17.3. Learner Grades and Grading

You can review information about how grading is configured for your course, and access learner grades, at any time after you create the course. You can also make adjustments to learner grading for a problem, for a single learner or all learners. For information about the grading data that you can access and the changes you can make, see the following topics.

To review learner answers to course problems, you can check the answer submissions for a specific problem, either for a selected learner or for all learners. You can also review answer distribution data for all of the problems. See Answer Data.

For open response assessments, you can generate an ORA data report that provides details of each learner’s response and of assessments that were performed on each response. For details, see Generate a Report for ORA Assignments.

For information about how you establish a grading policy and work with the Problem components in your course, see Establishing a Grading Policy For Your Course or Working with Problem Components.

17.3.1. Review How Grading Is Configured for Your Course

You can review the assignment types that are graded and their respective weights in the LMS by selecting Instructor to access the instructor dashboard.

You establish a grading policy for your course when you create it in Studio. While the course is running, you can view an XML representation of the assignment types in your course and how they are weighted to determine learners’ grades.

  1. View the live version of your course.

  2. Select Instructor, and then select Data Download > Grading Configuration.

    A list of the assignment types in your course displays. In this example, Homework is weighted as 0.3 (30%) of the grade.

    XML of course assignment types and weights for grading.

    In Studio, you define this information by selecting Settings and then Grading. For more information, see Configure the Assignment Types.

    Studio example of homework assignment type and grading weight.

Important

Any changes that you make to the course grading policy, to graded subsections, or to graded components after the course begins will affect learners’ experiences in the course as well as analysis of its data. EdX recommends that you announce any unavoidable changes learners by using, for example, the Home page. You should also carefully track these changes for researchers.

17.3.2. Generate a Grade Report for All Learners in a Course

For any course, you can generate grades and then download a file with the results for all learners in the course, including unenrolled learners.

When you initiate calculations to grade learner work, a process starts on the edX servers. The complexity of your grading configuration and the number of learners in your course affect how long this process takes. You can download a report of the calculated grades in a comma-separated values (.csv) file when the grading process is complete.

For courses with fewer than 200 learners enrolled, you also have the option to review learner grades on the instructor dashboard. For more information, see Review Learner Grades (Small Courses).

To generate and download the grade report for the learners in your course, follow these steps.

Important

Because the grade report file contains confidential, personally identifiable data, be sure to follow your institution’s data stewardship policies when you open or save this file.

  1. View the live version of your course.

  2. Select Instructor, and then select Data Download.

  3. To start the grading process, select Generate Grade Report.

    A status message indicates that the grading process is in progress. This process can take some time to complete, but you can navigate away from this page and do other work while it runs.

  4. To check the progress of the grading process, reload the page in your browser and scroll down to the Pending Tasks section. The status of active tasks is shown in the table.

    When the report is complete, a linked .csv file name becomes available above the Pending Tasks section. File names are in the format {course_id}_grade_report_{datetime}.csv. The most recently generated reports appear at the top of the list.

  5. To open or save a grade report file, locate and select the link for the grade report you requested.

    You can open .csv files in a spreadsheet application to sort, graph, and compare data.

Note

To prevent the accidental distribution of learner data, you can download grade report files only by selecting the links on this page. Do not copy these links for reuse elsewhere, as they expire within 5 minutes. The links on this page also expire if the page is open for more than 5 minutes. If necessary, refresh the page to generate new links.

17.3.2.1. Interpreting the Grade Report

A grade report for your course is a time-stamped .csv file that identifies each learner by ID, email address, and username, and provides a snapshot of their cumulative course scores.

Scores in the grade report are presented by assignment. There is a column for every assignment that is included in your grading configuration: each homework, lab, midterm, final, and any other assignment type you added to your course.

Note

The grade report does not include information about individual problems within assignments, or include learner answer distributions. For a report that shows problem-level information, see Generate a Problem Grade Report for All Learners in a Course.

The report indicates the enrollment track for each learner. For professional and verified track learners it also shows whether they have verified their identity. The report shows whether each learner is eligible to receive a certificate (determined by whether he has earned a passing grade at the time the report was requested), whether a certificate has been generated, and the type of certificate earned.

