The short answer:

The simplest approach to figuring out your grade in the course is to use the grading template spreadsheet I make available on Blackboard. Enter your grades into the template and it will calculate your course grade in the same way that I do. It is programmed to be able to show you your standing at any point in the semester.

If you want more details:

First, refer to the “Grading Scale” and “Components of your final grade” subsections of Section 5 the syllabus where I explain how many points each item you turn in for credit is worth and the total points you may earn over the semester.

On the Blackboard site you should be able to see how many points you have earned from the assignments, labs, exams we’ve done so far, as well as how many points each of those is worth and the class average for that item.

To figure out your percentage of points earned in the course so far, simply divide the total points you’ve earned by the total points possible and multiply by 100%:

*It’s just a little more complicated than that…*

__Extra Credit__

You’ll notice that there is an option for 15 points of extra credit built into the grades page on Blackboard. However, these extra credit points need to be handled in a special way because it should not count against you if you have not earned the full 15 (or even if you have earned none at all!) The extra credit points should be included in **your** point total (numerator of the fraction above), but **not** in the total points possible (denominator of the fraction above). This means they can only help you.

__End of Semester__

At the end of the semester, after the final observation and Summary Questions for the Observing Project have been graded and posted, I will post your course point total in a column on Blackboard.

__This total might be different than a straight sum of all your Blackboard points__,

for two possible reasons:

- The Blackboard total does not drop your lowest lab score, which you must do. (This is not an issue if your lowest lab score is a zero.)
- The Blackboard total includes all possible Participation & Engagement (P-E) points, which over the course of the semester is a number greater than 100. This allowed students to miss 1-2 days and have no real penalty on these points. But the maximum possible toward your final grade is only 100, as outlined on the syllabus.(This is not an issue if you have fewer than 100 P-E points.)

For these same reasons, at the end of the semester, you should not pay attention to the total number of __possible points__ given by Blackboard either. The total number of points possible in the course, after dropping lowest exam and lab scores and including only 100 (of the more than 100 possible) P-E points, is 940. So the grading scale with all the point totals on the syllabus is figured as a fraction of that total.

I hope this is helpful for you. Come see me, or call, or e-mail if you have questions about anything on this page.