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End of Term Considerations for Faculty

A professor gets ready for the end of the semester, checking off items from a giant to-do list.

Overview

Please review these items before you submit final grades at the end of the academic term. Please remember that end-of-term considerations differ depending on the school. 

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Double-check Your Grading Scale/Schema

What does an "A" mean for your class? Does it start at 90, 93, 95, or some other value? Be sure to compare the grading scale in your syllabus to the LMS settings in your class site. Otherwise, you may award students a higher or lower grade than they earned.

  Learn How to Verify Your Grading Scale

When you set up your Gradebook, you likely verified that the Gradebook's "Grading Schema" matches the grading scale listed in your class syllabus. If you forgot this step, be sure that you check the scale and make any adjustments as needed. You'll need to repeat this in each of your class sites.

  1. Go to the class site.
  2. Click Gradebook.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Select Grading Schema.
  5. Verify that the "Grade Type" and the resulting Grade Scale match your class syllabus. If necessary, make adjustments and click "Save Changes" at the bottom.
    • "Letter Grade (93) with +/-" (Plus and minus values, e.g. A, A-, B+, etc. The "A" starts at 93. This is the default selection in most new class sites.)
    • "Letter Grade (94) with +/-" (Plus and minus values, e.g. A, A-, B+, etc. The "A" starts at 94.)
    • "Letter Grade (95) with +/-" (Plus and minus values, e.g. A, A-, B+, etc. The "A" starts at 95.)
    • "Letter Grade" (No plus and minus, only A, B, C, D, and F)
    • "Grade Points" (Includes both GPA and Percent Values with "A" starting at 95.)
    • "Pass / Not Pass" (With "Pass" starting at 75.)

This will ensure that the overall course grade calculated by the Courses Gradebook will align with your syllabus grade scale.

 

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Account for Missed Work (or grades may be incorrect)

The Gradebook will ignore empty cells (non-graded activities). This means that you must give someone a zero (or another grade) when they miss work. Otherwise, the missed work will be treated like an excused activity, and the person's grade calculation will be higher than you expect.

  Learn How to "Set Zero Score for Empty Cells"

Professors must assign a '0' to missed tests, assignments, or other "Gradebook" items. There is a one-click option to accomplish this at the end of the semester.

  1. Within the "Course Grade" header column, click the drop-down arrow and select "Set Zero Score for Empty Cells."Gradebook Course Grade option to set zero score for empty cells. 
  2.  Click "Update."  Note: This action cannot be undone.Gradebook notice box to confirm action to set zero score for empty cells.

 

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Ensure All Gradebook Activities are Included in Grade Calculations

Look for a calculator icon in your Gradebook item columns. The presence of the calculator icon with a slash indicates that the item is not included in the grade calculation.

  Learn How to Verify that Gradebook Activities are Included in Grade Calculations

Professors must ensure that all Gradebook activities are properly included in final course grade calculations.

  1. For each Gradebook item you wish to be included in course grade calculations, ensure you do not see a calculator icon at the top left of the column. If you do see a calculator icon, this means that the Gradebook item is not being factored into final course grade calculations.
    sakai gradebook not included in grade calculations
  2. To fix this, the item either needs to be categorized properly and/or be configured to be included in course grade calculations. First, click the drop-down arrow in the corresponding cell and select "Edit Item Details."
    sakai gradebook edit item details
  3. If you are using categories and weights, then be sure to assign the item to its proper category. Otherwise, select the option to "Include item in course grade calculations."
    gradebook include item in calculations
  4. Click Save Changes.

 

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Override a Student's Course Grade

Many factors may affect the final grade you wish to assign a student. Did they show great improvement at the end of the course? Did they earn penalties that could not be accurately reflected in the Gradebook setup? Use the Course Grade Override to set the desired overall grade for a student.

  Learn How to Override the Course Grade

Professors can override the calculated course grade for any particular student.

  1. For a specific student, select the corresponding drop-down arrow within the course grade column and then select "Course Grade Override."
    gradebook course grade override
  2. Specify the letter grade with which to override the calculated grade (do not enter a number; enter the letter grade). Then select "Save Course Grade Override."
    sakai gradebook course grade override save

 

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View Distribution of Student Course Grades

Do you want to see how many people have earned an "A" in your class? Or perhaps the average, highest, and lowest grade? Evaluating the grade distribution of your course is easy.

  Learn How to Review Grade Distribution Statistics

Professors can see the overall course grade distribution and common statistics.

  1. Go to the Gradebook.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Select Grading Schema.
  4. Next to the grading schema table you will find a chart of your course grade distribution. Below the chart, you will find popular statistics such as:
    • Average (mean) grade
    • Median grade
    • Standard deviation
    • Lowest grade
    • Highest grade

 

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Display the Overall Course Grade to Students

By default, the overall course grade is hidden from students in the Gradebook settings. This allows each professor to configure the Gradebook and verify all settings and options before revealing course grades to students. When you are ready, it's easy to show students the grades they have earned.