If your course includes cohorts, content experiments, or teams, the grade report includes additional columns indicating the name of the cohort, experiment group, or team that each learner belongs to.

A course grade report, opened in Excel, showing the grades achieved by learners on several homework assignments and the midterm.

The grade report .csv file contains one row of data for each learner, and columns that provide the following information.

  • Learner identifiers, including an internal Student ID, Email address, and Username.

  • The overall Grade, with the total score a learner has currently attained in the course. This value is expressed as a decimal: a learner with a grade of 0.65 has earned 65% of the credit in the course, and a learner with a grade of 1 has earned 100%.

  • Each {assignment type} {number} defined in your grading configuration, with the score that the learner attained for that specific assignment. For example, column Homework 3 shows the scores for the third homework assignment. If the learner did not attempt the assignment, the value is “Not Attempted”. If the assignment was not available for the learner, the value is “Not Available”.

  • An {assignment type} (Avg) with each learner’s current average score for that assignment type: for example, “Homework (Avg)”. This column is not included if a particular assignment type has only one assignment.

    This assignment type average takes both dropped assignments and the assignment weight into account. For example, if the course includes five homework assignments and the course grading policy allows one homework assignment with the lowest score to be dropped, the homework assignment average in this grade report is calculated over four homework assignments rather than five. This average is then multiplied by the assignment weight to calculate the assignment type average.

  • If cohorts are used in the course, a Cohort Name column indicates the name of the cohort that each learner belongs to, including the default cohort. The column is empty for learners who are not yet assigned to a cohort.

  • If content experiments are used in the course, an Experiment Group column indicates the name of the experiment group that each learner belongs to within a group configuration. The column heading includes the name of the group configuration. The column is empty for learners who are not assigned to an experiment group. If you have more than one experiment group configuration in your course, you see one column for each group configuration.

  • If teams are enabled in the course, a Team Name column indicates the name of the team that each learner belongs to. The column is empty for learners who have not joined a team.

  • The Enrollment Track column indicates whether each learner is enrolled in the course in the honor code, verified, or professional education track.

  • The Verification Status column indicates whether learners who are enrolled in course tracks that require ID verification have successfully verified their identities to edX by submitting an official photo ID via webcam. The value in this column is “N/A” for learners enrolled in course tracks that do not require ID verification, such as “Audit”.

    A value of “Not ID Verified” in this column indicates that the learner is enrolled in a course mode that requires ID verification, such as “Verified”, but she has not attempted ID verification, or her ID verification has failed or expired. A value of “ID Verified” indicates that the learner is enrolled in a course mode that requires ID verification, and her ID verification is current and valid.

  • The Certificate Eligible column indicates whether a learner is eligible for a certificate for your course. The value in this column is “Y” for learners who attained a passing grade before this report was requested, and for all whitelisted learners, regardless of grade attained. The value is “N” for learners who did not attain a passing grade and for those who live in embargoed countries.

  • For learners who are eligible to receive a certificate, the Certificate Delivered column has a value of “Y” when the certificates for a course have been generated. The value is “N” for learners who are not eligible to receive a certificate.

  • The Certificate Type column indicates the type of certificate that the learner is eligible for, such as “honor” or “verified”. If a learner is not eligible for a certificate, or if the certificates for a course have not yet been generated, the value in this column is “N/A”.

  • The Enrollment Status column indicates whether the learner is currently enrolled or unenrolled in the course.

17.3.3. Generate a Problem Grade Report for All Learners in a Course

For any course, you can calculate grades for problems and generate a report that can be downloaded. The problem grade report for a course shows the number of points that each learner has earned for each problem, and the number of possible points for every problem in the course. In addition, the report shows the final grade score for each learner.

To generate and download the problem grade report for all learners who have ever enrolled in your course, follow these steps.

Important

Because the problem grade report file contains confidential, personally identifiable data, be sure to follow your institution’s data stewardship policies when you open or save this file.

  1. View the live version of your course.

  2. Select Instructor, and then select Data Download.

  3. To start the problem grading process, select Generate Problem Grade Report.

    A status message indicates that the problem grading process is in progress. This process can take some time to complete, but you can navigate away from this page and do other work while it runs.

  4. To check the progress of the problem grading process, reload the page in your browser and scroll down to the Pending Tasks section. The status of active tasks is shown in the table.

