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Determining a Single Grade from Multiple and Varied Scoring Tools

download_pdf_smThe CLI E-Hint, Turning a Rubric into a Grade, discussed a method of creating a rubric to change a rubric score on a single assessment into a numeric score.  In this E-Hint, we will go a step further and provide a sample of how to change markings from multiple scoring tools and techniques to a single grade for an entire outcome.

For this sample we are using a client district’s actual definitions for student performance ratings approved for use in reporting on report cards.


3 –Student has met criteria for all parts of the component/outcome

2 –Positive progress has been made toward meeting criteria for component/outcome but the component/outcome has not been met

1 –Does not meet the criteria for the component/outcome and progress is not satisfactory

X –Component/outcome not assessed during this grading period


Step 1.  Using the criteria above, assign a 3, 2, or 1 to each assessed target (component or total outcome) for the grading period.


In the chart below, three students’ scores on given assessments are recorded.

  • The first column is the identification of the outcome or component being assessed.
  • The second column describes the criterion that has been established as the acceptable level of performance on that assessment.
  • The student scores columns represent student performance.  If more than one score appears in that column, this represents repeated attempts by the student.  For instance, on the Outcome assessment Student C scored a 30 on the first attempt, a 32 on the second attempt, and a 34 on the third attempt.


Step 2.  Use the following rubric to determine a single numeric grade.


Using this rubric for converting the multiple scores to a single numeric grade, Student A would receive a numeric score of 85, Student B would receive a score of 95, and Student C would receive a score of 55.  If a district has determined a grading scale for letter grades, the letter grade could easily be determined.


Obviously, this is just a sample.  It is a starting point for discussion of how a rating scale can be turned into a numeric grade without “averaging averages.”  This system does not require all components to have the same criteria for success or even a specified minimum.  It also does not require that a numeric score be identified for every assessment.  Students may have scores from a wide variety of assessment types including rubric ratings, raw points, or percentages, but as long as there is a criterion for each assessment, a total numeric score can be determined.  If the grading policy of the district requires a single grade for the entire subject (rather than for separate outcomes), this process could go one step further and describe the performance required on each outcome to achieve the subject grade.