Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Wyoming

Grading in eCompanion

For basic skills, return to Instructions for Standard Teaching Tasks in eCompanion

Please note that Gradebook failure occurs occasionally. An instructor who clicks the Gradebook tab, or some link or command within it, may see no response but the error message "There has been a problem with the page you are accessing..." In this case, please call or e-mail us right away (766-HELP or "wyocourses@uwyo.edu").

Due to possible Gradebook problems, please export your grades from your eCompanion course site to your own computer system often.

In eCompanion, the list of students and the Gradebook are in separate places.

To see your students:
Course Admin (with Author tab) --->
    Course Enrollment

To see the Gradebook:
Gradebook (under Author tab).  Nota Bene:  No gradebook grid, or list of students, will appear until gradable items have been added with "Setup". 
  In the Gradebook entry screen, note the two main tabs, "View" (default) and "Setup."  Select a Gradebook view (see below) from the drop-down list.

In eCompanion, each gradable item is associated with a unit.  In your course planning, decide where each grade belongs.  If you use a unit for each week (Weeks 1 through 15), and want to give homework in weeks 3, 6, 10, and 13, you can either:

Gradebook Views

Under "View Gradebook," you will see current percentages for each student (the "Grades to Date" view) and a drop-down list of other views.  Like other aspects of an eCompanion course, the Gradebook is organized by units.  Grades for only the unit shown in the drop-down box will appear. The Item Summary shows all grades across all units, but is not intended for grade entry.  To see grades grouped by unit plus the Item Summary, choose "Show All."

General Gradebook Setup

Under "Setup Gradebook," there are five tabs which represent a sequential workflow but can also be used independently.  On entry, you're in "Current Setup."  The middle three form the main sequence of setup tasks:

  1. Add New Items...
    To make an item appear in the Gradebook
  2. Select Gradable Items....
    To make an item count toward the student's grade
  3. Assign Points/Weights....
    To define the value of the item in the student's grade (points possible and weight)

NOTE that you can import grades, as long as you follow the strict procedures given in this Pearson document:
Gradebook Import User Guide. The condensed version:

All gradeable items must already be listed in the Gradebook. Choose "Enhanced Gradebook Export," save the CSV file to edit. AND save a backup copy, representing the current gradebook, in case something goes wrong. Open the resulting spreadsheet with a spreadsheet application on your own computer, and enter student scores, maintaining the header rows and entering data in the assignment columns starting in column H. Then import with the link in the eComp Gradebook.

To assign disctinct gradeable items to different groups of students (for example, undergraduates and graduates, already organized in Group Management), use Content Items that are assigned to the different groups and then added to the Gradebook.

To Add an Assignment or new Graded Item

Choose Custom Item in the "Add New Items" step and enter a name for it, or check one of the Content Items in your course, which are all listed.  In the next step, "Select Gradable Items," choose the unit or units in which the item will appear.  In the next step, "Assign Points/Weights," type in a number for the point value of the item.  Optionally, turn on weighting under the last tab, "Preferences," and enter a percentage weight for the item (back in "Assign Points/Weights") as well as the point value.

Some eCompanion Gradebook troubles arise from the strict association between items and units, which is easily overlooked when it carries no semantic significance.  If, for instance, you want to record grades for Homework #1, done on paper, you create a Custom Item in "Add New Items" and then you must assign it to a unit in "Select Gradable Items."  But what unit? There may be no Content Item that shows under the unit bars, and If the homework assignment has no strong association with any unit of your online materials, you may be at a loss as to which unit is appropriate.  You can choose Course Home, the default.  But remember where it is (that is, which unit) for furture reference.

Exams create automatic entries in the Gradebook; in other words, the Add and Select steps are done for you.  See below for assigning points.  All items must be given a point value under "Assign Points/Weights," even exams, or they will not count toward the final percentage.

To Remove an Item from the Gradebook

To remove an item from the Gradebook (so that it no longer appears to either faculty or students), uncheck its box on the "Add New Items" screen.  You can remove a Custom Item altogether from that list by selecting it from the drop-down box at the bottom, and clicking "Delete."  Other items will remain in this list, although they will not show in the Gradebook.

To Designate Extra Credit or Scored but Uncounted Assignments

For an extra credit assignment, for which you wish to assign points in excess of the total baseline number, or an assignment such as a practice exam, for which you want the questions and exam scored, but not counted in the grade, go to the "Assign Points/Weights" tab (in "Setup Gradebook").  The two buttons marked "Extra Credit" and "Exclude from Course Grade."  Clicking on either of these shows a list of all gradable items, in which individual items can be marked for that treatment.

To Enter Grades for an Item Already Added

View Gradebook ---> Select from drop-down list.

Choose a view that shows the unit and select the gradeable item you want. 
  NOTE:  Do not enter numeric grades in the "Item Summary" view; switch to the unit view.
Click on column heading of assignment (in the unit column, not the Item Summary column) to reach the grading screen.
    Fill in blanks for individual students.
 To edit a grade already entered, click on that grade in the cell.
"Save Changes" before you click "Share with Students."

