Group Weighted Grading

Scholaric offers two group-weighted grade formulas:

  • Group-point weighted - a grade is calculated from a set of weighted lesson groups,  which themselves will be graded by a point-weighted formula.
  • Group-equal weighted - a grade is calculated from a set of weighted lesson groups,  which themselves will be graded by an equal-weighted formula. 

In short, each group is scored, and the grade is a weighted average of the groups.  The difference between the two is how the score for the group is calculated.  

For example, for Astronomy, you may specify these groups:

  • lessons: 30%
  • tests: 50%
  • observations 20%.

Group-Weighted Grading Terms

Below, the following terms are used:

  • Group-weighted Grade Type is a grade type which uses group-weighted grading.
  • Lesson Group is a name given to a group of lessons which will be graded as a whole and assigned a weight.
  • Weight is the value that a group is given, determining how much of an impact a group has on the final score.

Setup of Groups and Weights

These group-weighted grade types require an extra step of setup - defining the lesson groups for a course and their respective weights. This can be done for any course using either group-point weighted or group-equal weighted grade types.  First, you must make the course use that grade type:

Note that a menu to change grade type now appears on the course menu in the planning grid. Once the course uses a group-weighted grade type, the menu changes, allowing you to edit the group weights:

The report card has this capability as well, but in either case, the course must have a group-weighted grade type.

Clicking on this brings up a new dialog:

The dialog shows all of the groups you have created, and creates one named Lessons if you have not created any.  For each group, you must supply a name, a weight, and indicate if it is the default group.

The weights must add up to 100%, or the displayed total will turn red and updates will be disallowed.  The picture also has a red weight for the default group, because the default group cannot have a zero weight.

To set the weight of existing groups, just enter the weight.  To add a new group, like Observations in the example, click the Add Group button.

With all groups weighted correctly, the last thing to do is select a proper default group.  With all this done, click the Update button.

Deleting a weight

When editing existing weights, the Delete button is enabled.  Clicking this resets the group's weight value to zero.  The weight will be deleted on the next update.

If there are no other courses using that group, and no lessons referencing the group, the group is deleted as well.

Assigning a Group to a Lesson

With the group weights set up, you can assign lessons to their groups.  For a group weighted course only, the lesson dialog shows a group field:

The selection control displays only the groups which have a weight for the course in the current period.  Scholaric automatically selects the group you labeled as default for this course.

Happy Planning

    One Millionth Lesson Giveaway

    Scholaric is nearing one million planned lessons for homeschoolers:

    To celebrate, I'm giving away one year free subscription to Scholaric.

    To enter, you must:

    • Create a lesson on the day Scholaric hits 1,000,000 lessons - you don't have to create the actual 1,000,000th lesson.  No matter how many lessons you create, this gives you one entry.

    Note that you can be an exiting customer, or sign up for a new trial.  No purchase is necessary.

    To get up to two additional entries, you can:

    • Between now and the 1,000,000th day, promote giveaway on Twitter with this tweet and add a comment below.
    • Between now and the 1,000,000th day, promote on Facebook with this update (coming soon) and add a comment below.

    Winner will be picked at random, and any funny business will get you disqualified.  My decision is final of course.

    Happy Planning, and thanks for the help in getting to a million!

    Course Menu Update for Grading

    The coming release of group-weighted grading will have an updated course menu - adding the ability to change the grade type.  Here you can see the additional grade types:

    Previously, the only place you could change a grade type was in the report card, which only was available if there were completed lessons.

    Happy Planning

    Scholaric 2012 in Review

    The Good
    The Bad
    • Two of the three major development efforts (transcripts and group-weighted grading) did not get released.
    • More videos were a goal, and I created a total of 1 new video.
    • Fell short of my goal of 1,000,000 lessons planned.
    • Marketing page still needs to be redone.
    The Ugly
    • Major outage of Scholaric (along with half the internet) - part of an Amazon web services outage.
    • Blog became slow to process to new posts, and went completely down for a few days.
    • Payment system was unavailable for 2 days in December.
    I am excited about the coming year - there are so many ways in which Scholaric can and will be better, and I can't wait to get them to you.

    Happy Planning

    Scholaric Maintenance Tonight

    I will need to take down Scholaric tonight for some maintenance.

    There is a critical Security in the software Scholaric is built upon.  Ordinarily, releases do not make Scholaric unavailable, but this time, it must.  I apologize for the down time during this busy planning season, but this is a critical patch.

