AnsweredAssumed Answered

Passing Separate Course Components

Question asked by Peter Akers on Feb 11, 2016
Latest reply on Feb 14, 2016 by Peter Akers

Does anyone have a workaround for cases where two separate components (i.e. assignment groups) of a course need to be passed for an overall pass to be achieved? For example a faculty requirement may be that passes in both the practical and theory components of a course are achieved for an overall pass to be attained.


In cases where you have multiple assignment groups with different weighting which belong to the theory or practical components, this poses a problem when applying special grades. For example:


Theory component:


            Test – marked out of 40 points and worth 15 % of course


Essay – marked out of 33 points and worth 35 % of course

Simply creating a combined assignment for these and adding a special rule in the grading tool that students must score 36.5 out of a total of 73 (combined points from both assignments) to pass the course doesn’t work because of the different weightings.


The current workaround we have come up with is to create an artificial assignment group and assignment called ‘Theory’, which accounts for 50% of the course (combined weighting of test and essay), while adjusting the weighting of ‘Test’ and ‘Essay’ to zero.


The next step is to export the gradebook and work in excel to work out the adjusted points out of 73 (which accurately reflect the true mark given the different weighting) by doing the following:


For a given student, divide test points attained by possible test points (out of 40) and multiply by the weighting (15). Do the same for the essay, add to the result from the test and divide by 50 (overall weighting of both components). Multiply by the total points possible (40+33 = 73) to get the adjusted total marks which reflects the true grade of the two experiments given their different weightings (see attached screenshot).



Note that the total marks in the theory column does not actually match the sum of the test and essay columns but has been adjusted to reflect the true grade given the respective weighting of the assignments.


This is not always a trivial matter. It is possible that a student’s mark out of 73 could be as high as 49 and they have not actually done well enough in the higher weighted assignment to pass the course (see bottom row in screenshot).


We believe this is a valid workaround, although clearly it is not an elegant solution. Does anyone have a suggestion for something which may work better?


A potentially easier fix would be for there to be a higher order of assignment group in canvas (i.e. theory) within which you could create the test and essay groups, which you could then easily apply a special rule to.


As far as we are aware, this issue cannot currently be solved within canvas.