    When the report is complete, a linked .csv file name becomes available above the Pending Tasks section. File names are in the format {course_id}_problem_grade_report_{datetime}.csv. The most recently generated reports appear at the top of the list.

  5. To open or save a problem grade report file, locate and select the link for the problem grade report you requested.

    You can open .csv files in a spreadsheet application to sort, graph, and compare data.

Note

To prevent the accidental distribution of learner data, you can download problem grade report files only by selecting the links on this page. Do not copy these links for reuse elsewhere, as they expire within 5 minutes. The links on this page also expire if the page is open for more than 5 minutes. If necessary, refresh the page to generate new links.

17.3.3.1. Interpreting the Problem Grade Report

A problem grade report for your course is a time-stamped .csv file that identifies each learner by ID, email address, and username, and provides a snapshot of earned scores compared with the possible scores for each problem.

The problem grade report includes two columns for every problem that is included in your grading configuration. For each homework, lab, midterm, or final exam problem, there is one column for earned points, and one column for possible points. In addition, the report shows the final grade score for each learner, expressed as a decimal.

An example problem grade report shown in Excel, showing the decimal final grade for learners as well as the earned vs possible points that they each achieved on several quiz assignments. A column for a midterm is only partially visible.

The .csv file contains one row of data for each learner, and columns that provide the following information.

  • Learner identifiers, including an internal Student ID, Email address, and Username.
  • The Grade column shows the total score that a learner has currently attained in the course. This value is expressed as a decimal: a learner with a grade of 0.65 has earned 65% of the credit in the course, and a learner with a grade of 1 has earned 100%.
  • For each problem (identified by assignment, subsection, and problem name), a column showing the number of points actually earned by each learner. If the learner did not attempt the assignment, the value is “Not Attempted”. If the assignment is not available to the learner, the value in this column is “Not Available”.
  • For each problem (identified by assignment, subsection, and problem name), a column showing the number of points that it is possible to earn for the problem. If the assignment is not available to the learner, the value in this column is “Not Available”.

17.3.4. Review Learner Grades (Small Courses)

For courses with enrollments of up to 200 learners, you can review a gradebook on the instructor dashboard. To review grades for a small course, follow these steps.

  1. View the live version of your course.

  2. Select Instructor, and then select Student Admin. For courses with fewer than 200 learners, this page includes a View gradebook for enrolled learners section.

  3. Select View Gradebook. Grades are calculated and the gradebook displays.

    Course gradebook with rows for learners and columns for assignment types.

The gradebook includes the following features.

  • You can select the username in each row to review that learner’s Course Progress page. For more information, see Check the Progress of a Specific Learner.

  • There is a column for each {assignment type} {number} defined in your grading configuration, with the scores that the learner attained for that specific assignment.

    The gradebook does not have a scroll bar, but it can be dragged: to see columns that are hidden at one side of the grade book, select the gradebook and then drag left or right to reveal those columns.

  • For assignment types that include more than one assignment, an {assignment type} Avg column displays each learner’s current average score for that assignment type, modified by the assignment weight.

  • The Total column presents the total score that each learner has currently attained in the course. This value is expressed as a whole number: a learner with a grade of 65 has earned 65% of the credit in the course, and a learner with a grade of 100 has earned 100%.

  • To filter the data that displays you can use the Search students option. This option is case-sensitive and limits the rows shown in the gradebook to usernames that match your entry.

17.3.5. Check the Progress of a Specific Learner

To check a single learner’s progress in your course, you can review the data in the grade report or problem grade report, or review the learner’s Progress page.

A learner’s Progress page includes a chart that plots the score that the learner has earned for each graded assignment and the total grade, as of the current date. Below the chart, scores for every assignment by subsection, including ungraded assignments, are listed.

Both in the chart on the Progress page and in the problem grade report, learners’ assignment scores are grouped by assignment type rather than in the order that they occur in the course. In the bar chart on the Progress page, the total score that a learner has earned for the course appears after the individual assignment scores, while in the problem grade report, the total score appears before the individual assignment scores.

17.3.5.1. View a Specific Learner’s Progress Page

To view a specific learner’s Progress page, you need their email address or username. You can check the progress for learners who are either enrolled in, or who have unenrolled from, the course.

