Having problems with understanding the assignment average? Do you want to record progress over a term or year period? Understanding how the average is calculated is crucial before launching assignments in MySchool.
MySchool assignment module, allows schools to determine a grade average for students during a determined period (Term). This module links into other areas of MySchool to give our schools the possibility to use a continuous assessment module for grading purposes.
For further reading then check out some external links
Assignment scoring (grading) and continuous assessment
The first step is to determine which assessment method is needed for the subject. This would determine which scale is best to track students' progress. Use either a numerical scale or an achievement scale.
- Numerical scales are used to enter numbers as scores. This allows educators to grade tasks with a different maximum marking schemes (Out of 100, out of 5 etc).
- A non-numerical grade or achievement scale, using a non-numerical scale. This is mostly used in evidence for learning outcomes and the continuous assessment module.
Please note that an achievement scale is not designed to be used within a formula for subject specifications. If you need to calculate a score then consider using numerical scales for continuous assessment.
These scales are attached to the subjects in both assignment configuration and subject management.
Determine which average is best for your school
We offer two major types of calculation, one is a normalised average with or without assignment-type weightings or a Sum of scores with or without assignment-type weighting. These calculations cannot be classed as the simple arithmetic mean, so ensure Teachers, students, and guardians are aware of this.
Firstly let us confirm the elements that we use in the calculation.
- Grade (G) - The grade is the score given to the assignment in the grading grid or assessment tab. It is always a numerical scale for averages.
- Scale (S) - The scale in assignment averages is the max score allowed. This can be set either in assignment configuration or individually within an assignment.
- Weight (W) - Individual assignments can be given a weight, otherwise this is a default of 1.
- Exercise Type Weight (ETW) - Weights can be given to the exercise types.
The third option allows for an achievement scale to have numerical weight to calculate the average within the active term. This is ONLY used for learning outcome average types.
Active term/Across all terms
The terms shown in the assignment grade grid are 'is schedule terms'. When the assignment average is set to the active term then all assignments that have a due date set within the term will be included in the average. When selecting all terms then the calculation will be made progressively. e.g T1 = T1 assignments, T2 = T1+T2 averages, T3= T1+2+3, and T4= T1+2+3+4.
- Make sure that assignment dates are set within the term dates. If assignments are published during an end-of-term holiday then make the due date land within an active term.
- Check your assessment reports to make sure that future assignments are not showing when you publish from a term that has finished. Talk to our support team to change settings, or unpublish the assignments until the assessment report is published.
Normalisation across assignment types
This method uses an average which is the closest to the arithmetic mean. You can still use assignment types to classify assignments (and include them in the average calculation or not). Weighting is applied to the individual assignment only and not to a type. We advise using this method when assignments have different maximum marks (Exercise scales).
In the attached spreadsheet, you can follow the calculations via the formulas in excel. We suggest that you meet with key stakeholders to discuss how your grading system is designed. In the example, there are 10 assignments, each with a different scale. The total of their weightings adds up to 100. This is not mandatory but allows us to fully understand the final average calculation.
- 8 assignments with weight = 5
- 1 assignment with weight = 40
- 1 assignment with weight = 20
The student in question gets 75% in both projects (so the Total of these weights = 60 * .75 = 45). Then achieves 50% of all other assignments (Each assignment is weight = 5, so 8*5 = 40 * .5 = 20). The total average using this method is 65%.
Points to note:
- All assignments have been classed as graded so included in averages.
- All assignments fall within the active term
- Max total weight = 100
- Scales are different
Sums across assignment type
If we now choose sums across for the same assignments and issue the same grades as above then we arrive at a different overall percentage. The student would receive 67.50%. This is because the scales of the assignments are not aligned. The sum type will not normalise the grades but perform a sum of weighted grades.
This average type is designed when the same max scales are used for each assignment. So let's maintain the same weighting system, but align the max out of scales to be graded out of 100. We then have to change the marked grades to represent the same.
So again the student will get 50% of the total 40 weight (20), and 75% for the two projects (45), meaning a total average of 65%.
Try out some examples on both these average types, and make sure your Educators understand how to work out their grade book.
A simple exercise is to build 10 assignments with weight 1 each using the same max out of scales, then different max out of scales.
Normalisation by assignment type
This is not a simple average. This will take into account both the exercise weight and the exercise type weight. It is used to distinguish between key projects, exams, or core assignments, but still allows the Educator to track day-to-day progress and include this in the final average. In the below example, we have set the individual assignments to have a weight of 1. There are three exercise types with weighting;
- Homework = 20
- Quiz = 20
- Project = 60
When all assignment types are used then the representative average, should show that all Projects would represent 60% of the total, all quizzes 205, and all homework 20%. In the Grade grid when selecting this method, the course Teacher can alter these settings depending on their term grade book. Click on the options button when in the grade grid view to check your weightings.
Individual assignment weights have less of an incidence on the overall average.
This method is to be used to distinguish between core assessments and general assignments.
Sums by assignment type
In the sum calculation, there is no normalisation.
We see that the two project scores are summed together in the TWG and TWS columns. The formula then has 90/120 so it will calculate the AR. (i.e 75% within that assignment type). Different scales can be used in this average type.
FAQ on averages
Can we just have a simple average?
Yes, use the normalisation across assignment types, and this will represent close to a simple average. However, note that Educators can still apply a weight to the assignments which would change the outcome.
Can a different average type be applied to each individual course?
Assignment average types are applied to a subject, so they would be applied to all courses attached. however, each course Teacher can determine their own weight system for individual assignments and assignment types.
How do we show the average calculation to the students and guardians?
There are numerous pages available so that students/guardians can follow their progress. Contact the support team to discuss the options available. Educators can also determine the publishing status of individual assignments, if grades are set not to be published then they will not be included in these averages for the parents, but only internally.
How do grade an assignment but not include it in the overall average?
Within the assessment tab of the assignment, when you add a grade, the status will change to graded. However, Educators can choose another status, and set this not to be included in the averages on the assignment configuration page. If you are using assignment types, you can also not include one type of assignment in the overall weight calculations.
Can we use the averages in our grade report?
Yes, numerical assignment averages can be pulled directly into your assessment build. They can be used within a formula for end-of-year final marks, or even translated into an achievement scale or a simple pass/fail logic. Have a look at this article which explains assessment types.
Can we use a numerical and an achievements scale?
Yes, scales can be mixed, but they will not be included in the total average. Achievement scales can only be used for averages if learning outcomes are selected.
Top tip: Why not use a numerical scale for key assignments, but maintain an effort scale for class participation? This is a great way to monitor progress without affecting grading schemes. Educators can use this to give valued comments for grade reports.
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