Assignment Type Weighting is used by teachers who calculate the student’s class grade by weighing the student’s grade in each assignment type (e.g. homework, quizzes, papers, etc.) as a certain percentage of their overall class grade. For example, homework might be worth 40% of the student’s grade, quizzes 30% and papers 30%. Here is how the teacher can manage those assignment weights for their classes in the gradebook.
Setting Assignment Type Weights
Assignment type weights are set by each teacher in their gradebook for each of their classes. To edit assignment type weights, the teacher can click the ‘Weighting’ tab in the gradebook toolbar to open the weighting screen. From here, teachers can set different assignment weights for each minor grading period during which the class meets. For example, Quarter 1 weights can be set differently from Quarter 2 weights, or Trimester 1 weights can be set differently from Trimester 2 weights.
To enter weights, teachers can simply enter the percentage they want for each assignment type in the “Weights” column. If teachers do not use a particular assignment type, they must leave the weight field next to it blank. All of the percentages entered in the weighting column for each grading period must total 100%, even if the class has exams. See more about exam weighting
Common Assignment Type Weighting Mistakes
There are three mistakes that are often made when teachers use assignment type weighting:
Not properly weighting their assignment types to total 100%,
Weighting assignment types that the class does not use, and
Not weighting assignment types their class does use.
Incorrect Weight Totals
Teachers can sometimes mistakenly weight their assignment types so that the total weight across all assignment types does not equal 100%. If teachers over or under-weight their class assignment types, their student grades will be calculated incorrectly. If the weighting total does not equal 100%, the gradebook will highlight the total percentage field in red at the top, letting the teacher know there is a problem with their weighting.
To the right is an example of a teacher’s gradebook that is under-weighted so that 10% of her class grades is unaccounted for. The teacher may have neglected to weight an assignment type, or may need to redistribute the 10% across her current assignment types.
Weighting Unused Assignment Types
Another problem teachers sometimes run in to when weighting by assignment type is weighting assignment types they do not use. If a teacher never uses a particular assignment type, that assignment type weight must be set to 0. However, sometimes teachers may weight an assignment type they never use in their class by mistake.
Weighting assignment types that are never used will also cause the student class grades to be calculated incorrectly because the student has no grade for that assignment type. Veracross will try to automatically re-distribute this weight so the student’s grade is not negatively impacted by missing grade information. However, Veracross will make a best guess where the unused weight should go, using the teacher’s current weights as a guideline for how to re-distribute the unused weight. The teacher would probably instead prefer to manually determine how the unused weight should be distributed across their other assignment types.
This problem is not as easily spotted because the teacher’s total weight for the grading period may total 100% and appear to be accurate. However, the ‘Count’ column on the weighting screen is a helpful way to check for this problem as it indicates how many assignments the teacher has given for that assignment type thus far. If the ‘Count’ column is blank at the end of the grading period, it means the teacher did not give any assignments in that category and the weight column must also be blank (i.e. 0).
Above is an example of a teacher’s gradebook that has a weight assigned to an unused assignment type. In this example, the assignment type “Journal” accounts for 10% of a student’s grade in the class. However, the teacher has not given any Journal assignments yet in the quarter (the Count column is 0). If the teacher will not be giving any Journal assignments in Quarter 1, the 10% weight needs to be redistributed to another assignment type(s) and the Journal category needs to have the weight set back to 0.
Not Weighting Used Assignment Types
Another way teachers can weight incorrect assignment types is by not weighting a category for which they have given assignments. This situation is not as likely because the gradebook will try to prevent teachers from entering an assignment type that has not been given a weight if the teacher uses assignment type weighting. If teachers are getting an error entering an assignment, they should double check their weighting and make sure the assignment category they want to use has a weight assigned if they weight by assignment type. Teachers weighting by points only should not have this issue.