Learners can view their own progress chart and assignment scores when they are logged in to the course.

To view the Progress page for a specific learner, follow these steps.

  1. View the live version of your course.

  2. Next to View this course as, select Specific student.

  3. In the Username or email field that appears, enter the learner’s username or email address, and then press the Enter key on your keyboard.

  4. Select the Progress page.

    The Progress page for the learner displays a chart with the grade for each homework, lab, midterm, final, and any other assignment types in your course, and the total grade earned for the course to date.

17.3.5.2. Understanding the Progress Page

The Progress page for each learner displays a chart that summarizes her progress through the course, with entries for each graded assignment, the average score by assignment type, the total percentage earned in the course so far, and the percentage grade needed for each grade cutoff. This chart is essentially a graphical representation of the data in the problem grade report. However, the chart does not reflect any cohort or experiment group assignments.

Progress page chart for a learner: includes a column graph with the score achieved for each assignment.

The chart’s y-axis shows the range of grade percentages from 0 to 100%, and includes labels for the grade ranges defined for the course. For example, if a course is a pass/fail course with a grade of 60% required to pass, the y-axis displays a label “Pass” at the 60% level. If a course has grade levels “A”, “B”, and “C” defined at 90%, 70%, and 50% respectively, the y-axis displays labels at each of those levels.

The learner’s scores for each graded assignment in the course are listed along the x-axis, with the height of each bar indicating the percentage score for that assignment. Assignments are grouped by assignment type, rather than being listed in order of occurrence in the course. A bar for the average of each assignment type is included, as well a bar for the total cumulative grade that the learner has earned to date in the course.

To learn more about a particular assignment, move the cursor onto the value in the chart. A brief description displays. A dropped assignment is indicated in the chart by an x above the horizontal axis.

Progress page with a tooltip for the X that was graphed for the last homework assignment, which indicates that the lowest homework score is dropped.

Below the chart on the Progress page is a list of all the subsections in the course, with the learner’s scores for the problems in each subsection. Point scores from graded sections are labelled as “Problem Scores”, while point scores from ungraded sections are called “Practice Scores”.

Bottom portion of a Progress page for the same learner with the score achieved for each problem in the first course subsection.

Note

Learner scores on the Progress page are a snapshot of the scores that were calculated when learners submitted answers to the problems. It is possible that the scores displayed on the Progress page are different from scores that would be obtained if you recalculated them today, if changes were made to the problems.

For example, if the course team changes a released problem’s total possible points, learners who submitted answers to the problem before the change will have grades on the Progress page that do not reflect the problem’s new number of total possible points. This asynchronicity will remain until either the course team rescores the changed problem, or until affected learners resubmit responses to the changed problem.

17.3.6. Adjust Grades for One or All Learners

If you modify a problem or its settings after learners have attempted to answer it, we recommend that you rescore the changed problem so that learners’ grades are updated.

You can adjust an individual learner’s score for a problem using either the Staff Debug Info option in the course or on the Student Admin tab of the instructor dashboard in the LMS. To adjust the scores for all enrolled learners at once, you use the options on the Student Admin tab of the instructor dashboard in the LMS. If you use the options in the instructor dashboard, you need to obtain the unique location identifier of the problem.

The following sections describe the various ways in which you can adjust learners’ scores when you cannot avoid making a correction or other change to a problem.

17.3.6.1. Rescore Learner Submissions for a Problem

Each problem that you create for your course includes the definition of a correct answer, and might also include a tolerance or acceptable alternatives. If you make a change to the accepted answers for a problem, you can rescore any learner responses that were already submitted.

Note

You can only rescore problems that have a correct answer defined in edX Studio, including CAPA problems and drag and drop problems. This procedure cannot be used to rescore open response assessment (ORA) problems or problems that are scored by an external grader. For ORA problems, you can override a learner assessment grade in Studio.

Additionally, errors might occur if you rescore a problem that has multiple response fields and you have completed any of the following actions.

  • You removed a response field.
  • You added a response field.
  • You reordered any of the response fields.

17.3.6.1.1. Rescore an Individual Learner’s Submission Only if the Score Improves

This method of rescoring updates a learner’s score only if it improves with the rescoring. If the score is unchanged or might be lower after the rescoring, the learner’s score is not updated.

