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Quality Matters standard 3.2 states “The course grading policy is stated clearly at the beginning of the course.” The grading policy is typically located in the course syllabus. This policy should be clear and explain how the students’ grades will be calculated. In this article are some tips for clearly communicating your grading policy to students.

  1. List every assignment or activity type that will be included in the calculation of the final grade and how the final grades will be calculated. The two most common methods are to weight grades by category (discussions, quizzes, etc.) or calculate the total based on the total number of points earned out of the total points possible. One way to communicate this is through a chart that outlines the point or percentage value for each graded activity or assignment type. You can also include the point or percentage value in the description of the activity or assignment type.

    Assignments & Activities


    Discussions (10 discussions)


    Quizzes (10 quizzes)


    Reflection Paper


    Group Project


    Midterm Exam


    Final Exam




  2. Note if any grades in a category will be dropped. For example, “There are 10 quizzes in this course. The lowest quiz grade will be dropped.”
  3. State how the final grade will be determined. Include the point or percentage range that correlates with each letter grade. Below are two examples:
    1. The following scale will be used to determine final grades.
      A = 100-90% B = 80-89% C = 70-79% D = 60-69% F = < 60%
    2. The following scale will be used to determine final grades.
      A = 2000-1800 points B = 1600-1799 points C = 1400-1599 points D = 1200-1399 points F = 0-1199 points
  4. Provide a rounding policy to tell students if assignment grades and/or the final grade will be rounded up to the next grade. For example, “Grades for individual assignments will not be rounded. Final grades will be rounded up from .45.”
  5. Include a late assignment policy to specify if late submissions will be accepted. If you do accept late submissions, state if there is a penalty, how the penalty is calculated, and if there is a limit on how many days the assignment can be submitted. For example: Late assignments will be penalized 10% for each day late.

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