Why Marking Quarter Averages are Inaccurate on eSchool

13 Mar

Often students will ask why their average on eSchool is what it is.  I respond with the same answer each time: “Ignore it, it isn’t accurate.”  Instead students should focus on the various assignment grades and whether or not they turned in each assignment to receive a grade.  This is the most accurate indication of progress.

Why the Marking Quarter Averages are Inaccurate

There are many assignments that are due at the very end of the quarter: Notebooks, Participation, and Writing Pieces.  Most damaging to the credibility of the marking quarter averages is the Writing Pieces grade.

The Writing Grade is a holistic grade and not made up of the average of individual writing pieces. To indicate the quality of each writing piece, I assign a grade of 0, 1, 2, or 3.  3 being a very well done high quality writing piece, 2 is a decent piece, 1 barely acceptable, and 0 indicating the assignment was not completed.

All pieces may (and should be) revised throughout the quarter, before they are analyzed in determining the final Writing Pieces grade.  Based on this averaging system on eSchool, a decent writing piece graded as a 2, is averaged to be 66%.  In reality a 2 is probably in the neighborhood of high 70s to 80s.  The eSchool grading system will therefore inaccurately calculate an average which will lower student Marking Quarter Averages.

So  How Should You Read the eSchool Gradebook?

For the most part ignore the quarter average.  Instead pay attention to each individual assignment and the grade received on it.  Any missing work will negatively impact your grade.  Low grades on any assignment will do the same.  If you are unhappy with any grade, you can revise it.  I try to make every opportunity for students to succeed in class.  Many of our grades are effort based.  The notebook is based on total number of pages; write in it often, it is worth 20% of your grade.  Revise pieces and do all class assignments.  These are aspects of your grade you have direct control over.

The marking quarter averages on eSchool are inaccurate, but they are not entirely wrong.  The number they display may not be exact, but they suggest a direction your grades are going.  If the grade is exceedingly low, it is probably due to missing or poorly done work.

I hope that clears things up a bit.  If not, feel free to speak to me anytime, before or after class, or send an email to bfunk@sachem.edu .

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