Grades – UPDATED

Updates for the New World

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

  • Be fair as possible to all students
  • Allow at least as many retakes as were previously planned
  • Simplify and reduce stress as much as possible
  • Support students that need to work asynchronously and have limited time/focus

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.

My recommendation is to not make any choice about this right now. The deadline for activating this 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. However, if you are considering switching to credit/no-credit in any course then you should make an appointment with your academic advisor to talk about implications for your major, degree, or financial aid.

Simplified Grading Checklist

The old grading checklist is now replaced with the simpler one below. Notice that Paper Problems, Engagement Points, and Section 8.1 have been removed, and the two Chapter 7 WebAssign homeworks have been expanded to five assignments, one for each section we are covering in Chapter 7.


Course Grades

Considering the new simplified grading scheme, you now have an opportunity to earn up to 75 points this semester. What you earn translates into the grades listed below. Plus/minus grades will be given for point totals slightly above/below these cutoffs.

I reserve the right to adjust these levels as appropriate, as things change over time during the transition to online learning, as we work out any issues with Canvas quizzes, and with events in the nation and the world.

A  = 95%  = earn 71 points
B  = 85%  = earn 63 points
C  = 75%  = earn 56 points
D  = 60%  = earn 45 points

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, plus more retake opportunities during the final exam. 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

Updated rules for Retakes

As of now, the plan is for all Retakes to take place within Canvas. I’ve increased the total number of retakes that are available to you, but placed restrictions on how they can be used. Specifically, you will take exactly one retake for each section in Chapter 7, each during the week that the section is assigned. You will still have an opportunity to retake previous quizzes, but only four of those retakes will be avaialble (with exceptions for those few students that have outstanding make-up retakes or missed tests to deal with; see me separately if you are in that situation). The final exam will still have six retake opportunities.

  • 5 Retake opportunities happened before the transition
  • 5 Retake opportunities are available for Chapter 7 (one per section, a week at a time)
  • 4 Retake opportunities of your choice will be available for Chapters 4-6 (details TBA)
  • 6 Retake opportunities of your choice will be available on the Final Exam 

Rubric for WebAssign Warmups 

These online assignments will be graded for completeness. You can submit answers as many times as you like. 

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 the below for grade information.