Calculation of grades

  1. How does EdX calculate grades for Open Response Assignments?
    e.g. we have an ORA which needs to be graded by instructor. We formulated rubrics for two criteria, each of them is graded separately. Does EdX by default calculate the total grade of that assignment as an average of the to two grades for the two criteria, or as a sum, or…?
  2. sometimes, rubrics are set up in such a way that it only roughly distinguishes between categories such as poor, almost there, just sufficient, outstanding or whatever. To each of these categories then a grade is attached. But what about the situation, that the instructor wants to give a more refined grade (e.g. somewhere between “just sufficient” and “outstanding”) how can the instructor then enter such a grade which is between the pre-given rubric grades? or to put it differently, how can the instructor overrule the grades of the pre-given rubrics?
  3. Related to this issue is the question if one can give “weights” to the different criteria?
  4. Furthermore, I wonder if it also possible to set up an assignment without rubrics, and just with an open field in which the instructor can manually enter a grade instead of choosing from pre-set rubrics?

You notice that these questions are related to some didactical “second thoughts” about rubrics. Rubrics are very fashionable in didactics nowadays, but experience shows that you often cannot catch each possible answer in pregiven rubrics. Rubrics are an attempt to objectify the sometimes unobjectifiable and even with rubrics (which indeed can sometimes be very helpful) in the end there is always a subjective judgement. If we really want to make every judgment “objective” one would also need to objectify how the instructor judges that a certain option of a rublic is applicable, or to put it in other words, one would need rubrics for applying rubrics, etc. and that is an endless regress… So I think in the end there is always a professional and well informed subjective judgement…

Hi @ernste,

It depends on the ORA setup:

  • If staff assessment step is enabled, the final grade only depends of the staff grade.
  • If peer assessment step is enabled and staff isn’t, the grade is determined by the median of the scores.
  • Finally, when only self assessment is enabled, that will be the final grade.

The latest ORA versions (master branch/ have a grade explanation message.

On Studio, you can set up rubrics with any (discrete) values you’d like, and set custom labels for each.
You can use the “Rubrics” tab do to that.

You can give different maximum weights for each criterion by changing the weight of each rubric option.

No, as per the documentation, rubrics are required for ORA problems.
You can look at other blocks that allow loose grading, like the staff graded assessment block (