The skill grade calculation method you choose affects how skill grades linked to assignment columns are averaged into marking period skill grades. There are three methods: Assessment Scores, Assessment Skills Using Quality Points, and Assessment Skill Grades Using Numerical Order. '
The method you choose has enormous consequences for your school, and understanding how each one works is critical.
The Difference Between the Three Methods
All of the following examples use the Mean method of calculation to determine a marking period skill grade.
The Assessment Scores Method
This method focuses on the overall assessment score of the assignment instead of the individual skills within it. Consider the following grades a student received on four different assignments linked to the skill W1:
Assignment | Score | Skill W1 Grade |
Assignment 1 | 70 | N |
Assignment 2 | 80 | S |
Assignment 3 | 92 | E |
Assignment 4 | 98 | M |
To calculate a marking period skill grade, this method finds the average of all assignment scores that are linked to a particular skill. The individual skill grade for each assessment is ignored in the calculation. The average is then compared to the cut-off values in the Skill Grade Scale. You can access your Skill Grade Scale by clicking SkillsClassic > Skills: Grade Scales on the navigation menu.
According to this scale, the average for the given scores is 85, which is between 79.5 and 89.5, so it's assigned a skill grade of S.
The following is a numerical explanation of the Assessment Scores method:
70 + 80 + 92 + 98 = 340
340 / 4 = 85
As previously stated, since 85 exceeds the cut-off value for skill grade S, the student receives a marking period skill grade of S.
When using the Assessment Scores method, excluding a skill grade from your calculation has no effect.
The Assessment Skill Grades Using Quality Points Method
With this method, you can set quality points in AdminPlus to represent the value of each skill grade. This is the only option you can use to change the values behind your skill grades. If a grade is excluded, the calculation ignores that grade completely.
Grade | Quality Points |
M | 5 |
E | 3.5 |
S | 3 |
N | 2 |
U | 1 |
INC | 0 |
NA | 0 |
Only use the following method if the values behind each skill grade are not equidistant.
The Assessment Skill Grades Using Numerical Order Method
This method calculates the marking period skill grade using values that are automatically assigned to each grade on the Skill Grade Scale. The lowest non-excluded grade on the scale is assigned a value of 1, and each value above that grade is increased by 1. If a grade is excluded, the calculation ignores that grade completely.
Grade | Grade Value | Cut-Off Value |
M | 5 | 4.5 |
E | 4 | 3.5 |
S | 3 | 2.5 |
N | 2 | 1.5 |
U | 1 | 0 |
INC | 0 | 0 |
NA | 0 | 0 |
The numerical order is based on the order of grades in the Skill Grade Scales in AdminPlus.
Select a Calculation Method for Overall Marking Period Skill Grade
- Click Skills on the navigation menu, and then click Skills: Marking Period Calculations.
- Choose either Assessment Scores, Assessment Skill Grades Using Quality Points (Includes Overrides), or Assessment Skill Grades Using Numerical Order (Includes Overrides). The selected setting with save automatically.
After a calculation method has been selected, teachers need to log in to TeacherPlus again, and click Recalculate in the Skills/Standards dialog box to have the new method take effect.
- Optional: Select the check box next to Allow teachers to change the default method of calculating skill grades to enable teachers to select their own calculation method.
- Optional: Select the check box next to Use Category Weights in methods that use the Mean to display category weights.
Select a Method of Skill Grade Calculation
Click one of the following methods in the Default Method section on the Skills: Marking Period Grades screen.
Method | Definition |
Mean | The average score across all linked assessments in the marking period. |
Mean of Most Recent x Assessments | The average score of the x most recent linked assessments. |
Highest | The highest score across all linked assessments in the marking period. |
Highest of Most Recent x Assessments | The highest score across the x most recent linked assessments. |
Most Recent | The score from the most recent linked assessment. |
Mode | The most frequently earned score of all linked assessments across the marking period. If there's a tie between two different scores, no score will populate in the Skill Grade column. This situation requires the teacher's discretion. |
Median: | The middle score in the ordered grade-set of all linked assessments across the marking period. This formula assesses the grades in order from low to high to find the score in the middle. If there are an even number of scores, the two middle scores will be added together and divided by 2. |
Power Law | This is a complex calculation that is designed to predict how the student would perform on the next linked assessment, based on the student's performances on all previously completed linked assessments. Note: This calculation method places the most weight on the student's most recent assessment and progressively decreases the weight of each previous assessment. This calculation method often leads to more meaningful depictions of a student's skill progress on narrowly defined skills, such as counting to 10. Important: When defining Achievement Level Tables, don't start the lowest level at 0. The Power Law doesn't accept 0 as a value. If a grade with a value of 0 is used, it will be counted as the next lowest grade in the assigned ALT for indicator grade calculation. |
Decaying Average | This formula assigns the most weight to the most recent score, and lowers the assigned weight for each preceding score. The Current Weight percentage is customizable, and the Previous Weight is the remainder. When you select Decaying Average, a chart with five examples illustrates the effect the formula will have on each assessment, based on the number of assessments in the marking period. |