If teachers adjust their weights from grading period to grading period, or at the end of a grading period, they should make sure they have given a weight to every category that has an assignment count. Again, this problem is not always easy to spot because the teacher’s total weight for the grading period may total 100% and appear to be accurate. However, teachers can use the ‘Count’ column to easily see how many assignments they have given thus far in each category and therefore, which assignment types should be weighted. If the ‘Count’ column on the weighting tab has a value, the ‘Weight’ column should also have a value.
Above is an example of a teacher who has not weighted an assignment type they have used in their gradebook. In this example, the teacher has given ten ‘Classwork’ assignments worth a total of 525 points. However, this assignment type has no weight assigned to it. As a result, 525 points of the students’ work are unaccounted for in their class grade. To fix this problem, the teacher needs to adjust the weight distribution so that the ‘Classwork’ assignments have a weight assigned and will factor in to the class grade.
Weighting within an Assignment Type
The gradebook also supports weighting within an assignment type if teachers wish to weight some assignments within the category as worth more than others.
Teachers can weight assignments differently within an assignment type by using the “Weight (Pts)” field on the assignment detail screen in addition to setting up assignment type weights. By default, all assignments are weighted equally at 100 points. If a teacher changes the weight field on an assignment, they can weight some assignments within the assignment type higher than others.
All weight points are relative to other assignments within the category, so teachers can use any points ratio to calculate the weight difference within a particular assignment type. For example, if a teacher wants to weight a homework-type assignment as worth twice as much as another, they can set the points on the regular homeworks to 10 and the homeworks that should be worth twice as much to 20 points. The same ratio could also be set by setting the smaller homeworks to be worth 100 points, and the more complicated homeworks to be worth 200 points. The absolute value of the weight field is irrelevant as long as the weights across assignments within the category are proportionally correct*.
* Note: The gradebook can only accept a weight value of up to 999 points on an assignment.
Below is an example of weighting by points within an assignment type. In this example, the teacher has assigned two “Homework” type assignments. The homework on the left entitled “Paper draft” is worth twice as much as the homework shown on the right, entitled “Complete Vocab Unit #16″. The teacher has weighted the paper draft assignment as worth 200 points, while the vocab unit assignment is worth the regular 100 points.
Important Note: When weighting by points (either by points only or for weighting within an assignment type), the Maximum Score does not impact how much an assignment is worth; it is only used to determine what percentage grade the student received for the assignment. For example, as far as weights are concerned, it does not matter whether a student earned a 9 out of 10, or a 90 out of 100. Either way, Veracross will recognize that the student received a 90% on that assignment.
The following is a description of each Assignment Completion Status and how each one affects the overall grade. A red heading indicates the status DOES impact the PTD grade, black indicates the status has NO impact on the final grade.
The teacher has not graded the assignment. Either the assignment is not yet due, or the teacher has collected the assignment but has not yet started grading it. The assignment will always stay Pending until the teacher begins to enter grades, even if the due date has past. A Pending assignment has no effect on the overall grade.
The assignment has been completed and turned in by the student. All the points awarded for the Complete assignment will factor into the overall grade.
Turned In/Not Graded
The assignment has been turned in but the teacher has not yet graded it. An assignment turned in but not graded has no effect on the overall grade, even if a grade is present.
Not Turned In
A student has not turned in their assignment even though the assignment has been collected on the due date and grades have been entered for the rest of the class. A Not Turned In assignment will be calculated as a zero into the overall grade.
A student did not turn in their assignment by the due date. An assignment may be marked late if it has been turned in past its due date and graded, or not yet turned in and not graded. An assignment that is late and not graded will be calculated as a zero into the overall grade until a teacher enters a grade for the late assignment.
The assignment has been turned in but is only partially completed. The grade entered is factored in according to the points grading or assignment type grading. A zero is factored in if the grade is left blank.
This status allows teachers to indicate that an assignment has been completed, but the student should receive no credit (e.g. a zero) for the assignment. If a non-zero grade is entered, it will factor into the final grade.
