun 3, 2015 at 11:29 AM, kblack@dom.edu <instructure@jiveon.com>

Deactivated user​, mdthomas​ is correct.  I am attaching a sample gradebook view from 5 students.  The ASSIGNMENTS category is worth 75% of the grade and consists of two assignments:   Homework One is 25 points and Homework Two is worth 100 points in the group.  Notice that "Test Student" got a 0 on Homework One, but a 100 on Homework Two.  The Weighted score is 80% for that assignment group.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, Wile E. Coyote got a perfect score on Homework One, but a 0 on Homework Two, and his weighted grade is 20%.  (Ahem...slight copyright alert here; all images shown are copyrighted by Warner Bros. and Disney, though I DID pick up the images from Wikimedia's creative commons!)

weighted grades.jpg

Same general idea:  it should be in its own assignment group with the appropriate weight as compared to the other assignment groups.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

To summarize what  @kblack  has posted,

  • Individual assignments within an Assignment Group do NOT count equally, it depends on the number of points an assignment is worth.
  • If you want the assignment grades to count equally then you can either:
    • Separate each assignment (quiz, etc) into their own Assignment Group and assign each group the same weight.
    • Make each assignment in the Assignment Group worth the same number of points. Ex: All assignments in the HW group are worth 100 points. The instructor grades the HW and the student gets 17/20 points or 85%. In Canvas the instructor enters 85 for the HW grade (out of 100) instead of the 17/20. Next homework the student gets 15/25 or 60% so the instructor enters 60 for the HW grade. [Note this definitely isn't the best work around and wouldn't work at all for quizzes done inside of Canvas.
  • Why is the grade calculated this way? I'm not 100% sure, but I'm guessing because that's mathematically the way weighted averages work.
    • (total points a student has earned from assignments in a group)/(total points possible in the group) = percent that shows up for that group in the Canvas gradebook
    • From the example above --> (Student earned HW 1 points + Student earned HW2 points)/(HW1 + HW2 total points possible) --> Minnie Mouse = (10+90)/(25+100) = .80 or 80%

No, the items within an assignment group are not weighted equally.  Canvas takes the sum of all possible points in the assignment group.  You will need to balance the points possible for the different assignments within each assignment group.

don_bryn
New Member

This is a common, recurring theme here on the Canvas community.   I think it's building to a class action lawsuit someday, but maybe I'm a pessimist.

See these other conversations:

Canvas Gradebook: Assignments equally (or proportionally) weighted?

The faculty in my school at my college have all realized that Canvas can not currently grade by averages, so we have converted all of our assignments to be worth 100 points (virtual percentages).  We have to add a step and manually convert assignment scores into percentages before adding them to the gradebook.   I use a google doc spreadsheet, which helps, but it's still a pain.   But at least our department won't have to deal with any angry students or class action lawsuits.  😉

I still think it's weird that a computer-based system can't handle averages. . .   Numbers are so easy for computers!