Overview
Grade Scales are used to convert Percentage Scores to Letter Grades. The chosen Grade Scale appears on the progress report for teachers, students, and their parents. This article provides the information to understand and use the grade scales feature available to teachers in School Loop Plus.
Information
School Loop developed a new style of grading for Long Beach USD. Their goal was to find a more equitable and fair grading system. The result, Scaled Grading, is a blend of the traditional points-based grading system and a 5-point grading scale (A=5, B=4, etc.). Though percentages are used in calculating grades, they are never displayed for teachers, students, or parents. Instead, everyone sees a scaled score between 0 and 5.00, which then translates to the traditional letter grades A - F.
School districts interested in making this style of grading available to their teachers should contact School Loop for more information.
Enabling Scaled Grading
Once this feature is enabled for your school, Teachers may enable scaled grading for their grade books using the below steps:
- Login to your School Loop Teacher account
- Click on the Settings link at the top right of any page in your portal.
- Choose one of your grade books.
- Click on the Go button for Scaled Grading.
- Check the Yes radio button then click on the Submit button.
The Scaled Grade calculation will begin in the background. The grade in the class will show as a numerical value from 0 to 5 instead of a percentage value.
How Does Scaled Grading Differ From Traditional Grading
With Scaled grading, you assign work with any maximum point value you desire and, when scoring assignments, you may award any point value. In other words, scaled grading works the same as the traditional points-based grading system - at least up to this point. The big difference starts when it comes to calculating grades. The other major differences are as follows:
- Grade Scales - the grade scales are fixed so custom grade scales are not yet possible.
- Scores over 100% don’t matter - a score such as 15/12 does not improve a student’s grade more than a score of 12/12.
- Letter grade options - Only A - F are used. There are no plus or minus letter grades.
How Scaled Grades are Calculated
Individual Assessments
For each assessment, divide the score by the max value and convert to a letter grade and point value based on the following:
Percent |
Grade |
Points |
≥ 90% |
A |
5 |
≥ 80% |
B |
4 |
≥ 70% |
C |
3 |
≥ 60% |
D |
2 |
> 0% |
F |
1 |
= 0% |
0 |
0 |
For example:
Assignment #1: 17/24 = 70.8% = C = 3
Assignment #2: 12/18 = 66.7% = D = 2
Overall Grade Without Weighting
Find the sum of the products of the point value and max score and divide by the sum of all the max scores.
Using the example above:
(24 × 3) + (18 × 2) / (24 + 18)
= (72 + 36) / 42
= 108 / 42
= 2.57
The overall scaled score translates to a letter grade using the following:
Grade |
Range |
Floor |
A |
4.20 - 5.00 |
84% |
B |
3.20 - 4.19 |
64% |
C |
2.20 - 3.19 |
44% |
D |
1.20 - 2.19 |
24% |
F |
0.00 - 1.19 |
0% |
In our example, the scaled score of 2.57 is a C.
Overall Grade With Weighting
Use this method to calculate the overall scaled score per category, then use those values in the normal weighted grade calculations. For example:
Category |
Weight |
Average |
Assignment |
30% |
2.45 |
Final |
20% |
3.00 |
Test |
50% |
2.00 |
(2.45 × 0.3) + (3.00 × 0.2) + (2.00 × 0.5)
0.735 + 0.60 + 1.00
2.34 = C
Using Scaled Grading with Extra Credit
Extra credit was often necessary on the traditional percentage grading system. Since the scaled grading system is structured to be more equitable and fair, it may not be necessary to provide extra credit. If you would still like to consider providing extra credit with scaled grading, you can do so, but not necessarily in the same way that the extra credit was applied within the traditional percentage grading system. This document covers the various ways extra credit may be applied when using scaled grading.
What Doesn’t Work
A common way of applying extra credit is to create an assignment with a maximum value of 0 points. With scaled grading, a score of 10/0 will not have any effect on a student’s grade because such a score cannot be converted to a letter grade (A - F), which is the first step in calculating a scaled score.
What Does Work
There are methods for awarding extra credit, but it can be difficult to calculate the impact on a student’s grade. With the traditional points-based grading method and no weighting, the calculation is easy: if there are 1,000 points possible in a term and a student is awarded 100 points in extra credit, their percentage grade increases by 10%.
Here are some methods for awarding extra credit when using scaled grading:
Method 1: Add Points To An Existing Assignment
Boosting a student’s score on an assignment can increase their overall grade, but not in all cases. The first step in calculating a scaled score is to convert the score earned for an assignment to a point value (0 - 5). For example, 70/100 = C = 3. Adding 5 points of extra credit, in this case, doesn’t help -- 75/100 is still a C and worth the same 3 points. Only when the extra credit bumps the student’s score to the next highest letter grade will it have an effect on their scaled score.
Method 2: Extra Credit Assignments With A Non-Zero Maximum
This variation of an extra credit assignment worth zero maximum points will impact a student’s scaled score but do keep the following in mind. The impact depends on both the maximum value and the score awarded. Earning 100/100 will have a far greater impact than earning 5/5 on an extra credit assignment. Such extra credit assignments can lower a student’s grade. For example, a score of 60/100 (D) on an extra credit assignment will hurt a student who is earning a grade of C or better. Also, keep in mind that scores above 90 all have the same impact. In other words, 20/10 helps no more than 9/10 -- both have a value of A or 5 points.
Method 3: Using Extra Credit Category
When using weighted grading with School Loop’s Gradebook, it’s possible to create an optional extra credit category and to choose the maximum boost a student may receive from earning extra credit. This method will work with scaled grading in all cases but is very different from the other methods described above. The most important distinction is that students have to keep earning extra credit points if they wish to receive the maximum benefit. The following example illustrates how this method works:
A teacher created a category called “Extra Credit” and set the maximum boost to 5%. The maximum boost means a student’s scaled score will be lifted by as much as 5% of 5.0, which equals an increase of 0.25 in the scaled score (e.g. 3.8 increases to 4.05). All extra credit work must be assigned in the “Extra Credit” category and must have a maximum point value greater than 0.
Over the course of a term, this teacher assigns several extra credit assignments. The overall score for the extra credit category is calculated for each student using Scaled Grading. If a student earns a 5.0 for the extra credit category, they will receive the full boost of 5% or 0.25. However, a student who earns an extra credit category score of 2.5 will receive a boost of just 2.5% or 0.125. A student who does not do any of the extra credit work or receives a score of 0 for that category will not benefit from any boost in their grade.