Not Required to Complete
Typically, this status is used when a student is exempt from this requirement. The other common scenario is extra credit. If an assignment is marked as extra credit, the assignment completion status will default to “Not Required to Complete” and students who complete the extra credit assignment will have a status of “Complete.” This way, those who do not complete the assignment are not penalized. Assignments marked “Not Required to Complete” have no effect on the overall grade, regardless of whether a grade is entered.
There are three ways a teacher can enter extra credit points in Veracross:
Extra credit points can be added to an existing assignment grade.
Extra credit assignments can be created.
Extra credit points can be awarded to the final grading period grade.
Add Extra Credit to an Existing Assignment Grade
Take the existing score for the assignment and add the extra credit points to the assignment’s regular points.
Enter the final sum in the Raw Score field of a student assignment record.
If a student is to earn more points on an assignment then it is worth (i.e. the Raw Score field has a higher value than the Max Score field), Veracross will automatically calculate that assignment grade as being above 100%.
Add an Extra Credit Assignment
Specify an assignment as extra credit by selecting the Extra Credit checkbox on the assignment record.
If this box is selected, the assignment status for each student defaults to “Not Required to Complete.”
All grading logic remains the same regardless of whether this box is selected. Selecting this box does NOT change how the assignment is factored into the overall grade.
Add Extra Credit to the Final Grading Period Grade
At the end of the grading period (e.g. quarter, semester, trimester, etc.), use the calculated grade field as a baseline and add the extra credit points to that score.
Place the final value in the Posted Grade field (Grade P). This will override the calculated grade given to that student.
Note: If a teacher enters a different grade than the calculated grade into the posted grade field, this will be overwritten upon running the Post Grades procedure. In this case, the teacher may want to lock those grade records after changing them. This will prevent the posted grade from being overwritten.
The Class List on the portal homepage displays a basic summary of all class data for classes the student is currently enrolled in. Students can filter their classes by class status: active, future, past, or withdrawn. Block and time information for each class will also be available. If the class is not meeting today, “Not Scheduled Today” will appear in place of the time.
Students can also view whether any of their classes have new updates. Updates total in the “New Updates” box in orange so students can easily view the assignments that need attention. Clicking on the new updates button opens the “New Updates” filter on the “Assignments” tab on the class detail page. Assignments with unread updates will be highlighted in yellow.
The number in the “New Update” badge indicates the total number of assignments that have unseen updates a student needs to review. For example, if there is a number 5 in the new updates badge for a particular class, then that class has 5 assignments with new updates. Each assignment, however, could contain multiple updates (e.g. the teacher changes both the score and completion status). The student will only receive one notification for all the updates contained on that one assignment.
The portal will display a “New Update” notification for the following changes to an assignment:
The teacher enters or updates the student’s score on an assignment.
The teacher enters of updates the student’s completion status on an assignment.
The teacher posts feedback for an assignment.
The teacher sends a notification email to the student about an assignment.
The teacher enables dropbox submission for an assignment.
The Assignment Planner is available from the “Assignments” tab in the primary navigation.
The Assignment Planner is the primary place for students to see an overview of their upcoming assignments. The Planner shows all assignments across all classes in a timeline view.
By default, the Planner only displays each assignment on the day that it is due. It is possible to view a preview of assignments before their due date. Click on the “Class Name” to expand that row. This will reveal upcoming assignments. Assignments will be displayed on each day starting on the date they are assigned until their due date.
Clicking on an assignment will bring up the preview window with the assignment instructions and related file attachments.
NOTE:If the Assignment Planner is not displaying properly, check the Active Grading Periods system parameter (from the System homepage) and make sure that the Active Grading Periods are set correctly.
Detailed class information is available from the Classes tab on the portal homepage.