Other options for efficient grade entry:  In the Gradebook, click on the assignment or exam name (the column header) to show a list of all students with blank grade fields, for mass entry.  You can still click on each student's name for the individual exam entry, and grade the manually-scored questions; you also have the option, in this view, to click "Save and Next," which will open the next student's exam.

To Download (Export) Grades

Open the Gradebook, and the view that you want-- probably "Show All."  Click the "Export View" link, choose a format (Letters and Numbers), and then use the "Save" button and designate a file location and name on your own system.  The file will be text, in comma-separated values (".csv") form, suitable for opening with a spreadsheet after the download.

An item must be marked as a gradeable item (under the "Setup Gradebook" tab) and must have points assigned to it (under the "Assign Points" tab) before it will affect the computed grade.  Even for exams, you must enter the grades manually in the exam column, although "points achieved" is shown.  If you adjust the exam grade by changing the automatically-computed total to a different value entered by hand under "Assign Points," this adjustment does not weight each student's grade, but rather, sets a new top "possible points" value for curving.  The Gradebook in eCompanion provides weighting of individual items IF that feature is turned on in "Preferences."

Grading Exams

The points achieved on an exam are determined either from the points assigned to questions, or from the points entered in the "Assign Points/Weights" step of Setup Gradebook.  Nota Bene:  As you add questions or modify point values of individual questions, during exam development, clicking on "Update Points" as you go, the total point value for that exam is not changed in the Gradebook.  You must click on "Insert Points" in the points field in order to transfer the latest total to the Gradebook setup.

You can override the total points value for an exam under "Assign points to gradable items" in Gradebook, Setup.  For example, an exam with a total point value of 53 can be given 40 points in the Gradebook (in effect, granting extra credit), and can be weighted to your specification.

When you create an exam with multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, and other automatically scored questions, you will probably want to check the box to "Auto-Grade questions." The subordinate choices control where the auto-grade data goes.  Unless all of your questions can be automatically graded, do not select either (1) "Display an Auto-Graded Quick Summary to students upon submit" or (2) "Display Auto-Graded Score in the Gradebook upon submit". These options show the number of correct and incorrect answers grouped by type of question (true/false, multiple choice, and so forth)---not informative unless all questions fall into those categories. But if you have no manually-graded questions, you may wish to take advantage of these options.

With manually-graded questions, you will see (if you have selected the "Auto-grade Questions" option) the student score so far in the Gradebook detail window for that student and that exam. Whenever you grade a short-answer or essay question, granting points, those points will be added to that student score. But you must still enter the grades manually in the student's Gradebook field, as described below. 

To grade an exam, enter the Gradebook, go to "View Gradebook," select the unit and the exam name, then click on each student's name.  You will see the answers and have an opportunity to grade unscored questions. In the Grading Summary frame (below the feedback field) "Points achieved" is shown, incremented by points you add through individual questions. When you are done with a student, copy the Points Achieved into the Numeric Grade field at the top.

Exam Statistics requires that a point value be entered for each question.  In other words, statistics will not be generated for unscored questions such as on a survey or self-assessment, even if a correct answer is marked. Exam statistics are refreshed every 24 hours.

Troubleshooting

If you lose a set of grades due to shuffling items around in units:

Add the gradable item back to the same unit in which it was originally defined, under the same name.  (Remember that you may add a gradeable item, or a Content Item, to more than one unit, but the system treats it as a distinct item, even under the same name.)  The original set of grade data should reappear.

If you lose the login connection or suffer a browser error:

Log out of the eCollege server completely, close your browser, launch it again and clear the cache, then return to the "ecampus" website and open the Gradebook again.

If your students cannot see their grades, answers, or instructor comments for Dropbox baskets, Exam answers, or Discussion postings:

Check that all of these settings are in force.

  1. The item is entered in the Gradebook, meaning that the item is selected in the "Add New Items" screen in Gradebook Settings.
  2. The Gradebook Review date has been reached, as given in the (for an Exam) content item's Toolbox, "Edit Schedule".
  3. For an Exam, the Preferences (in the content item's Toolbox) for display show "Exam grade and Questions with correct answers..."
  4. The "Show Grade to Student" box is checked. This field is located in the grading screen for exams, threaded discussions postings and Dropbox submissions.
  5. For an Exam-- the student has taken and submitted the exam.
  6. For an auto-graded Exam, the Toolbox setting "Automatically display objective score of a finished exam to students in the Gradebook" is checked.
  7. For a Dropbox item, the instructor has checked the "Return" box in the Dropbox Inbox area.
  8. The instructor has not entered a numeric grade in the Letter Grade box in the grading screen.

If the points possible value for an exam is inaccurate:

Make sure that you have clicked "Insert Points" in the "Assign Points/Weights" step of Setup Gradebook.

 

Last Update:  14 October 2013, RKH