FAQs About Final Semester Grades

 

Where do I find my grade?

ANSWER: Go to our class website (listed on your syllabus) and look for the "grades" link on the left-hand side of the page.  Click on that, and it will allow you to download an Excel spreadsheet of our class grades.

 

OK, I clicked on the link, and you said grades were updated, but it doesn't look like you posted the final yet.  When are you going to post it?

ANSWER: If I've expressed that grades were updated, then probably what is going on is that you need to refresh the page.  Go back to our class site, click refresh, and then click on the link again.

 

I followed all the directions above, but I still can't find my grade.  Where is it?

ANSWER: First look at the bottom of the spreadsheet and check to see if there are multiple tabs. (If you do not see tabs, click the full-screen icon in the top right of the spread-sheet and then look again.) The tab for your class will either have your class number (i.e. 70 or 101 or 105) or the start time for your class.  Once you are sure you are on the right page look for the nickname you gave me at the beginning of the semester; I list grades by student-chosen nicknames rather than names or w-numbers in order to preserve your privacy.  If you don't remember what nickname you gave me, look at the test scores listed in each row and see if you can match up the set of test scores with what you remember getting on all your tests; this should indicate that you are looking at the right row.  If you did not give me a nickname at the beginning of the semester look at the bottom few rows (items starting with Z, ZZ or ZZZ), and see if you can sleuth out which row is yours.  If, after all four of these things, you still cannot find your grade, please email me with high priority and put "FIND GRADE" in the subject line of your email.

 

I turned in all the assignments, but now there are some blank spots in the grade book for me.  What happened?

ANSWER: Are you taking a class in which I said I would drop your lowest grade or grades in a certain category?  (If you aren't sure, check your syllabus.)  If you are in such a class, then those empty spots are the low grades I dropped.  If that doesn't make sense with regard to the class you are in, please see the Q&A near the bottom of this page regarding what to do about an actual error.

 

I got a 69 (or 79 or 89); I'm SO CLOSE to the next letter grade.  Would you please double-check my grade?

ANSWER: Please know that if you earned a 58% or 59% or 68% or 69% or 78% or 79% or 88% or 89% - in other words any sort of borderline grade - that I already have reviewed very, very, VERY carefully all of the scores I entered for you - not only that, but I also took a second AND THIRD look at my grading of your final exam (every. single. question.) to make absolutely sure I had awarded you all the points I possibly could.  I do understand how important grades are (for GPA, for transfer, for sports eligibility, for moving forward with your goals, etc.), so please know I already have double-checked very carefully because those issues are important to me for you!

 

I got a 69 (or 79 or 89); I'm SO CLOSE to the next letter grade.  Can't you just GIVE me 1% more?

ANSWER: I only record scores; I do not "give" them.  The syllabus I gave you at the beginning of the semester that explained grading policies for this class is my contract with you as well as with all of your classmates.  It would be unfair and unethical for me to break that contract by randomly giving some people a higher percentage.  Because of the fact that I realize I am not perfect (because I am human!), and because I realize there is a good chance you had one or more bad days during the semester (because you are human!) I accounted for that in one or more ways - either I offered extra credit OR I dropped one or more of your lowest scores OR I replaced a missing test grade (or your lowest test grade) with your percentage on your final exam.  So whatever grade you are seeing in the grade-book has already had some "cushion" built in ("cushion" that was available equally to everyone in the class).  This consideration I am able to support as being reasonable, just, and fair to all.  Because this has been done your grade is ALREADY at least a percent or two higher than you would have earned without this consideration - so if your grade seems borderline it actually really isn't technically QUITE as "close" as you think it is to that next letter grade.

 

It looks like I got an A on my final exam; why is my overall grade so low?

ANSWER: Please double-check your syllabus.  If your exam was worth 200 points, then what you are seeing in the grade-book represents points out of 200 and not a percentage.  If this is the case, then a score of 90 points is actually equal to a 45% on the final.  It would take a score of 179 to 200 for the final exam grade to be an A.  This only applies to classes for whom the final is worth 200 points.  If you think I made an actual error in determining your grade based on what you see entered for your final, please read the question and answer below to see how to handle that.

 

But, even after reading and understanding all of the Q&As above, I really do think you made an actual error in recording some of my scores.  What can I do?

ANSWER: If I made a true mistake I certainly want to know about it as soon as possible!  Please email me with a high priority setting and with the word "ERROR" in the subject line, and tell me SPECIFICALLY what the error was.  Be sure to have the assignment, quiz, test, etc. available for me to look at in order to justify the change.  If an error was made I would be more than happy to fix it, and I would like to do so as quickly as possible!

 

I got a 79.4%, and I noticed another student got a 79.5%.  I got a C, but that person got a B.  Why?

ANSWER: I round grades to the nearest whole number percent.  A 79.5% rounds up to an 80%.  A 79.4% remains a 79%.  This is the standard mathematical method for rounding.  The line has to be drawn somewhere otherwise pretty soon a 79.4% is a B, but then so is a 79% (because it's so close to a 79.4%) and then so is a 78% (because it's so close to a 79%) and so is a 77% (because it's so close to a 78%) and so on, and that's just unsupportable.  Please know that if you earned a 79.4% (or 69.2% or some other borderline grade) that I double and triple checked the grades I entered for you before I ever posted them and before you ever asked me to do so (and that some "cushion" has already been granted - as noted in the sixth Q&A on this page).  It would be unjust and inappropriate for me to randomly change anyone's letter grade, but if you feel I have made a true error in entry or calculation please read the answer to the question just above this one in order to find out what to do.

 

PLEASE NOTE: It is always my desire that my students be successful!  It makes me truly amazingly happy (for my sake and for yours) when I get to enter passing grades!  And it truly makes me sad when it hasn't been a successful semester for you.  And because I really do care I actually spend 2 to 3 hours double-checking EVERYTHING even after I have finished all the grading and entering all the grades in my grade-book before I post any results online.  Please know that I truly do wish you all the best!