    I expect this to start at approximately 9:00 PM Central Time, and last less than an hour.

    Enumerated Sequences

    Sometimes you have a sequence of lessons which don't fit any regular pattern.

    Our Jacob's Algebra textbook is divided into chapters, each of which are divided into a different number of lessons.  Chapter 1 has 9 lessons, chapter 2 has 6 lessons, chapter 3 has 7 lessons, chapter 4 has 5 lessons, chapter 5 has 8 lessons, and so on.

    Of course, you could use nested sequences to express two different incrementing ranges.  But in this case, its not quite right.  The second (inner) sequence has a different range, depending on the first (outer) value, and you'd have to do a great deal of editing and bumping after creation.

    You could also create the lessons one chapter at a time.  That would work, but is not the user experience I am looking for.

    Enumerated Sequences

    Enumerated sequences express explicitly the start and end values to use in multiple ranges.  They are designed for the case above, where there are different values in each range.

    You can express an enumeration by following your range with a comma ',' followed by another range, (which can be followed by another comma, and another range...)

    The result is the series that we want, all in one swift click:

    Chapter 1 Lesson 1
    Chapter 1 Lesson 2
    Chapter 1 Lesson 3
    Chapter 1 Lesson 4
    Chapter 1 Lesson 5
    Chapter 1 Lesson 6
    Chapter 1 Lesson 7
    Chapter 1 Lesson 8
    Chapter 1 Lesson 9
    Chapter 2 Lesson 1
    Chapter 2 Lesson 2
    Chapter 2 Lesson 3
    Chapter 2 Lesson 4
    Chapter 2 Lesson 5
    Chapter 2 Lesson 6
    Chapter 3 Lesson 1
    Chapter 3 Lesson 2
    Chapter 3 Lesson 3
    Chapter 3 Lesson 4
    Chapter 3 Lesson 5
    Chapter 3 Lesson 6
    Chapter 3 Lesson 7

    Chapter 4 Lesson 1
    Chapter 4 Lesson 2
    Chapter 4 Lesson 3
    Chapter 4 Lesson 4
    Chapter 4 Lesson 5

    Chapter 5 Lesson 1
    Chapter 5 Lesson 2
    Chapter 5 Lesson 3
    Chapter 5 Lesson 4
    Chapter 5 Lesson 5
    Chapter 5 Lesson 6
    Chapter 5 Lesson 7
    Chapter 5 Lesson 8

    Note that if I did not provide enough lesson enumerations for all my chapters, Scholaric would repeat the last one to fill out the remaining chapters.

    Happy Planning

    Splitting and Grouping Lesson Sequences

    I have just released Scholaric with a new lesson planning feature that I call splitting and grouping.

    Previously, all lesson sequences incremented by a single value, for each day it was scheduled.

    Now with split and grouped sequences, we can alter this behavior where desired.

    Splitting a Sequence

    Lessons in a sequence can be split or divided, across multiple days, so that the same lesson appears for multiple scheduled days.  You might use this if you want, for example, a chapter of your book for a whole week.

    A split sequence is the equivalent of creating a sequence with one value for a number of days, then the next value for the next few days, and then the next value for the next few days...

    Split sequences are indicated by following the range with a slash '/' and the number of days to split the lesson across.


    The above split sequence generates lessons with the following pattern:

    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 1
    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 1
    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 2
    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 2
    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 3
    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 3
    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 4
    Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 4

    and would result in 2 chapters a week, since the student has it assigned 4 days per week.

    Grouping a Sequence

    While splitting uses the same values in a range multiple times, grouping does the opposite - specifying multiple values from the range show up in a single day.  A group is useful to, for example, assign a certain number of pages from a range each day.

    A grouped sequence is the equivalent of entering a literal range each day, with each new range starting after the previous range ended.

    Grouped sequences are indicated by following the range with an asterisk '*' and the number of values from the range to include in each group.

    The above grouped sequence generates lessons with the following pattern:

    War and Peace Pages 7-16
    War and Peace Pages 17-26
    War and Peace Pages 27-36
    War and Peace Pages 37-46
    War and Peace Pages 47-56

    and would result in 30 pages per week, since the student has it assigned 3 days per week.

    Note that the range 7-100 does not divide evenly into sets of 10.  Scholaric detects this, and makes the final range smaller.  In this case it is 97-100.

    Happy Planning