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jipnet
Community Member

Weighting of grades as a sub-component of an existing weighted grade component

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I want to weight grades in the following configuration:

A group consisting of 4 parts, each of which is separately weighted, one of which (called Blogs, and worth 25% of that group's total) is comprised of 10 assignments (blog posts), each of which is in turn worth 1/10th of that 25%, i.e. 2.5% each. How can I use canvas to grab these grades and average them into their header (Blogs) and then to compute their total weight at 25% of the entire grade? In essence this is a sub-component of a component. Maybe there's no way to do this.

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James
Navigator II

jipnet,

 

There is no way for you to automatically do this within Canvas at this time.

There are two work-arounds that I can think of. Others will undoubtedly have other approaches.

Since I don't have all of the particulars of your scheme, I'll make up some numbers.

Let's assume (for the sake of this discussion) that you want the Participation grade to be 40% of the overall grade and that each of those categories is as follows

  • Blogs: 25% of the participation's 40% = 10% of total
  • Sections: 30% of the participation's 40% = 12% of total
  • Debates:  35% of the participation's 40% = 14% of total
  • Attendance: 10% of the participation's 40% = 4% of total

The first way is to make four (4) participation assignment groups and name them for both participation and the sub-category: "Participation - Blogs" is worth 10%, "Participation - Sections" is worth 12%, "Participation - Debates" is worth 14%, and "Participation - Attendance" is worth 4%.

If blogs, sections, debates, and attendance are not used anywhere else, you could drop the "Participation -" portion if you like and just explain it to the students, but if you say that "Participation is worth 40% of the grade" then it may be useful to keep the label.

Using this technique, you can make every assignment worth 100 points (or whatever) and it will automatically work itself out.

A second option, since you know that there are going to be 10 blogs ahead of time is to make a single assignment group called "Participation" that you make worth 40% of the grade. Then you have 13 assignments in it and weight those 13 assignments so that they come out to be the right weights.

  • Since there are 10 blogs and all of the blogs are worth 25%, then you divide the 25% by 10 to get 2.5%. Each blog is worth 2.5% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.
  • Sections are worth 30% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.
  • Debates are worth 35% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.
  • Attendance is worth 10% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.

Notice there's a variable that has yet to be defined called "whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be." The easiest way to do that is to make it 100 points so that the percents become the point values.

  • 10 blogs each worth 2.5 points makes 25 points total, so make each blog worth 2.5 points.
  • 1 sections worth 30 points
  • 1 debates worth 35 points
  • 1 attendance worth 10 points.

If you don't like decimal point values, then multiply everything by 2 and call them 5, 60, 70, and 20. You could also make them worth 25, 300, 350, and 100 respectively. However, having them add up to 100 will make it easier for the students to understand.

In this technique, you'll have to weight your assignments based on their relative weight within the assignment group, so you can't call everything 100 points. It's the relationship between the assignments that matters. 

If you don't want weighted gradebooks at all, that second technique can be extended to a point-based gradebook.

If you use rules like dropping the lowest debate score, this can be done using either technique. In the first way, you apply it to just the blogs group. In the second way, you apply it to the Participation group but then specify that you cannot drop the sections, debates, or attendance grades.

View solution in original post

4 Replies
kblack
Community Member

Hi jipnet Welcome to the worldwide Canvas Community!  Unfortunately, there is not really a good way to do this in Canvas.  Coming up with any sort of automatically-calculated average has come up from time to time in the past and even some (now archived) feature ideas.  Just as a point of reference--and reading over some of these may well help you in understanding ways Canvas works--you may want to scan over some of these previous Community discussions:

I should point out that the gradebook, overall, IS being worked on by Instructure.  You can read about some of the plans here: https://community.canvaslms.com/community/ideas/priority-gradebook-enhancements .  It's possible a few others in the Community may have some inventive work-arounds for what you are trying to do, but offhand I'm afraid I can't think of any!

