Grades

Create grade items, publish grades to students and manage your feedback.

How to use the grade book in block model units

This guide covers how the grade book works in block model units, how to set up the grade book and its options. For more information please read Understanding Grading Systems, Creating a Grade Item, or our other grade-related help guides.

The grade book in a block unit master space (which will flow through to the delivery space) has been set up in a specific format. This leads to two major outcomes:

  • At the end of the teaching period, a grade distribution report can automatically be produced and emailed to unit convenors, and
  • Following moderation in VU Collaborate, final grades can be automatically uploaded to VU Connect (Callista) for release to students by the start of the next block.

For this process to work it is important that block model grade books remain consistent. If you are unsure of how to make adjustments to the grade book, please contact us at the Connected Learning team. 

How does the grade book work?


The grade book allows grades from assessment items to be transferred automatically, allowing for quicker grading turnaround and is a vital component of the block model approach to teaching. The final calculated grade is the default grade item given to students unless you enter a final adjusted grade or a value into the Callista result code. Assessment items excluded, a typical grade book is comprised of the following entries:

Callista Result Code: You may use L (Unconfirmed/Late grade), S (Satisfactory ungraded pass) or U (Ungraded fail) for Pass/Fail units. Other values will be rejected by the grade return process. If no value is entered, the grade return process will be determined by the final adjusted grade 

Final Adjusted Grade: This is a system generated grade item, and can be used to override a calculated numeric grade during the grade moderation process. The moderated/final adjusted grades are entered here so the integrity of marks for individual assessments and the final calculated grade is maintained. If no value is entered, the grade return process will determine the base final calculated grade.

Final Calculated Grade: This is the primary system generated grade item, and is automatically populated with a cumulative score calculated by the sum and weight of the assessment items set out in your unit.

Note: More information on result codes can be found here.

basic grade book layout

Basic grade book layout:

1. Max points. The number of points that each assessment is marked out of, and should also match the Out of Score if associated with an Assessment Dropbox, Rubric and/or Quiz. 
2. Weight. The total weight of each assessment item is calculated from this column and should total to 100. 
3. Callista Result Code. This section is responsible for non-numeric grades. Only "L" - Incomplete, "PL" - Placement, "UM" - Fail (did not pass hurdle), or "S" & "U" for Pass/Fail units may be used. This text field should not be removed, even if you do not plan to use it. It must also remain hidden from students. 

Hot tips for grade book settings:

  • The weight of all summative grade items should add to exactly 100. You can choose to have a number of formative assessment items also, but their weight must be set to 0 as to not interfere with the final grade calculation.
  • Total category weights combined should not be greater than 100.
  • Ensure that the grade system is always set to weighted and not points.
  • Do not change Grade Calculations > Ungraded Items from “Treat ungraded items as 0” to “Drop ungraded items” unless you know how this will affect how the grade book works

 

Using categories in the grade book


Note: Using categories to format your grade book is not required. Categories should only be used where needed, such as when you have an assesment, eg. quiz worth 20% in three parts (introducing decimals in the weighting). They add a layer of complexity and can easily calculate incorrectly in not setup properly. Contact a Connected Learning team member for assistance or to check your setup. 

Method 1:  Summative Assessment – The weight of the category should equate to the total weight of the assessments listed within. The max points for each activity can be anything and set as appropriate for the activity. The weights of the individual grade items are set to correspond to the percentage value towards the final grade. The formative assessment weight of 0 has no bearing on the final grade.


category style 1

Breaking it down:
Category weight = 50 (Assessments listed within total to 50% of the final grade)
-          Assessment 1: Points = 25, Weight = 25 (25% to final grade)
-          Assessment 2: Points = 25, Weight = 25 (25% to final grade)
Final AssessmentThe weight of the category should equate to the weight of the final/last summative assessment of the unit.
The max points can be set to anything, as appropriate for the activity.
Category weight = 50
-          Assessment 3: Points = 50, Weight = 50 (Remaining 50% to final grade)
Total combined weight 100%.

Note: The warnings, as shown above, can be ignored when using this method.

Method 2:  Summative Assessment –The max points for each activity can be anything, and set as appropriate for the activity. The weights of the individual grade items should total 100%, relative to their weight within the category. The category with an overall weight of 50% leads to the 50% score irrespective of the 100% total summed by the individual assessments. Again the formative assessment weight of 0 has no bearing on the final grade.

catergory style 2

Breaking it down:
Category weight = 50 (Assessments listed within total 50% to final grade)
-          Assessment 1: Points = 25, Weight = 50 (50% of category weight which equates to 25% of the final grade (i.e., 50% of 50%)
-          Assessment 2: Points = 25, Weight = 50 (50% of category weight which equates to 25% of the final grade (i.e., 50% of 50%)
Final AssessmentThe weight of the category should equate to the weight of the final/last summative assessment of the unit.
The max points can be set to anything, as appropriate for the activity.
Category weight = 50
-          Assessment 3: Points = 50, Weight = 100 (100% of category weight which equates to 50% of the final grade)

Note: If you are confident that the final calculated grade and final adjusted grade are correct, the automation process should work as expected. If you remove the Callista Result Code field, you no longer have the opportunity to enter an “L, PL, UM, S or U”, and either Final Adjusted or Final Calculated will be used. 


Further Support
Visit the VU Collaborate Help site at https://vucollaboratehelp.vu.edu.au for up to date information and resources on blended learning or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service http://servicedesk.vu.edu.au for further technical support.