To rescore a problem for a single learner and update the score only if it improves, follow these steps.

  1. Obtain the username or email address of the learner whose submission you are rescoring.
  2. View the live version of your course.
  3. Select Course and navigate to the component that contains the problem you want to rescore.
  4. Display the problem, and then select Staff Debug Info. The Staff Debug viewer opens.
  5. In the Username field, enter the learner’s email address or username, and then select Rescore Only If Score Improves. A message indicates a successful adjustment.
  6. To close the Staff Debug viewer, click on the browser page outside of the viewer.

Note

You can also rescore an individual’s submission in the Adjust a learner’s grade for a specific problem section on the Student Admin tab of the instructor dashboard. To do this, you need to obtain the location ID of the problem as well as the learner’s username or email address.

17.3.6.1.2. Rescore an Individual Learner’s Submission

Note

Depending on the type of change you made to the problem, this method of rescoring might decrease the learner’s score. To avoid negatively affecting learner scores, you can instead rescore a learner’s submission only if the score improves.

To rescore an individual learner’s submission, follow these steps.

  1. Obtain the username or email address of the learner whose submission you are rescoring.
  2. View the live version of your course.
  3. Select Course and navigate to the component that contains the problem you want to rescore.
  4. Display the problem, and then select Staff Debug Info. The Staff Debug viewer opens.
  5. In the Username field, enter the learner’s email address or username, and then select Rescore Learner’s Submission. A message indicates a successful adjustment.
  6. To close the Staff Debug viewer, click on the browser page outside of the viewer.

Note

You can also rescore an individual’s submission in the Adjust a learner’s grade for a specific problem section on the Student Admin tab of the instructor dashboard. To do this, you need to obtain the location ID of the problem as well as the learner’s username or email address.

17.3.6.1.3. Rescore Submissions for All Learners Only if Scores Improve

This method of rescoring updates learners’ scores only if they improve with the rescoring. Learners’ scores that are unchanged or lower after the rescoring are not updated.

To rescore a problem for all enrolled learners in your course, and update scores only if they improve, follow these steps.

  1. Obtain the location identifier for the problem that you want to rescore. For information, see Find the Unique Location Identifier for a Problem.

  2. View the live version of your course.

  3. Select Instructor, and then select Student Admin.

  4. In the Adjust all enrolled learners’ grades for a specific problem section of the page, enter the location of the problem, and then select Rescore Only If Scores Improve.

  5. In the confirmation dialog box, select OK for each of the confirmation and status messages.

    The rescoring process can take some time to complete for all enrolled learners. You can navigate away from this page and do other work while the process runs in the background.

  6. To view the results of the rescore process, select Show Task Status.

    A table displays the status of the rescore process.

17.3.6.1.4. Rescore Submissions for All Learners

Note

Depending on the type of change you made to the problem, this method of rescoring might decrease learners’ scores. To avoid negatively affecting learners’ scores, you can instead rescore learners’ submissions only if scores improve.

To rescore a problem for all enrolled learners in your course, follow these steps.

  1. Obtain the location identifier for the problem that you want to rescore. For information, see Find the Unique Location Identifier for a Problem.

  2. View the live version of your course.

  3. Select Instructor, and then select Student Admin.

  4. In the Adjust all enrolled learners’ grades for a specific problem section of the page, enter the location of the problem, and then select Rescore All Learners’ Submissions.

  5. In the confirmation dialog box, select OK for each of the confirmation and status messages.

    The rescoring process can take some time to complete for all enrolled learners. You can navigate away from this page and do other work while the process runs in the background.

  6. To view the results of the rescore process, select Show Task Status.

    A table displays the status of the rescore process.

17.3.6.2. Reset Learner Attempts for a Problem

When you create a problem, you can limit the number of times that a learner can try to answer that problem correctly. If unexpected issues occur for a problem, you can reset the value for one particular learner’s attempts back to zero so that the learner can begin work over again. If the unexpected behavior affects all of the learners in your course, you can reset the number of attempts for all learners to zero.

Note

You cannot use this method with open response assessment (ORA) problems. To allow a learner to start an ORA problem again and resubmit responses, you must delete the learner’s state.

