School Loop's gradebook allows you to calculate grades based on total points or a weighted scale. Weighting requires that you have associated all graded assignments with a weighted category, so it is important that you first create the categories you wish to use for weighted grading (covered on a separate help page). After creating your categories, you can assign a percent weight to as many categories as you wish to use.
Although the category list is universal, you may weight differently for each gradebook. Student grades are based on scores in weighted categories. If a weighted category has no graded assignments, student grades are based only on the categories with assignments.
After setting up all the categories (covered in a separate help page) you wish to use with your weighting scale, you must configure each gradebook separately. In this fashion, each gradebook can have different weight schemes.
From any page in your portal, click the Settings link near the top right of the page and then look for the Gradebook Settings on the next page. Locate the link for the name of the gradebook you wish to configure and click that link. From there, click the Go button for weighting.
To set weighting, first check the radio button next to Yes. This will allow you to enter the percent values for your weighted categories. Enter the percent value for each category you wish to weight. Take care that the total for weighted categories is 100%. Finally, click the Submit button.
For your convenience, there's an Add Category button if you need to add an additional category.
How weighting is used to calculate grades is not always clearly understood by students and parents. This explanation should be helpful. In the example, there are three weighted categories: Homework, Tests, and Final. Each is weighted 30%, 50%, and 20% respectively.
The figure to the right illustrates that a student's averages for the Homework and Tests categories are 60% and 70% respectively. Since there is no score for the final exam, that category will not be used in calculating the student's average
The weight of each category used is multiplied by the student's average for that category. Those products are summed together and divided by the total of the weighted categories in use (80% as pictured above). In this example, the student has earned 53% of a possible 80% for an average of 66.25%. How that percent grade converts to a letter grade is based on your grading scale.
Q: How can a student's grade go down when they get a high score on an assignment?
A: Remember that grades are weighted by category. So if the score on the assignment is lower than the average for that category, the overall grade will go down.
Example: Student’s current overall grade is 90% for all categories (tests, homework, etc.) and they get a 92% on the next test. Intuition tells us that their grade should go up. However if their test average is 95% then the weighted average for the Tests category will go down and therefore their overall grade will go down as well.
Q: My student received 100% on an assignment and their grade went down - how is that possible?
A: The student had over 100% in that category, most likely due to extra credit.
Example: Student has turned in all of their homework and has some extra credit points, putting their average for the category at 110%. Now they turn in another homework assignment receiving 100% for that assignment. Their weighted average for the Homework category will go down because 100% is less than 110%.
Q: My student did some additional extra credit but their grade went down. Shouldn't extra credit always raise their grade?
A: Not necessarily. Adding a new extra credit assignment will change the total points possible in the extra credit category and could lower the student’s percentage in that category.
Example: The extra credit category is set to give a student a 5% boost in their grade. So far the student has scored 10/10 on the one extra credit assignment giving them 100% in the extra credit category, and therefore boosting their grade the full 5%. Now you assign another extra credit assignment worth 20 points and the student earns 5/20. Her total for the extra credit category is now 15/30 or 50%. Her boost has now gone down to 2.5%.
We recommend that you leave the percent possible for extra credit at zero until the very end of the term. This way the students can see the points they are accumulating against points possible, but their grade won't changed based on extra credit until you change it to the final percentage possible.
Click here for more information on extra credit.
Q: My students are showing averages over 100% but I have not given any extra credit points?
A: Check your Extra Credit setup. The Extra Credit category cannot be one of the weighted categories. Change the Extra Credit category to a non-weighted category. If you are not assigning extra credit assignments, set the Extra Credit category to "None".
Click here for more information on extra credit.