Final Grades

by Mike Gleicher on December 16, 2019

You cannot use Canvas to compute your final grades. It is set so that the Design Challenges and other meaningful parts of class “are not counted towards the final grade” – the things that were counted are things that shouldn’t.

Aditya and I agonized over grading for a while, since it was complicated. We computed the grades several different ways. We then went over each person individually to confirm the final grade.

What we did:

  1. There is an “adjusted online part” score – if you remember, I said that you can’t really excel for doing these parts. We combined seek and find and online discussion grades into a single score. There wasn’t too much variance in the class – so each person got an “AB” (but some people got “high ABs” and some got “low ABs”)
  2. There was a “subjective parts correction” – if you were chronically late, you were penalized (very few people). If you were really bad or good about online participation, or really bad/good with in class participation. This adjustment was about half of a grade step. (plus or minus). This was mainly a way to reward a few people for very exemplary participation.
  3. We tried many different formulas, all lead to very similar answers.

The simplest formula is to count “adjusted online part” (#1) and the design challenges equally, and then add in the “subjective parts correction”. We then shifted people upwards a bit. We did a few checks: to get an A, you should have gotten at least one A on a DC (probably 2), etc.

We had a few other ways to compute grades (a decision tree, some non-linear scalings, different weightings, …). They all gave very similar results. In the rare cases where they gave different answers, we looked closely at the differences and usually gave the higher grade.

All of this is consistent with the way grading was explained in the Course Policies and Parts of Class.

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