17.3.6.2.1. Reset Attempts for an Individual Learner

To reset the number of attempts for a single learner, follow these steps.

  1. Obtain the learner’s username or email address.
  2. View the live version of your course.
  3. Select Course and navigate to the component that contains the problem you want to reset.
  4. Display the problem, and then select Staff Debug Info. The Staff Debug viewer opens.
  5. In the Username field, enter the learner’s email address or username, and then select Reset Learner’s Attempts to Zero. A message indicates a successful adjustment.
  6. To close the Staff Debug viewer, click on the browser page outside of the viewer.

17.3.6.2.2. Reset Attempts for All Learners

To reset the number of attempts that all enrolled learners have for a problem, follow these steps.

  1. Obtain the location identifier for the problem whose attempts you are resetting. For more information, see Find the Unique Location Identifier for a Problem.

  2. View the live version of your course.

  3. Select Instructor, and then select Student Admin.

  4. To reset the number of attempts for all enrolled learners, you work in the Adjust all enrolled learners’ grades for a specific problem section of the page. Enter the unique problem location, and then select Reset Attempts to Zero.

  5. A dialog opens to indicate that the reset process is in progress. Select OK.

    This process can take some time to complete. The process runs in the background, so you can navigate away from this page and do other work while it runs.

  6. To view the results of the reset process, select Show Task Status.

    A table displays the status of the reset process for each learner or problem.

Note

You can use a similar procedure to reset problem attempts for a single learner. You work in the Student-Specific Grade Adjustment section of the page to enter both the learner’s email address or username and the unique problem identifier, and then select Reset Student Attempts.

17.3.6.3. Delete a Learner’s State for a Problem

You can completely delete a learner’s database history, or “state”, for a problem. You can only delete learner state for one learner at a time.

For example, you realize that a problem needs to be rewritten after only a few of your learners have answered it. To resolve this situation, you rewrite the problem and then delete learner state only for the affected learners so that they can try again.

To delete a learner’s entire history for a problem from the database, you need that learner’s username or email address.

Important

Learner state is deleted permanently by this process. This action cannot be undone.

When you delete a learner’s state for an open response assessment (ORA) problem, the learner will have to start the assignment from the beginning, including submitting responses and going through the required assessment steps.

You can use either the Staff Debug Info option or the instructor dashboard to delete learner state.

To use the Staff Debug Info option, follow these steps.

  1. View the live version of your course.
  2. Select Course and navigate to the component that contains the problem.
  3. Display the problem, and then select Staff Debug Info. The Staff Debug viewer opens.
  4. In the Username field, enter the learner’s email address or username, and then select Delete Learner’s State. A message indicates a successful adjustment.
  5. To close the Staff Debug viewer, click on the browser page outside of the viewer.

To use the instructor dashboard, you must first obtain the unique identifier of the problem. See Find the Unique Location Identifier for a Problem.

  1. Select Instructor, and then select Student Admin.
  2. In the Adjust a learner’s grade for a specific problem section of the page, enter both the learner’s email address or username and the unique problem identifier, and then select Delete Learner’s State.

17.3.6.4. Find the Unique Location Identifier for a Problem

When you create each of the problems for a course, edX assigns a unique location to it. To make grading adjustments for a problem, or to view data about it, you need to specify the problem location.

Location identifiers for problems can be in one of these formats.

  • location = block-v1:{org}+{course}+{run}+type@problem+block@{id}, for example, location = block-v1:edX+BlendedX+1T2015+type@problem+block@72e0f73cdf5c4d648ebec0022854f18b
  • location = i4x://{org}/{course}/problem/{id}, for example, location = i4x://edX/edX101/problem/680cc746e8ee473490841334f0235635

Courses created since Fall 2014 typically have usage IDs in the first format, while older courses have usage IDs in the second format.

To find the unique location identifier for a problem, follow these steps.

  1. View the live version of your course.
  2. Select Course, and then navigate to the unit that contains the problem.
  3. Display the problem, and find the Submission History and Staff Debug Info options that appear below it.
  4. Select Staff Debug Info. Information about the problem appears, including its location.
  5. To copy the location of the problem, select the entire value after location =, right click, and then select Copy.

To close the Staff Debug viewer, click on the browser page outside of the viewer.