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GradeBook calculations

How is the scale under a gradebook's 'Properties' tab used?

The scale under a gradebook's 'Properties' tab is used to match student's automatically calculated total scores to alphabetic equivalents.

gradebook properties tab with scale

How is the scale under an individual assignment's 'Assignment Properties' used?

The scale under an individual assignment's 'Assignment Properties' is used differently depending on whether the assignment is a numeric/percentage assignment, or an alphabetic assignment.

Numeric/percentage assignments

A numeric/percentage assignment's scale does not impact calculations in any way. Since you are entering numeric/percentage scores, GradeBook uses those values in all calculations. If you distribute a numeric/percentage assignment score to students and choose to include the alphabetic equivalents, the scale is used to determine what alphabetic equivalent each student will see..

numeric assignment scale

Alphabetic assignments

An alphabetic assignment's scale directly impacts total score calculations. Since you are entering alphabetic scores, GradeBook needs you to identify the numeric values that should be used in calculating students' total scores.

alphetic assignment scale

How are blank scores considered in total score calculations?

By default, GradeBook treats blank scores as dropped; they are not factored into the total score at all and will not penalize a student, whereas scores of zero or "F" will penalize a student. If you wish to convert all blank scores in a gradebook to zero or F scores, GradeBook offers a one-time conversion tool that is irreversible.

How are total scores calculated?

GradeBook automatically calculates total scores, but instructors & TAs are not required to use GradeBook's calculations. GradeBook can calculate grades in two basic ways — a simple average (no categories) or using weighted categories. GradeBook can also incorporate extra credit.

No extra credit, no categories

In a simple gradebook with no categories and no extra credit, GradeBook simply adds each student's total points received and divides by the number of points possible.

Example:

  Assignment A Assignment B Assignment C
Student Score 45/60 72/80 10/10

Points Earned 45+72+10 = 127
Points Possible 60+80+10 = 150
Final Score 127/150 = 84.67%

Compare this example to the example below, in which Assignment C is marked as 'Extra credit.'

Extra credit, no categories

In a simple gradebook with no categories, but which includes one or more assignments marked as 'Extra credit' under the Assignment Properties, GradeBook adds each student's total points received and divides by the number of points possible, excluding extra credit.

Example:

  Assignment A Assignment B Assignment C
(extra credit)
Student Score 45/60 72/80 10/10

Points Earned 45+72+10 = 127
Points Possible 60+80 = 140
Final Score 127/140 = 90.7%

Categories, no extra credit

If a gradebook has categories with weights that equal 100%, gradebook will calculate each category individually, multiple by the weight of the category, then add the resulting values to derive the student's total score.

Example:

  Category 1
(30%)
Category 2
(70%)
  Assignment A Assignment B Assignment C
Student Score 45/60 72/80 10/10

Category 1 ((45+72) / (60+80)) * .30 = .251
Category 2 (10/10) * .70 = .70

Final Score (.251 + .70) * 100 = 95.1%

Categories, including an extra credit category

If the total value of a gradebook's categories exceeds 100% (as in the example below), the extra value will automatically be treated as extra credit because the scale used to match students' total score with an alphabetic grade is from 0-100% (so a student who does no extra credit, but aces all other assignments, will receive 100% just like a student who receives full credit on an extra credit assignment worth 5%, and misses 5% credit on other assignments).

Example:

  Category 1
(30%)
Category 2
(70%)
Category 3
(5%; extra credit)
  Assignment A Assignment B Assignment C Assignment D
Student Score 45/60 72/80 10/10 5/10

Category 1 ((45+72) / (60+80)) * .30 = .251
Category 2 (10/10) * .70 = .70
Category 3 (5/10) * .05 = .025

Final Score (.251 + .70 +.025) * 100 = 97.6%

Categories, including an extra credit assignment (not recommended)

If you include an assignment marked as 'Extra credit' inside a category, please be aware that it will be possible for students to exceed the value of the category because gradebook will add the student's points received in the category, divide by points possible excluding the extra credit assignment, and then multiple by the category weight.

Example:

  Category 1
(30%)
Category 2
(70%)
  Assignment A Assignment B Assignment C Assignment D
(extra credit)
Student Score 45/60 72/80 10/10 10/10

Category 1 ((45+72) / (60+80)) * .30 = .251
Category 2 ((10+10) / (10)) * .70 = 1.40

Final Score (.251 + 1.40) * 100 = 165.1%
Why is the student getting such an inflated score?
The student's score in this example is highly inflated because when an assignment is designated as 'Extra credit' under the assignment's 'Assignment Properties' then that assignment is excluded from the points possible part of the calculation.

In the above example, the student's points received (10 + 10 = 20) are divided by points possible excluding extra credit (10), for a score that actually doubles the category's value from 70% to 140% ((20 / 10) * .70 = 1.40).

This is a (deliberately) extreme example; the student not only exceeds the category's weight, but receives over 100% on that category only, but unless you want it to be possible for a student to receive extra credit exceeding a category's total weight, you should avoid designating an assignment as 'Extra credit' if it has been placed in a category.

Manual adjustments

You can manually adjust a student's assignment score to give a student more points than an assignment was originally worth, which will effectively assign the student extra credit points.

You can also manually adjust a student's automatically calculated total score to bump it up or down, or replace it entirely.

How are the lowest scores dropped?

When GradeBook drops lowest scores from a category, GradeBook selects the score that will have the greatest positive impact on the student's final grade if removed. When the assignments in the category have different maximum point values, this can mean that sometimes a student is benefited more by dropping a score that does not appear to be lowest.

Example:

  Category 1
30%
Category 2
70%
  Assignment A Assignment B Assignment C Assignment D Assignment E
Student Score 2/10 15/20 30/100 30/50 25/50
Percentage Score 20% 75% 30% 60% 50%
Percentage of Category 10/130 = 7.7% 20/130 = 15.4% 100/130 = 76.9% 50/100 = 50% 50/100 = 50%

Dropped assignments are: Assignment C, Assignment E
Why was Assignment C, with a score of 30/100, dropped instead of Assignment A, with a score of 2/10?
Assignment C was dropped instead of Assignment A because dropping Assignment C, which has a greater maximum point value, has a greater positive impact on the student's final score (see below example).

Example:

  Points Earned Points Possible Calculation Score
Category 1 with A dropped 45 120 (45/120 * .30) = 37.5%
Category 1 with C dropped 17 30 (17/30) * .30) = 56.7%

If you ever see lowest score calculations that do not appear to make sense, the EEE team would be happy to double-check for you and make sure GradeBook is selecting the appropriate scores to drop. Please don't hesitate to contact us.

How are assignment statistics calculated?

Mean (Average)
The sum of all assignment scores divided by the total number of assignments completed.
Median
The middle-most score for all completed assignments. If there is an even number of scores, the mean of the two middle-most scores is computed and displayed.
Mode
The most common score. If more than one exists, all modes are displayed.
Standard Deviation
The mean distance each score is from the assignment's mean.
Zeroes
All zeros are included in the calculation of the statistics and will be weighted accordingly.
Blank Scores
Scores left blank are excluded from calculation by default. Blank scores may be optionally treated as zeros and included in statistical calculations by checking the "Treat blank scores as 0" box in the "Assignment Grades" menu.

Example:

Assignment Scores: 50, 50, 60, 80, 90, 95, 100

Mean (50+50+60+80+90+95+100)÷7 = 75
Median 80
Mode 50
Standard Deviation sqrt[(1/7)[(50-75)2+(50-75)2+(60-75)2+(80-75)2+(90-75)2+(95-75)2+(100-75)2]] = 19.82