1. Grader report

On the home page of your course, select Grades from the top center menu to view the Grader Report page. The Grader Report contains a list of all students in the course, columns for each graded activity and a course total column.

All features of the Grades section can be accessed by clicking on the dropdown menu on the left side of the screen. If opening the Grades section does not automatically take you to the Grader Report, you can always select it from the dropdown menu.

2. How to calculate the Course total

The Course total column shows the result of the aggregation of all graded activities in the course. The last column of the Grader Report, “Course total”, calculates and automatically displays the course total grade based on your settings. During a course, you will get partial values in the course total column of the Grader Report until all grades are available. Therefore, it is advisable to hide the course total column from students until the end of the course.

From the Grader Report view, switch Edit mode on and click the eye icon on top of the Course total column as shown above. You will notice that the eye icon will be crossed and the title of the column will turn grey, meaning that the grade item is not visible to students.

You will find the Course Total settings page selecting “Gradebook setup” from the Grades dropdown menu  Course Name “EditEdit Settings. Note that the title on the page will be “Edit category”.

From the Course Total settings page, you can choose different aggregation methods to apply on your course total calculation:

  • mean of grades
  • median of grades
  • weighted mean of grades
  • simple weighted mean of grades
  • lowest grade
  • highest grade
  • mode of grades
  • natural (i.e. sum of all grades).

By default, MyCourses calculates course total using the “Natural” aggregation method. The maximum course total grade in this case is the sum of the maximum grades of all graded items.

2.1. Course total conversion into a 0-5 grading scale (Sisu compatible format)

As stated above, the default aggregation method on MyCourses is “Natural”, i.e. a sum of all grades. However, at Aalto University the most commonly used grading scales are the scales accepted on Sisu, i.e. Pass/Fail and 0-5. Here, you can find suggested methods to convert your grades from 0-100 to the Sisu compatible 0-5 grading. If you are using a Pass/Fail scale, you can learn how to make the conversion on the Transfering results to Sisu page.

Method 1: 0-5 where minimum passing grade = x %, e.g. 0 = fail and 1 ≥ 50 points

  • If you want to use a 0-5 grading scale, where 0 equals fail and 1 should correspond to, for instance, at least 50% of the course total grade, you can use Grade Letters for your conversion.

  • From the Grades dropdown menu, select Grade Letters and click Edit.

  • Select “Override site defaults” to customize the range of grades and insert your desired percentages to each Grade Letter. In this example, 0 corresponds to 0-49%, 1 corresponds to 50-59%, and so on. When you are ready, click Save changes.

  • If you start using Grade letters, you must separately change the display of the grades so that students will also see the grades as Grade letters. You can do it following this sequence:
    • Grades dropdown menu → Gradebook setupCourse total settings page → Category total “Show more” → Grade display type “Letter (real)” or “Letter (percentage)” → Save changes→ Go back to the Grader report and check if grades are displayed correctly.

When exporting the grades as grade letters in a Sisu compatible file, you must also make sure to select “Letters” instead of “Real” in the export file. More about the Sisu export file on the Transfering results to Sisu page.

    • Grades dropdown menu → Export → Export as ”Sisu CSV export” → Select ”Course total”, type course credits, select language of the course → Expand format options → Uncheck “Real” and select “Letters”→ Download

Method 2: 0-5 as simple points

  • From the Course Total settings page, you can select "Mean of Grades", "Weighted mean of grades" or "Simple weighted mean of grades" as the Aggregation method, depending on how you want your calculation to be done.
  • Keep Grade type as "Value" and change Maximum grade to 5.  Minimum grade should be 0.
  • Click Show more to display more options and set Overall decimal points to 0 (default being 2). MyCourses will round the values, and you will get course total grade as whole numbers

Method 3: Using formulas

Creating a basic formula in MyCourses to implement scaling involves using the Gradebook's built-in features to adjust students' scores based on a predefined scaling formula. You might want to use formulas in a situation where the MyCourses pre-defined aggregation methods or Letters can’t be used for your scaling strategy.

When using formulas, keep in mind that all ID (identification) numbers denoted as [[x]] within the formula must be assigned as values or points. Check that you are not using scales or letters in any category or assignment referenced in the calculation with these ID numbers.

