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Blackboard Help

Adjusting Grades

You can raise and lower student grades by dropping scores, adding extra credit, curving assignments and curving /locking overall grades. This section explains how to perform these tasks.

To drop the most damaging scores for each student:

  1. Choose Assignment from the Chart menu.
  2. In the Status column, choose Can be Dropped for one or more assignments. Only assignments with this setting will be eligible for dropping.
  3. Choose Score from the Chart menu.Easy Grade Pro will regrade each student and drop the score that results in the greatest improvement in the student’s overall grade. If you would like to drop more than one score, then complete the next step as well:
  4. (Optional) To have Easy Grade Pro drop more than one score, choose Class Options from the Edit menu and select the Category tab. In the Dropping/Extra Credit column, select the number of scores to be dropped in each category. There is a limit of four. For more information on this, refer to the section Class Options: Score Category.When a score is dropped, a small letter d is drawn in the upper-left corner of the score cell. As new scores are entered, the d may move about, disappear and reappear.

FAQ: Why wasn’t the lowest score dropped? Why are fewer scores being dropped for some students?

To add extra credit, do one of the following:

  • Increase the score on any normal assignment.
  • Add a new assignment and set its status to Extra Credit. With this method, the assignment does not have a maximum score or points value. Scores that are entered for students are treated as points and are added directly to the students’ points-earned totals. Be careful to enter scores that are proportional to the number of points possible in the class or else the effect of the extra credit may be too little or too great.
  • Add a new assignment and set its category to Extra Credit. This option is only available if you’ve set up an extra credit category in the Class Options window. With this method, the assignment does have a maximum score and points value. If you are not using category weighting, be careful to set the points value in proportion to the number of points possible in the class. When you enter a score, Easy Grade Pro will calculate the student’s points earned and add them to the total points earned.

To view how extra credit is affecting a student’s grade, see FAQ: How can I check the calculations for one of my students?.

To curve an assignment:

In Easy Grade Pro, curving an assignment means to change student scores in a methodical way to produce a better distribution of grades. Some assessments result in distributions of scores are too wide or too low. Curving can help produce the desired distribution in cases like these. Here’s how:

  1. Select the assignment by clicking on its title in the score chart.
  2. Choose Curve Assign. from the Tool menu or select the Curve tool adjust_grades_01.jpg. The Summaries window will open to the Assignment Grades view where you can optionally view a list of students ranked by scores, a graph of student performance as well as a curve pane (bottom).
  3. In the Options pane on the left, turn on the Show Curve Pane item and click the disclosure button to its left to reveal the curve options (shown below).adjust_grades_02.jpg

    To the right, you will see a curve graph. Here are some things to notice about the graph:
    • Along the bottom axis are numbers that represent possible range of scores on the assignment. The colors indicate each grade.
    • Above this axis are boxes — one for each student. These are also color coded to indicate the grade.
    • There is a vertical line for each grade in the grade scale. At the top of the line is the grade label. Below each grade is a number that represents the cutoff score for that grade.
  4. To change the distribution of grades, do the following:
    • Click the Shift Curve <<Left button to cause the vertical lines to move to the left one step.
    • Click the Shift Curve Right>> button to cause the vertical lines to move to the right one step.
    • Press on a vertical grade line in the graph and drag it left or right. Note: a line cannot be moved onto or past another grade line.
  5. To view the exact score that a student will receive based on your changes, click on a column of boxes.
  6. To curve the assignment, click the CURVE NOW button. Warning: Easy Grade Pro will replace the students’ original scores with the new scores. The assignment’s title will change to reflect that this assignment has been curved. If you do not want to lose your original score, first duplicate the assignment before curving.

FAQ: How can I keep my original scores on an assignment that I want to curve?

To lock or curve the overall grade:

  • Choose Lock/Curve Grade from the Tool menu. The Summaries window will open to the Class Grades view (shown below).adjust_grades_03.jpg
     
  • In the Options pane on the left, set the View menu to Overall. Turn on the Show Chart item.
  • To lock a grade, press on the small circle under the column with the lock icon. From the menu that pops up, choose Next higher grade, Next lower grade or Other (if you would like to type in your own percent). The new percent will appear in the list and a lock icon will appear in the lock column. Typically, locking a grade is something that is only done at the end of a term because, once a grade is locked, it does not change even when scores are added.
  • To curve a grade, press on the small circle under the column with the lock icon. From the menu that pops up, choose one of the Curve items or Other (if you would like to type in your own percent). If you type a new percent, be sure to put a ‘+’ or a ‘-’ in front of the offset percent (i.e. ‘+5.0’ or ‘-5.0’). The new percent will appear in the list and a curve icon will appear in the lock column. Curving a grade can be done at any time. The student’s grade is adjusted by the offset amount every time a score is entered.To unlock a grade or to remove a curve offset, press on the lock or curve icon and, from the menu that appears, choose Unlocked value.
  • Click Done. A small +/- symbol is drawn in the score chart for a student with a curved grade. A small padlock is drawn for a locked grade.adjust_grades_04.jpg

    A small +/- symbol is drawn for a student with a curved grade. A small padlock is drawn for a locked grade. Click on these symbols to open the Summary window where overall grades can be edited.