I have an unusual situation regarding weighted averages. I understand how to setup groups with weighted averages for assignments. Recently I had an instructor approach me and was trying to do that but with a twist. He conducts three exams throughout the course of the term. The three exams are worth 60% of the final grade. However, the instructor wants the student's highest score of the three exams to be weighted at 30% of the 60%, the second highest score to be weighted at 20% of the 60% and the lowest score to be weighted at 10% of the 60%. These are three separate exams, not three attempts at the same exam. Is this possible in Canvas or should I recommend that he use a spreadsheet to keep track of the grade and then manually enter it into Canvas?

Thank you for your assistance.

Tom Alway,

This cannot be done using native Canvas functionality.

Until the end of the semester, you won't know which is the highest, which is the lowest, and which is the middle exam score, so just throw all three of them into a single assignment group weighted 60% of the class grade at the beginning of the semester. The extra grades I'm going to mention can be added at the beginning, just leave them blank until the end.

At the end of the semester is where the workarounds come into play. There are a few of ways to do this, but again none of built in.

Personally, I would recommend option 3.

## Option 1: Three Separate Grades / Assignment Groups

Create three additional assignment groups, called High Exam, Middle Exam, and Low Exam. Make them worth 30%, 20%, and 10% of the grade overall. Create exactly one assignment called High Exam, Middle Exam, and Low Exam (the names do not have to match the assignment groups) worth 100 points each. This can be done at the beginning of the semester. Since there are no grades in those groups, they will not factor into the grade until the end of the semester.

At the end of the semester, go through and split the three exam scores for each student up into the appropriate grade. This can be done manually for a small class or using Excel for a larger class.

Then make the original exam assignment group worth 0% of the grade.

I mentioned using Excel to do this. You can export the grades from the Canvas gradebook, do the calculations in Excel, and then reimport the values into the Canvas.

Here are the calculations for row 3 (Student 1). Copy these formulas down for all of the students.

Old Ave (E2):=AVERAGE(B2:D2)High (F2):=MAX(B2:D2)Middle (G2):=SUM(B2:D2)-F2-H2Low (H2):=MIN(B2:D2)New Ave (I2): =(3*F2+2*G2+H2)/6Instead of using columns F, G, and H, you would use the columns that you created in the gradebook to hold those three extra grades.

## Option 2: One Weighted Grade / Assignment Group

This one builds off the previous one, but instead of a three different assignment groups, you only have one. This time you make it worth 60% of the grade. It holds a assignment that will have the overall weighted average for the combined scores.

At the end of the semester, you would make the original exam assignment group worth 0% of the grade and the new weighted exam group worth 60% of the grade.

The instructor could manually go through and calculate the scores or they could use a single formula and then transfer the grades over.

Here is the single calculation you would need, shown for Student 1, but then you can copy it for all the students.

Weighted (F2):=(2*SUM(B2:D2)+MAX(B2:D2)-MIN(B2:D2))/6## Option 3: Adjustment Grade / No New Assignment Groups

In this case, you would put a fourth assignment in to the exam assignment group and call it Exam Adjustment or just Adjustment or Fudge. Make it worth 0 points.

What we need to do is compute the adjustment to the grade based on the scores.

To understand the adjustment, you need to understand how Canvas computes grades. It takes the total score for the student divided by the total number of points possible for that student. It is more complex when there are missing grades, but that's the way it works here at the end of the semester with all of the grades in.

Take Student 1: Her grades were 70, 80, and 60. Those were out of 100, 100, and 100 points. So her score is (70+80+60) / 300 = 70.

We want her score to be (3*80+2*70+1*60)/6 = 73.33.

You might think the adjustment should be 73.33 - 70 = 3.33 points.

However, since the adjustment is worth 0 points, the student's score is no 70+80+60+Adjustment, while the points possible are still 100+100+100+0 = 300.

What we need to do is find the Adjustment so that (70+80+60+Adjustment)/300 = 73.33%. Now 70+80+60=SUM, so we have (SUM+Adjustment)/3=Desired, or Adjustment = 3*Desired-SUM

Earlier (option 2), we saw that the desired average is ( 2*SUM + MAX - MIN ) / 6. Doing the math ...

Wow, that turned out pretty nice. The Adjustment is just half the difference between the maximum and minimum test scores.

The calculation for the Student 1 is given. You can copy that formula down for the others.

Adjust (E2):=(MAX(B2:D2)-MIN(B2:D2))/2Now Student 1 gets (70+80+60+10)/300 = 73.33%

So, at the end of the year, you go through and add the adjustment to each student. You can manually find half the difference between max and min or let excel do it for you.