I want to be able to take the average of each outcome across the course, but again, I need it expressed in letters rather than numbers.
Any ideas anyone?
You can click Edit icon near Category Total and set "Grade display type" to Letter.
Thanks for that - but when I Choose letter, I only get the letter F displaying for all students (whereas when I choose number it shows the full range of marks from 1.0 to 11.0).
Take a look at this sample screenshot. You will see that there:
if Outcome is set to B, it equals 55.56 % - this comes from your Scale
Category Total is also 55.56 % , but it gives you an F - this comes from Letters
Thus, you need to go to the Letters interface and adjust the %-es there.
Note that this change in Letters will influence the rest of the gradebook. So if you will later decide to display other numeric items or categories as letters, they will have the same changed boundaries.
I want to show you a screenshot of what I have here . Can you tell me how? I know how to take a screenshot, but the 'insert image' button on the editor only allows me to paste an url - not a screenshot (and if I try to upload it as an attachment, it exceeds the size limit).
Basically I wanted to show that I already have percentages set for each letter, but maybe I'm missing something.
I made my screenshot very small (under 100KB), so it would attach via the Browse button.
Have you adjusted those percentages for Letters? You need to decrease them substantially (go to Gradebook > Edit > Letters > Edit) from defaults, if you want your outcomes to be aggregated and displayed as letters later.
E.g., your outcome/scale "thinks" that B = 55.56 % (to check what it is for sure, change the display of the gradebook to show %es as well)
But your Letters interface (the one responsible for display of the total) is set to something like B = 86.99 % - 83.00 %
thanks for bearing with me ...
Following your guidance and a bit of trial and error, I have now managed to display the letters correctly. Basically I had to go into 'edit grade item' and set the grade type to "scale", choose the correct scale and then choose "letter (real)".
Well, that's the main thing, but there's one baffling thing. All I am interested in is the letter grade as shown in brackets in the right hand column. I am wondering why I get the other letter to the left of the brackets? (Ps the right hand column has correctly calculated an average of the first two columns)
Helena, I've picked up one other problem. THe student in top row (see below) hasn't yet submitted work and is showing up as "A+".
Here's my scale
Steve, just to make sure, when you talk about Outcomes, do you mean Moodle Outcomes that are set in the gradebook?
Let me describe the steps that I took to make the mock-up.
On the separate note, I do not really like how it works, since, as Robert mentioned below and as you may see from my screenshots, your A+ will be equal 100%, and A = 88.889 and there is no way to fix that %)
There is a lot of stretching in this scenario, and if you have other items that are not based on scales, you need to be extra careful not to set your calculations off.
If I were you, I would avoid scales altogether and stick to the regular numeric means of grading student work, simply displaying the grade items as Letters.
1. Create a scale with your letters. Start with D, end with A+
D, C-, C, C+, B-, B, B+, A-, A, A +
Note, that because of the way scales work, this is the % that will be given to them (may be you want to skip A+ altogether?):
A+ = 100 %
2. Create an Outcome, apply your scale to it.
3. Create an Outcome Item in the Categories and Items interface, apply your Outcome to it
4. Create a category (or just adjust your course total)
Aggregate only non-empty grades - uncheck or check (up to what you need)
Include outcomes in aggregation - check
5. Go to Settings and set Grade display type: Real (percentage), so you may check how everything looks and calculated.
6. Grade some fake students, e.g. my previous screenshot
6. Notice that person to whom you gave B or 55.56% (based on your scale) got F as the total.
This is because of the Letters, where F = 0-59.99%
7. Go to Letters interface, click Edit and check Override defaults.
Set Letters to something like:
|100.00 %||88.00 %||A|
|87.99 %||77.00 %||A-|
|76.99 %||66.00 %||B+|
|65.99 %||55.00 %||B|
|54.99 %||44.00 %||B-|
|43.99 %||33.00 %||C+|
|32.99 %||22.00 %||C|
|21.99 %||11.00 %||C-|
|10.99 %||0.00 %||D|
8. Go back to Grader report to check on your total.
It should look like this. (Go to Settings and change Grade display type to Real, so your students would not be confused by weird % distribution )
A (A+, A, A- B+, B, B-,C+,C,C-, D) scale grades items as follows:
So, according to your letter grade cutoffs, your "D", "C-", "C", "B-", and "B" are really calculated as "F"s if your final letter grade cutoff for a D is 60.
In order to get a real "D" as defined by your final letter grades, your student must score a "B+" on your scale.
In order to receive a real "C+" as defined by your final letter grades, your student must score a "A-" on your scale.
In order to receive a real "B+" as defined by your final letter grades, your student must score a "A" on your scale.
In order to receive a real "A" as defined by your final letter grades, your student must score a "A+" on your scale.
According to your scale and your letter grades, there is NO WAY to receive the following final grades: C-, C, B-, B, A-.
But everything is fine if you ask some developers.
If you ask me, however...everything is not fine.
Scales are fundamentally broken and will continue to be until someone takes a stand and makes the change.
