Dropping the Lowest Score in a Series of Items (Weighted Grading Scheme)
A Weighted Total column is a calculated column that assigns a particular weight (percentage out of 100) to all items included in the column’s calculations. There is no default setting for a Weighted Total column. You must always modify the Weighted Total column and set up the calculations using the Selected Columns option to include either or both columns and categories as well as the weights associated with each item and/or category(ies) regardless of whether or not you are dropping the lowest score in a set of categorized items.
As an example, consider the following grading scheme:
Homework 1 – 100 points
Homework 2 – 100 points
Homework 3 – 100 points
Homework 4 – 100 points
Mid-Term Paper – 100 points
Final Exam – 100 points
Total – 500 points (drop lowest score of four Homework assignments)
The weights given are: Homework (30%), Mid-Term Paper (45%), and Final Exam (25%).
To configure the Weighted Total:
In the Grade Center, click on the chevron icon in the Total column header and from the drop down menu, choose Edit Column Information.
In the Modify Grade Center Column page scroll down to Section 3, Select Columns . You will see a panel for Columns to Select (top left), one for Categories to Select (bottom left), and one for Selected Columns (far right).
To set up the weighted grading scheme, first navigate to the Categories to Select panel and click on Homework. Once selected, click on the right headed arrow in the grey box (see below) to move the Homework category into the Selected Columns panel on the right.
Moving the Homework category into the Selected Columns panel enables the instructor to see a box in which to enter the percentage weight for the Homework Category as well as four different options for dropping scores: Drop Grades – Highest, Drop Grades – Lowest, Use only the Lowest, Use only the Highest. In this instance the instructor will enter 30 in the percent box for Homework and then click on the Drop Grades radio button and place the number 1 in the Lowest Grades box since the intention is to drop the lowest score of four homework assignments.
To complete the grading scheme select the other two items included in the final grade: the Mid-Term Paper and Final Exam. These items are not categorized so you must move up to the Columns to Select panel. You can select the items individually and move one at a time (click on item and then click on the right-headed arrow) or select the items simultaneously (CTRL-click to select both and then click on the right-headed arrow).
The final Selected Columns panel for the weighted grading scheme will look like this:
The instructor then needs to decide whether or not to have the Weighted Total column calculate as a Running or a Non-Running Weighted Total. This choice is directly below the Selected Columns area. In this case the instructor has chosen the Running Total (the Yes radio button is checked; this is the default) so that students will see in their Weighted Total column a grade that reflects the points/percentage on only those items they have completed.
The instructor then clicks on the Submit button to finish the setup of the Weighted Total column.
Since the Running Total option has been selected, the grade for the homework assignments will reflect only those assignments completed at a given time, e.g., if only two assignments have been completed the lowest score of the two will be dropped in the calculation of the Weighted Total column.