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bsm45
Community Participant

Optional final exam

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Final exams in my course are optional, if a student is satisfied with their current grade then they can choose not to take the final and their current grade will be their final grade. The final, if taken, is to replace the lowest mid-term exam score, regardless of whether it improves their grade or not. (If I have to spend the extra time to grade it, then it WILL count.) So I've been trying to set this up using the assignment rules available, I know I can drop a low score and assign the final as a never-drop score, but how does this affect calculated grades for students who opt-out of the final? Will it also drop a low score for them?

Thanks,

Ben

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chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @bsm45 ...

Full disclosure...I'm an administrator for our school's Canvas environment, and I don't teach courses.  So, my knowledge of grading students isn't as great...but have you experimented with using the "Excused" label in your Gradebook for that optional final exam?  How do I use the icons and colors in the Gradebook?

Please let Community members know if you have any questions about this...thanks!  Be well, and stay safe!

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chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @bsm45 ...

Full disclosure...I'm an administrator for our school's Canvas environment, and I don't teach courses.  So, my knowledge of grading students isn't as great...but have you experimented with using the "Excused" label in your Gradebook for that optional final exam?  How do I use the icons and colors in the Gradebook?

Please let Community members know if you have any questions about this...thanks!  Be well, and stay safe!

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James
Community Champion

 @bsm45 ,

The Excused will make it be like it was never there. So will leaving it blank. If a student doesn't have a grade for the final exam, it will not be used in the calculations and the final will not be dropped since there is no grade to drop. However, there will still be some grade dropped because you have the rule in there. That does not sound like what you want.

In complicated situations, it's sometimes best to repeat back what you think you're hearing to make sure you understood it correctly. Let me run this past you and see if it's what you want.

Let's say there are three midterm quizzes eligible from dropping and a student has 50, 75, and 25 on them (they're all out of 100 points).

  • If a student gets an 80 on the final, then the 25 should be replaced with the 80. The three grades would be 50, 75, and 80.
  • If a student doesn't take the final, then you want to keep all three grades of 50, 75, and 25.
  • If a student takes the final and gets a 10, then you want the grades to be 50, 75, and 10.

If those are all correct and the final grade is never a grade by itself, just a replacement for a dropped quiz, then I would do this.

  • Have all four exams in the same assignment group.
  • Create a rule to drop the lowest grade, but never drop the final.
  • If the student takes the final, enter that grade they got on the final.
  • If the student does not take the final, then enter the value of their lowest midterm for the final.

The last item works like this: Canvas is going to drop the lowest grade. What you're doing by entering the lowest grade for the final is putting it back in so that it gets counted. Canvas drops the midterm grade but reinserts it with the final and so things are the way they were before.

Now, if your final also counts as an additional grade or the point values are different, then it becomes trickier.

I have a similar policy with an optional final exam, but I would like to not have it count against their exam average. More specifically, I have 5 unit exams and 1 optional final. If they opt to take the final and score higher than their lowest unit exam score, I want the gradebook to count the final instead. However, if they score lower on the final compared to any of their previous exams, I want the final to be ignored in the gradebook. Any tips or pointers on how to go about implementing this?

EDIT: Actually, correct me if I'm wrong, but your reply here seems to cover this https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Question-Forum/Replacing-lowest-test-grade-with-final-exam-grade/....