There are a few reasons why grades might appear to be calculating incorrectly in a Gradebook.

Weighted Assignment Categories with No Assignments

If you use weighted assignment categories in your class and one weighted category has no graded assignments, this will cause the weighting of the category with no assignments to redistribute proportionately across every other category that has graded assignments.

For example, imagine a class that has the following categories and weights: Homework (worth 25%), Quizzes (worth 25%) and Final Exam (worth 50%). One of your students currently has an overall score of 75%. He has an 80% (160/200) in the Homework category (set to be weighted at 25%) and 70% (70/100) in the Quizzes category (set to be weighted at 25%). No graded assignments have been added for the Final Exam category (set to be weighted at 50%).Therefore, this 50% weight is proportionately dispersed across the other weighted categories.

Now, the Homework category is currently weighted at 50% (the original 25% weight + 25% from the Final Exam category) and the Quizzes category is weighted at 50% (the original 25% weight + 25% from the Final Exam category). The student’s current grade is figured as: (80 * .5) + (70 * .5) = 75%.

When a graded assignment is added into the Final Exam category, the weights of the Homework and Quizzes categories will re-assume their preset weights (25% each) and graded assignments in the Final Exam category will be weighted at 50%.

Incorrect Points Possible

If student grades appear skewed, you will want to check the points possible for your assignments. You can do so by scrolling to the bottom of your Gradebook grid and viewing the last row. When entering points possible, a typo may have been made (for example, 100100 or 1o0 instead of 100) which would account for the skewed student scores.

To edit the points possible for an assignment, click on the name of the assignment on the blue bar at the top of the Gradebook. On the Edit Assignment page, adjust the points possible value and click the Submit button to save your changes.

Engrade only recognizes numeric values and the letters “E” and “M” in the Gradebook. Any other letters or symbols entered as scores for students will count as a zero towards the student’s grade. Review your Gradebook to ensure you have only entered numeric values or “E” and “M” and replace any unrecognized characters from scores.

Extra Credit

First, you will want to ensure that if you are using weighted assignment categories, you must not have a weighted assignment category dedicated to extra credit assignments. If all assignments in a weighted category are extra credit (out of “EC”), then student grades will be skewed. This is also true for weighted assignment categories that are not exclusively dedicated to extra credit assignments, but currently only extra credit assignments entered into the category. Once you add a graded assignment to a weighted assignment category, the extra credit values will re-calculate appropriately.

Second, you will want to review any extra credit assignments that have been added to the Gradebook. All extra credit assignments must be out of “EC” in order to be counted as extra credit. Additionally, extra credit points are factored based on point values. Therefore, if it is your intention to add a specific percentage value to each student’s grade, you will need to figure what point value for each student constitutes the percentage value you would like to add to the student’s grade.

For example, imagine the total possible points in your class (which does not use weighted categories) is 100 and one of your students has a class average of 88%. You want to add an extra credit assignment that gives this student an extra 2%. 2% of 100 points is 2 points, so your extra credit assignment for that student would be 2/EC.

Please note: If you use weighted categories in your class, you will need to take your category weights into consideration for the category into which you add the extra credit assignment when determining how many points to make the assignment.

Dropped Assignments

You have the option of dropping the lowest score for students per assignment category (weighted or unweighted). If selected for a category, Engrade will automatically drop the assignment that most negatively impacts the student’s overall grade. Since Engrade calculates grades based on points, the assignment with the largest discrepancy between points earned vs. points possible will be dropped.

For example, imagine a student in your class has earned a 3/10 on one assignment and a 60/100 on another assignment, and both assignments are in the same category. If the Drop Lowest Score option has been selected, the 60/100 score will be dropped because the discrepancy between points earned vs. points possible is higher. (For the 3/10 assignment, the discrepancy is 7 points whereas for the 60/100 assignment, the discrepancy is 40 points.) In order to avoid such large point discrepancies, we recommend creating assignments with similar points possible within each assignment category.

You can see which assignments have been dropped from a student’s grade by clicking on his/her name in the Gradebook. Dropped assignments will appear with an asterisk (*) next to them. If you would like to change the assignment categories  from which students’ lowest scores are being dropped, select Settings from the left sidebar and select the Grade Settings tab. Under the Assignment Categories heading to the right of a category name, check or uncheck the Drop Lowest Scores box. Click the Save Settings button to save your changes.