jipnet
Community Member

I wonder if there is a confusion here. Gradebook calculates averages and then weights them for each component of a grade. My question is about subcomponents, here a grade for participation that has 4 different elements. These are part of a group called Participation. I want to know if there's a way to create a subgroup for one of these 4 elements to Participation. If there is, I would have in that subgroup ten grades, each averaged, and then made available to average with the other three elements, the whole of which would be then weighted.

eg

Participation: 

  1. blogs (ten blogs each graded)
  2. sections (1 grade)
  3. debates (1 grade)
  4. lecture attendance (1 grade)

I want to break out (1) above into ten scores then roll that back into the overall Participation grade.

Sorry for any confusions.

A picture worth a thousand words: (I broke out blogs and will have to manually insert their average into Blog Posts; but that's for 100 students: I'd like an automated process.

The alternative, less tedious, is to put the 10 blogs under Participation. Maybe that's the only solution.

246583_Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 9.13.52 AM.png

James
Navigator II

jipnet,

 

There is no way for you to automatically do this within Canvas at this time.

There are two work-arounds that I can think of. Others will undoubtedly have other approaches.

Since I don't have all of the particulars of your scheme, I'll make up some numbers.

Let's assume (for the sake of this discussion) that you want the Participation grade to be 40% of the overall grade and that each of those categories is as follows

  • Blogs: 25% of the participation's 40% = 10% of total
  • Sections: 30% of the participation's 40% = 12% of total
  • Debates:  35% of the participation's 40% = 14% of total
  • Attendance: 10% of the participation's 40% = 4% of total

The first way is to make four (4) participation assignment groups and name them for both participation and the sub-category: "Participation - Blogs" is worth 10%, "Participation - Sections" is worth 12%, "Participation - Debates" is worth 14%, and "Participation - Attendance" is worth 4%.

If blogs, sections, debates, and attendance are not used anywhere else, you could drop the "Participation -" portion if you like and just explain it to the students, but if you say that "Participation is worth 40% of the grade" then it may be useful to keep the label.

Using this technique, you can make every assignment worth 100 points (or whatever) and it will automatically work itself out.

A second option, since you know that there are going to be 10 blogs ahead of time is to make a single assignment group called "Participation" that you make worth 40% of the grade. Then you have 13 assignments in it and weight those 13 assignments so that they come out to be the right weights.

  • Since there are 10 blogs and all of the blogs are worth 25%, then you divide the 25% by 10 to get 2.5%. Each blog is worth 2.5% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.
  • Sections are worth 30% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.
  • Debates are worth 35% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.
  • Attendance is worth 10% of whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be.

Notice there's a variable that has yet to be defined called "whatever the total points for the participation group turns out to be." The easiest way to do that is to make it 100 points so that the percents become the point values.

  • 10 blogs each worth 2.5 points makes 25 points total, so make each blog worth 2.5 points.
  • 1 sections worth 30 points
  • 1 debates worth 35 points
  • 1 attendance worth 10 points.

If you don't like decimal point values, then multiply everything by 2 and call them 5, 60, 70, and 20. You could also make them worth 25, 300, 350, and 100 respectively. However, having them add up to 100 will make it easier for the students to understand.

In this technique, you'll have to weight your assignments based on their relative weight within the assignment group, so you can't call everything 100 points. It's the relationship between the assignments that matters. 

If you don't want weighted gradebooks at all, that second technique can be extended to a point-based gradebook.

If you use rules like dropping the lowest debate score, this can be done using either technique. In the first way, you apply it to just the blogs group. In the second way, you apply it to the Participation group but then specify that you cannot drop the sections, debates, or attendance grades.

View solution in original post

jipnet
Community Member

That's clever. I'll try the first method. One downside is that students can see upfront that a given assignment or assignment category is worth some trivial amount of the total grade. But hopefully they are smart enough to have made that calculation already; and the amounts do add up quickly. 

The automation is the key. 

thanks.