Grading using conditional weighted averages

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Hello, I am trying to assist an instructor who uses conditional weighted average to grade exams in their class -- specifically, they'd like to know if there is a more efficient or easier way to do this type of grading in Canvas. 

Students have a 2-stage exam, implemented as 2 separate quizzes (“Exam 1 - Stage 1” and “Exam 1 - Stage 2”). If a student does better on stage 2 than stage 1, their entire Exam 1 grade is a weighted average based 80% on their Stage 1 score and 20% on their Stage 2 score. If they do the same or worse on Stage 2 compared to Stage 1, their entire Exam 1 score is just whatever they got on Stage 1.

Here is the instructor's current workflow, which they are hoping for some help to simplify:

  1. Download the gradebook as a CSV file and open it in Excel
  2. Highlight number rows in the sisID column. change student ID data type (format —> cell --> number—> custom) to 000000000 (nine 0s, to allow leading 0s in ID numbers) to avoid issues with uploading the revised CSV later
  3. Use the following formula in a new column for their total Exam 1 grades (the conditional weighted sum of stages 1 and 2), where N3 is a particular student’s Exam 1 - Stage 1 score and O3 is that student’s Exam 1 - Stage 2 score: “=IF(N3>O3,N3,(0.8*N3+0.2*O3))”
  4. Upload the revised CSV file to bruinlearn and make a the new column into a new “activity”
  5. Manually change any incomplete/missing scores in this new weighted column from 0 to missing
    I've asked around with our colleagues and have not been able to come up with a better solution, and wanted to see if you all might have a suggestion.

It doesn't look like there is any gradebook function that would automate all or part of this process, so I wanted to inquire with the Community to see if anyone has worked with a similar grading scenario and can offer suggestions that would help simplify this process. I really appreciate the instructor trying to be more flexible and equitable in the way they assess student learning and want to support their efforts.

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Community Contributor

I don't believe that it's possible to set up such a complicated grading scheme on Canvas.

While I also appreciate the instructor's efforts, she may simply want to create a less complex scheme. There are other ways to give students opportunities to show effort and learning. For example, she could set up a Quiz with two attempts. 

In my online classes, I have created numerous small low-stakes activities to engage my students in the learning process. I've set up many of them as Quizzes to give the students immediate feedback and to lesson the time I spend grading them.

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