This page describes my fundamental grading practises.
Typically, an assignment is graded on the basis of a number of aspects. These aspects will vary from assignment to assignment and your instructor will provide information about them to you.
Each aspect will typically have a weight associated with it, such that more important aspects have a heavier weight than other aspects. Your instructor will provide weights for each aspect on a per-assignment basis. In the absence of such information, assume every aspect is equally weighted.
Assessment is done as follows:
There are two scales used: a 10-point scale, and a 5-point scale. Each is described below.
For each aspect, you grade an assignment on the following scale:
To calculate a grade on an assignment, multiply each raw grade by its weight, sum the results, and divide by the sum of the weights.
Assume the following aspects and weights for a hypothetical assignment:
|ASPECT||WEIGHT||RAW SCORE||WEIGHTED SCORE|
|MARK (TOTAL/SUM OF WGTS)||7.14 (out of 10)|
The mark reported by the grader in this case would be 7.14.
Using a 5-point scale is actually easier and more intuitive because the 5-point scale maps well to both CEAB guidelines and typical GPA measures.
|ASPECT||WEIGHT||RAW SCORE||WEIGHTED SCORE|
|MARK (TOTAL/SUM OF WGTS)||2.6 (out of 4)|
The mark reported by the grader in this case would be 2.6 (out of 4) or 6.4 (out of 10).
This is so complex that it deserves a page of its own.
Here is a list of deductions and penalties.
Since online submissions can be made any day (including holidays), then calculating lateness for online submissions includes every day.
Since hardcopy submissions can only be done during days when the University is open, calculating lateness for hardcopy submissions only includes “business days”.
The “late clock” starts at the due time and runs in 24 hour blocks. For instance, if an item is due by 16:00 on a Thursday, and you submit anytime between 16:00 Thursday and 16:00 Friday, you will incur a one-day late penalty.
All deductions are taken from the total value of the work. Example: If an assignment is graded out of 10, then a 10% deduction means a deduction of 1/10.
10% per day including weekends
2% per day including weekends
1% per day including weekends
10% per day after a grace period
5%of project grade if WDF not shared with instructor and TAs by deadlines
2%of project grade if WDF is incorrectly filled out
In my courses, if your grade is adjusted, it will always be adjusted upward.
Policy requires us to inform students of the grades they get in individual assignments, and of the overall breakdown of marks. There is an implication here that we always just do a straight weighted-sum of individual assignments to get your final mark.
That implication is, however, incorrect.
There are many reasons why instructors might perform adjustments to final grades before sending them to the Registrar. We are allowed and encouraged to make such adjustments to ensure fairness to all students.
However, such adjustments are not public information; they are confidential and no one will ever tell you specifically what adjustments they may have made.
I cannot speak to what other instructors may do, but here are some of the problems I've encountered that might in my courses:
There are literally dozens of possible things that can go wrong, and we check for all of them by applying statistical methods to the marks. When we find a trend that suggests an artificial skew to marks that was not under the students' control, we will do our best to adjust for it.
But we will never disclose the specifics of adjustments made to a given student.
It is generally very hard to get a boost (an increase in a letter grade).
Consider the following example.
The following table indicates actual numbers.
Of particular note for MEC222 is the following:
In other words, don't worry about getting boosts.
Design and drafting assignments are very difficult to grade, because of the acceptable level of variability inherent in this kind of work. The 5-pile method is meant to provide consistency without overly burdening those doing the grading. These instructions are for instructors and teaching assistants, not for students. The 5-pile method is particularly useful for grading homework assignments, and not for major design projects.
This method is based on the observation that assignments with different kinds of errors can still end up with the same grade; that is, that many different kinds of errors are of identical severity.
Here's a simple example:
For small sets of assignments, there is a variation of the 5-pile method that can be quicker. This can apply to team-based assignments that are only a few pages long, but for which you might have only four or five assignments to grade.