Updates for the New World (new version April 9)

The class grading scheme has now been updated with the following goals in mind:

  • Be fair as possible to all students
  • Simplify and reduce stress as much as possible
  • Support students that need to work asynchronously and have limited time/focus
  • Learn the material from the course that is most essential

Your grade for the semester will be the average of your pre-COVID grade and your during-COVID grade, as described below. There are options for taking Credit / No Credit if you prefer, after you see your final letter grade (see the bottom of this page).

Pre-COVID Grades

You can earn up to three points for each Mastery Quiz, and up to three points for each WebAssign homework; a total of 45 points are available for the material we covered before spring break. Rubrics for these assignments are listed below. Your pre-COVID grade will be determined according to the following scale:

44-45 points = A
42-43 points = A-
40-41 points = B+
38-39 points = B
36-37 points = B-
34-35 points = C+
32-33 points = C
30-31 points = C-
28-29 points = D+
26-27 points = D
24-25 points = D-
below 24 points = F

If we had not transitioned to online learning, you might have been able to make up missed Paper Problem assignments, earn more Engagement Points, and earn more points by taking up to four Retakes of previous quizzes. Because it is no longer possible to do those things, I have made the following adjustments: (1) Paper Problems no longer count towards your grade; (2) Engagement Points no longer count towards your grade; and (3) I will assume that if you had taken four Retakes, that you would have earned a full 3 points on all of them – in other words I will take your four lowest pre-COVID quiz scores and turn them into 3’s.

Your pre-COVID grade on the scale above will be averaged with the during-COVID grades described below to make your final course grade.

During-COVID Grades

For the remainder of the course we will focus completely on the first five sections of Chapter 7. Each week we will cover one section and you will have one WebAssign homework and one Mastery Quiz, each worth 3 points. There will also be a WebAssign Review homework for Chapter 7.  Your final exam will be taken during the official final exam time for our section (8-10am Wednesday 5/6) and will focus only on the during-COVID material from Chapter 7 and the review homework. A total of 39 points are available for you to earn in the during-COVID half of the course.

Your during-COVID grade will be based on how many of the 39 points you can earn, according to a scale that is similar to the one above for the pre-COVID grades. Your final course grade will be based on the average of your pre-COVID and during-COVID grades.

Please, if you have any difficulties with deadlines, or finding the time to learn Calculus in the midst of a global pandemic, or health/financial issues, let me know. I can be very flexible with each of your needs to make sure that you can succeed in this course.

Rubric for Mastery Quizzes

Mastery Quizzes will be given throughout the semester, in bundles, as Chapter Tests. Quiz problems are randomized and based directly on the homework assignments. You will have a fixed number of retake opportunities during class time to retry a new, randomized copy of any Mastery Quiz you like (pre-COVID), and one Canvas retake per section of Chapter 7 (post-COVID). Only the highest score for each quiz will be kept. 

0 points = No questions correct (or not taken)
1 points = One question correct
2 points = Two questions correct
3 points = Three questions correct

Rubric for WebAssign Warmups 

These online assignments will be graded for completeness. You can submit answers as many times as you like. You have three chapter WebAssign homeworks (pre-COVID) and five section WebAssign homeworks from Chapter 7 (post-COVID).

0 points = Not completed by Chapter deadline
1 points = Half of the problems completed correctly
2 points = Almost all problems completed correctly
3 points = All problems completed correctly

A note on the Canvas Gradebook

Grades in this course will be computed according to the system described on this page. We will use the Canvas Gradebook only to keep track of quiz and homework scores. Averages or grade estimates from Canvas do not necessarily have anything to do with your grade in this course. Please consult only this page for grade information.

New JMU Credit / No-Credit Policy for Spring 2020

The university has implemented new policies for Spring 2020 the allow greater flexibility for taking courses on a credit/no-credit basis. You can see details at their official Credit/No-Credit Grade Options page.

The Calculus Committee in the JMU Department of Mathematics and Statistics developed the following general recommendations regarding switching calculus grades to Credit / No Credit:

Due to the special circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university is now allowing Credit / No Credit grades in a greater number of circumstances; see

The deadline for activating the Credit / No Credit option is 5:00pm on Monday, May 18 (no late requests will be accepted); note that this deadline is after you will have seen your final letter
grades. For now just do as best you can, and leave this decision to the end of the semester once you know your letter grade.

Recommendations based on final grade level:

  • Grades of C or above: Decide for yourself whether your transcript would be better off with your earned grade or with Credit (which does not count towards GPA).
  • Grades of C-: If you need to progress to another course with C- or above then you should take the grade. The university will count C- grades as No Credit if you activate that option.
  • Grades of D+/D/D-: Although these grades aren’t generally sufficient for prerequisites in future mathematics courses requiring calculus, you may need this credit for graduation or other purposes. In that case you may prefer to take the grade rather than No Credit. Talk to your advisor to determine what is best for you.
  • Grades of F: Switch to “No Credit” to help your GPA, if you can, and then repeat the course. Check with your advisor to make sure there are no implications for financial aid or other requirements.

DISCLAIMER: In all cases, the requirements of your major, minor, or financial aid situation may override these general recommendations. You should consult your major or minor advisor or the financial aid office if you have questions! The Office of Financial Aid provided information in the University’s COVID-19 response on whether switching to Credit / No Credit may impact this, or future, semesters; see