Configure Aggregation Method in the Gradebook

The CLE uses the term “aggregation” to refer to the methods used to combine a given set of multiple scores into a single score. The default is the Natural Aggregation that can function as Sum of grade, mean of grades, weighted mean of grades,  with or without extra credit, depending on instructor needs. We do not recommend deviating from the default (Natural) aggregation. However, there are many other different ways to aggregate a set of scores, and different aggregation methods may be useful in different contexts, or even in the same course.

To configure how grades are calculated, you will first need to choose an aggregation method in the Category Settings. Once applied, aggregation methods will calculate the course total and subtotals for categories.

Please follow the steps below or contact the Learning Technology Group at Learningtech@ucsf.edu for further assistance.

Configure category aggregation Configure course aggregation
  1. On the Gradebook Setup (Grades>Setup>Gradebook setup) page, locate the row that contains the title of the category. 

  2. Click Edit In the Actions column (at right). The edit category page will open.  

    Category-Edit.png

  3. Under the Grade category section, select a calculation method from the Aggregation drop-down menu.

     

    Aggregation.png

    • Mean of Grades

      Method:

      • Calculates the average of all grade items in the category (the sum of all grades divided by the number of grade items).
      • If items in the category have point values different from the Max Grade of the category, grades will be adjusted proportionately. 
      • Does not allow grade items to be marked as Extra Credit.
      • Allows categories to use Drop the lowest.

      Best Use:

      • To find the average percentage of multiple items.
    • Weighted Mean Of Grades

      Method:

      • Each graded item is assigned a value (Weight) used to determine its relative importance in the overall calculation. Items with higher values will count more toward the final average. The weight does not need to be the same as the possible points for an item. If an item has a weight of "0," that item will not be calculated in the total.
      • If items in the category have point values different from the Max Grade of the category, grades will be adjusted proportionately.
      • Does not allow grade items to be marked as Extra Credit.
      • Allows categories to use Drop the lowest.

      Best Use:

      • To work with items or categories that are each worth a different percentage of the final grade. If using this method to compute the course total, we suggest weights add up to 100.
    • Simple Weighted Mean of Grades

      Method:

      • When the "Simple weighted mean" aggregation strategy is used, a grade item can act as Extra credit for the category.
      • The grade item's maximum grade will not be added to the category total's maximum grade

      Best Use:

      • An easy and straightforward way of displaying percentage-based grades in real-time.
    • Mean of Grades

      Method:

      • Calculates the average of all grade items in the category (the sum of all grades divided by the number of grade items).
      • If items in the category have point values different from the Max Grade of the category, grades will be adjusted proportionately. 
      • Does not allow grade items to be marked as Extra Credit.
      • Allows categories to use Drop the lowest.

      Best Use:

      • To find the average percentage of multiple items.
    • Natural

      Method:

      • Finds the sum of points for all items in the category.
      • Allows grade items to be marked as Extra Credit.
      • Allows categories to use Drop the lowest when specific criteria are met. 

      Best Use:

        • To see the total number of points a student has earned out of the total points possible. A category total can be changed to display a percentage of points earned instead of the real numerical points.
      To learn about other aggregation methods or look for contextualized examples of the aggregation, please check out the Grade Aggregation.
  4. Configure other settings for the category as needed. To learn more about the category setting, please check out grade category settings.
  5. At the bottom of the page, click Save changes. The grade book will automatically recalculate the subtotals for categories based on the aggregation method selected, and the course total based on the default (Natural) aggregation method.  

    Re-calculate_grade.png

  6. Click Continue to go back to the gradebook setup page.
You can repeat this process to configure the aggregation method for other categories. Notice that you are not restricted to use the same aggregation method for all the categories. If needed, choose different aggregation methods for different categories.

Have more questions? Contact us