  Learn How to Display the Course Grade to Students

As the instructor, you choose when or if to display the overall "Course Grade" to your students. Until you display the Course Grade, students will see "Not available yet" in their personal Gradebook view.

  1. Go to the Gradebook.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select Grade Release Rules.
  4. The two options available:
    • "Display released Gradebook items to students" -- This should be selected by default. If you deselect this item, then students will not see any of their individual grades in the Gradebook; none of the individual Gradebook item grades will be visible.
    • "Display final course grade to students" -- If you enable this feature, then the overall course grade will display to students. This is important at the end of the semester if you want students to know the final grade computed or the override grade that you have entered. You will have different choices depending on whether you enter grades as points/percentages or use weighting by categories. If you use weighting, the option to display points will not be available.
  5. Click Save Changes to finish.

 

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Export Your Gradebook

Keeping a backup copy of your class grades can be important, especially if, several years down the road, a student asks for a letter of recommendation. Be sure that you store any backup grades to a secure location, such as a password-protected computer or a private folder on Pepperdine Google Drive.

  Learn How to Export Your Gradebook

Professors can export the Gradebook data for their class sites anytime throughout the semester. The exported file is in CSV format but can afterward be resaved in different Excel formats as needed. It is recommended to export the Gradebook within 60 to 90 days of the end of the course term. Remember, once students graduate, their accounts will be deactivated. Deactivation happens roughly 90 days after a student has graduated. This is especially important for professors who teach classes in the final years or terms of an academic program.

  1. In Gradebook, click the Import/Export tab.
  2. To export your Gradebook with default settings, simply click the "Export" button. Else, click "Custom Export" to include specific data points that you need. 
    • If you click "Custom Export," specify the options you would like to include or exclude in the file output.
    • Optional) You may also filter the output by the entire class or by a specifically selected group.
    • Once finished, click "Download Custom Export."
  3. The exported file will download to the location saved in your browser settings. In most cases, this will be a "Downloads" folder on MAC or PC, but the location may vary depending on your browser settings.
  4. Be sure to open the file to verify the desired output.

Please find more information about exporting the Gradebook.

Save Other Courses LMS Class Data

Want to export or download information from another Courses LMS tool? Please view the relevant tool information in our Courses Faculty Guides, refer to the Download Your Older Courses LMS Content, or search the built-in "Help" page on Courses (select "Help" in the Courses LMS left tool menu). Examples of content you may wish to download or export:

  • Download exemplary assignments
  • Download representative midterm or final exam results
  • Save great Discussion Topic threads as PDF files

As always, be mindful of FERPA as this content relates to student records. Any content you retain must be protected and cannot be shared publicly without each student's formal written authorization.

 

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See Grades for Students Who Withdrew (WP/WF)

During the add/drop and withdraw ("W") period of a semester, students who drop or withdraw will be removed automatically from the class roster. After the "W" period ends, students who withdraw will remain on the roster but will be set to an "Inactive" status. This retains their content but hides the information. Professors can reveal that information as needed.

  Learn How to See Inactive Student Data to Assign WP/WF Grades

When a student drops or withdraws (W) from a course, the person's name is removed from the class roster. None of the person's data is deleted, but the student is "dropped" and his/her name will no longer appear in the class roster and the person no longer has access to the site.

Some schools, e.g. Seaver College, have an extended withdraw period that requires a grade determination of "WP" (withdraw with passing grade) or "WF" (withdraw with failing grade). When a student withdraws during this period, the student's name remains in the official site participant list, but his/her status is marked as "Inactive."  This status hides the site from the student and hides the student's name from all site tools (such as Gradebook, Assignments, Tests & Quizzes, etc.). This special status also makes it easy for the professor to temporarily turn the student "active" again to view the past grade activity.

If a professor needs to determine whether a student earned a "WP" or "WF" grade, then the professor will follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the class and click Site Info.
    site info orange button
  2. Select the Manage Participants tab at the top of the page.
  3. Find the name of the student in the participant list.
  4. Change the student's status from "Inactive" to "Active."
    site info active
  5. Scroll down and click Update Participants.
    update participants button via site info
  6. Visit the Gradebook or any other tool to review the student's previous activity and determine the person's grade status at the time the student withdrew. Any grade other than an "F" is considered a passing grade, and thus "WP."
  7. Once done, return to "Site Info," go to "Manage Participants," change the student's status back to "Inactive," and then click "Update Participants."

 

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Go to WaveNet to Submit Official Grades

To assign the official grade for a student, go to WaveNet and submit the final grades.

  Learn Where to Submit Final Grades

Once you have computed the final course grades for your students, you must go to WaveNet to post the end-of-term grades. Each school maintains its own schedule for grading deadlines. Please contact your school program or division office to learn about any grading deadlines.

Learn about the Grade Roster in WaveNet to submit your final grades.

 

See Also