The Class tab is the primary place for students to see a comprehensive list of all their assignments, comments, and scores for a single class. Students may also submit files to the dropbox for specific assignments. If a teacher has opened the dropbox for an assignment a blue “Submit” button will appear in the assignment row. Once the student has submitted a file, a green “Done!” badge will appear.
There are two sorting options for assignments in the Class Tab:
Due Date: assignments are grouped and sorted by due date descending. The page will automatically scroll to “Today” for convenience.
Assignment Type: assignments are organized by type (e.g. homework, classwork, quizzes, etc.).
Students may filter their assignments by new updates, notifications, feedback, problems, or display all assignments.
The All Assignments filter displays all the student’s assignments for the class. This enables students to view the complete picture of all their assignments, any comments made by the teacher that need attention, and scores and completion statuses. Assignments will be flagged accordingly if an update is made or a teacher leaves a comment for the student. Clicking on each assignment will reveal the assignment details and feedback conversation if present.
New updates indicate any change or notification the teacher has made that the student has not seen for an assignment. Updates include assignment scores published, changes made to a student’s score or completion status, new feedback, etc. (see above). Students may filter assignments by new updates to easily view all assignments that contain update(s). Assignments with new updates will be highlighted in yellow. Clicking on the assignment will indicate it has been “read” and the yellow new update highlight will disappear.
Teachers may send notifications to students through the “Notify Students” button on the assignment detail. This will send an email to students immediately, providing a summary of the assignment. Assignments in which notifications have been sent are indicated by a in the assignment row.
Teachers may choose to send students feedback about their performance on an assignment. Students view this feedback using the Class Tab. The badge will be in the assignment row to indicate when a teacher has entered feedback for a student about an assignment. Clicking into the assignment will reveal the entire feedback conversation.By default, students are not allowed to send replies to teachers. There is a class configuration option to enable student feedback replies.
Problems indicate assignments which have a completion status of late, not turned in, incomplete, or received no credit. The completion status will be in place of the grade in the assignment row.
Assignment Dropbox Submission
The Assignment Dropbox allows students to submit files for assignments online.
Students may submit files (with a max size of 25MB) from two contexts in the portal: the homepage and the class tab.
If the dropbox is open for any assignment in the student’s classes, a blue “Submit Assignments” button will be displayed above the class list on the homepage. Students may submit assignments for any of the classes in which the dropbox is open. The “Submit Assignments” button will open the submission wizard and students may select from a list of assignments that their submission is for.
Class Detail Page
The dropbox is also available on the “All Assignments” tab on the class detail page. When a teacher has “opened” the dropbox for a student, a blue “Submit” button will be displayed next to the assignment. Students are able to click “Submit” which will open the submission wizard. The submission wizard walks students through the steps of selecting a file for the assignment. Students may also include a note with their submission. After a file has been submitted for an assignment, a green badge labeled “Done!” will be displayed next to the “Submit” button to let the student know they have successfully turned in the assignment.
Assignment Dropbox Submission Wizard
Google Drive Integration (optional)
By default, students submit files by selecting a file from their computer and attaching it to the assignment. More schools are choosing to use Google Docs for the students to create and manage documents. It is also possible to configure the Veracross Dropbox so that students can select files from their Google Drive when submitting to the assignment dropbox.
Before a student can select files from their Google Drive, they will need to grant Veracross access to their Google Drive account. This is a one time process. See more about integrating Veracross Dropbox with Google Drive.
Grade Detail Report
The Grade Detail report provides a detailed explanation of a student’s calculated grade in a class during a single grading period. The calculated grade is made up of the student’s individual assignment scores as well as the aggregate calculations which roll-up the assignment scores into the overall calculated grade. By default, the current grading period’s grade detail report is displayed on the Grade Detail tab on a class’s detail page, but students can view reports for prior grading periods from this tab.
The Grade Detail report is available on the student portal homepage as well as on the class’s detail page. When a student clicks on their grade in the Class List section of the homepage, the Grade Detail report will open in the “Grade Detail” tab on the class’s detail page.