Frequently Asked Question

Gradebook - "Exclude Empty Grades" Explained
Last Updated 10 days ago

In every Beacon Learning course gradebook there is a tiny checkbox in the settings that often goes unnoticed. In each folder including the parent folder (main course), you can edit these settings and find this checkbox. There are pros and cons to this, but as long as the professor and student are clear on how they are being graded, you should be good to go.

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Exclude Empty Grades (checked)
Pros:
- Future assignments don't count against students (example: second half of the term assignments aren't factored in at midterms)
- Students don't begin a class with 0% which may be startling as their paradigm is usually starting with 100%

Cons:
- If an assignment is done late, you must enter it in as a 0 or it won't affect a student's overall grade, which is very deceiving (ALL empty grades MUST be entered as 0 for score to update)
- Every assignment entered can have a very big impact on the overall score, which can result in a student's overall score going from 100% to 50% and could leave a student without hope for improvement
- After entering a 0 as a manual override in the gradebook, your in-activity grading will not work until you remove the override (you can use the single view tab for this)

Include Empty Grades (unchecked)
Pros:
- Similar to a gamification theory, students start from 0 and can only increase their score (aka every assignment turned in will positively affect their overall grade)
- There is some positive psychology behind this method because students can always increase their score by doing more
- You do not need to give 0s for late assignments

Cons:
- At midterms, it may appear that all students are failing which is not an accurate representation of the student's performance in a course
- It can be startling to students to see a 0% at the beginning of the term, but if explained clearly upfront can be a nonissue

Up to date for Moodle 3.7 (current version)

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