To set up calculations, first access the category total or course total in the gradebook setup.  Click "Edit calculation". A blank field will appear for you to input your calculation. Before entering the calculation, give ID numbers to all activities or categories you will be referencing in the formula. The names enclosed in double square brackets, such as [[Exam]], serve as identification numbers that MyCourses interprets as values.

Here is a basic example of a formula that scales grades from a range of 0 to 100 to a range of 0 to 5, which you could use for course total or category total calculations.

=if(([[E]])>=90, 5, if(([[E]])>=80, 4, if(([[E]])>=70, 3, if(([[E]])>=60, 2, if(([[E]])>=50, 1, 0)))))

This formula tells MyCourses that if the Exam score equals or exceeds 90, a score of 5 will be assigned to the student. Similarly, if the score surpasses 80 or equals 60, a score of 4 will be given, and so on, progressing until the final step. Here, if none of the specified conditions are met, the formula will return a value of 0. In other words, if the score is under 50 the student will not pass the course. The scale used here is just an example and you can of course set your own values.

More about grade calculations in Moodle: https://docs.moodle.org/402/en/Grade_calculations

3. How to add non-MyCourses activities into Grades (e.g. paper-based exams and seminars)

It is a good idea to keep all of your course grades in the same place. This makes it easier to calculate your overall course grade and also promotes transparency in grading for students.

So if you have graded activities outside of MyCourses, such as a paper-based exam or a seminar, you may want to add them to your Grader report. You can add a column to the Grader report table by following these steps:

    • Grades dropdown menu Gradebook setup → Add grade item. Name your activity and define the grading method.

To assign grades, go to the Grader Report view, switch Edit mode on, type the grades directly into the corresponding grade item column, and click Save.

4. How to export an grading table as an Excel file

If you intend to do part of your grading outside of MyCourses, you should export the grading file in a compatible format that will allow you to seamlessly bring that information back into your Grades page.  

Note though that while storing student data outside of the designated environments, you must be extra careful with data security and privacy issues. 

Exporting a grading table as an Excel file

Following simple steps, you can quickly insert grades and feedback for a large number of students as well (e.g. 100+).  Here is how:  

  • If you are adding grades to an activity implemented outside of MyCourses (e.g. paper exam, seminar, etc), remember to create your grade item as described above before exporting the file. 
  • To ensure that the file will be compatible when you import the grades back, you should export a grades file in Excel format from MyCourses.
      • Grades dropdown menu Export Export as "Excel spreadsheet". Select those grade items you are going to add grades and/or feedback to. If you want to add feedback, expand “Export format options” and select “Include feedback in the export”. Then click Download.
      • If you notice that some characters are displayed incorrectly in your Excel file, you can fix the issue following these instructions.
  • Open the exported file and use it to add the grades and feedback to your grade item columns. You can also edit existing grades in this file.
  • In your exported file, expand the column widths to see the full title. Grades (Real) and Feedback should be added to separate columns for each activity.  

Importing grades from an Excel file back to MyCourses

  • Once you are ready with grading, select the content of your spreadsheet, including the titles of the columns and copy it.   
  • Go back to your course’s Grades page on MyCourses and find the Import page.
    • Grades dropdown menu → Import →   Import as: “Paste from spreadsheet”. 
  • Paste the copied content in the “Data” text box and click “Upload grades”. Selecting “Force import” will import the data even if there were recent changes in the grades on MyCourses.
  • In the following page, MyCourses will show you a preview where you must check that the information was correctly imported. 
  • To avoid errors, choose to “Identify user by” “Email address”, in both Map from and Map to fields.  Under “Grade item mappings”, you will see a list of the column titles from your Excel file. Here, you must select the grade items that you have edited, so that they will be imported into the corresponding columns on MyCourses. In the example, you can see that Presentation and Feedback for Presentation are matching with their corresponding items. Click “Upload grades”.

  • The added grades will then be visible on your Grader Report. You will see that the column will be colored brown, meaning that the grades have been manually overridden. To see the feedback, click the pen icon next to the Activity title. 
  • Each student will be able to see their own feedback and grade from their Grades view if the grade item is not hidden. 

Video: Grades and course total (recorded in Nov 2018)