We've (my team) brought consistency to scales (they calculate the same across aggregation methods), and I have been toying with the idea of adding a new column to the scales table to add concrete numerical equivalents (like the letter grade editor) which would fix 100% of the stupidity in the scales interface. Scales would behave as they do if you do not add these numerical equivalents so as not to disturb users of the current implementation.
Sorry for the rant.
My solution is :
- not to include Scales in aggregation once we upgrade to 1.9 in May
- work during summer to allow instructors to decide by themselves whether to include Scales in aggregation on not
And I totally agree with the new column idea.
User should be able to define the scale AND assign % value to its items at the same time himself.
So if I type "good job" as one of the options, I should be able to choose myself that it equals 70-80 % (or 4 out of 5 possible points)
I managed to get rid of the Fs imposed by the Moodle scale (which I confess, I barely understand) just by going back into edit grades and changing the display again - this time to "real" (without the letter).
Now I am left with the lesser problem of the non - submitting student being assigned an A+ when they really need to get an E (until it is submitted). I can manually enter "E" but I'm wondering if I can automatically get the system to enter E for any student who fails to meet the due date? If I can do that, then I can make the aggregate score visible to the students ( I can't at the moment because they might get the wrong idea about their overall performance. Better to give them no idea than the wrong idea!).
By the way, if your course is already running, I would stick to not doing any more changes in grading schema, not showing the total, and then at the end of the course create a manual column, name it Total and type end-of-semester student grades there.
And then do not use scales next semester, until they are fixed
With the concept of scale being an even distribution between 0 and 100, and letter grades clearly not being so, it would make sense to either be able to create a scale and assign values to each item in the scales interface, as you've suggested, or to have Moodle 'automagically' create a 'Letter Grades' scale that would be available for activities to use, that will map to what the teacher has set up in the course gradebook.
e.g., my Scale can have only 3 items: Perfect, Good and Bad.
And I want to make Perfect = 15 points, Good = 10 points, Bad = 0 points/0%
I think it would be nice to be able to set a scale to be a certain percentage, but since that would be a database structure change, it is less likely to happen until Moodle 2.0. Figuring out a way to have a scale available that maps to your grade letter values could be easier, if it was done dynamically and was derived from from the gradebook settings.
Such a thing would also be less confusing - imagine if you had letter values assigned in your gradebook, and a different set of values defined as a scale, using the same letters? To me, that would be very hard to explain to someone that was trying to use such a scale, expecting it to be the same (after all, if I give an 'A' to someone in an assignment, wouldn't that be the same as an 'A' in the gradebook?).
What I'm proposing is simply a way to have 'Scale: Grade Letter' show up as an option in the Grade dropdown of an activity, or for a teacher to be able to type B into the gradebook, and for Moodle to know that this lines up with the values assigned in the grade letter form. You wouldn't have to make such a scale, it would just be there if you had defined those values.
Edit: Created MDL-18881 for this issue.
I do not think that separate scale just for the letter grade is that important, because one can already display any grade item in the gradebook as a letter. Why to bother with scales even? (yes, one still has to use numbers in the activity itself)
As of right now such scenario will be useful mostly in the case of applying a custom scale to the aggregated outcome, since one cannot apply numeric numbers to it (which I believe to be a drawback, since because of that people cannot create real grading rosters).
I believe that in order make system more flexible, we need to take more scenarios into consideration (not just A and Bs). Creating a scale of, hmmmm, 30 items, just because I am limited by the hard-coded percentage distribution, and then using only 4 of them seems to be an overkill.
And, yep, all of this is for sure for the future versions.
I was struggling with getting letters to show until I went to Admin settings and
under grades/ grade item settings /Grade display type I selected Real (letter)
Your rant is totally justified IMHO.
>We've (my team) brought consistency to scales (they calculate the same across aggregation methods), and I have been toying with the idea of adding a new column to the scales table to add concrete numerical equivalents (like the letter grade editor) which would fix 100% of the stupidity in the scales interface. Scales would behave as they do if you do not add these numerical equivalents so as not to disturb users of the current implementation.
Has this idea of yours gone anywhere? Basically, it seems that de facto if you don't use a numeric scale you lose the capacity to interface with the gradebook in a sensible way. Unfortunately, not being able to use a scalar presentation is greatly limiting from the pedagogical perspective and is a real turn off for many teachers.
>implementing some fixes
Did you upload a patch for the fixes into the Moodle Tracker at all? Is there any way that we can get a hold of these since I think it would provide a good workaround for faculty here.
This issue is quite timely for myself as well as I setup 4 point scales for a pilot school and the first two indices are delivering failing marks. Sum aggregation is no longer possible as many of the categories include value based assessments as well. My bad for no rtfm...
I have searched but could not find the how to implement the LSU scales ( set lowest value on scales to 1 regardless of the aggregation method). Is this possible/ documented anywhere?
thanks in advance
I've started a new forum thread discussing the problem and asking for ideas and suggestions from the community, if you or the other posters would like to contribute.