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What’s up with the “Incomplete” grade in the Gradebook?

October 15, 2011

If you’re new to our gradebook, you may notice something strange. What’s up with the “I”s? Why do some students have a final grade, and some don’t? Here’s an example of what your gradebook might look like (Notice the “I”s on the far right column):

Subject Gradebook with Incomplete Final Grades

Subject Gradebook with Incomplete Final Grades

In this example, we’ve configure the final grade to consist of 60% Assignments and 40% Tests. If you click on “(Formula for final grade)”, the calculation might look something like this:

Calculation of Final Grade with Weighted Categories

Calculation of Final Grade with Weighted Categories

The calculation will display an “I”, which stands for “Incomplete”, if it’s unable to calculate a final grade, because one or more of its weighted components is missing marks.

So here’s the test: Gavin Parker received 100% for Assignments but has not been graded for Tests yet. What should his final grade be? The system displays an “I” because it doesn’t know how to treat the missing 40% for Tests.

So what are my options? How do I get a final grade to appear?

OPTION 1: Edit the calculation

You can edit the calculation and exclude “Tests”, making “Assignments” count as 100% of the final grade. However, this would affect all students. And Felicity Bradshaw (from the example above), who does not have any assignments, will continue to have an “I”.

OPTION 2: Enter “provisional” marks for the missing category

You can enter marks into the empty Test column. If you give Gavin a zero, his final grade will be 60%. If you gave him a provisional 50%, his final grade would be 80%.

Unfortunately, there is no other workaround at this time. Many schools we’ve talked to like it this way. We could simply work on explaining why a student received an “I”, citing the reasons above.

Can we change how it works?

QuickSchools is always looking to improve based on feedback and demand from schools. If you feel a calculation should be displayed for Gavin, despite the missing category, please let us know. We’d love to hear your feedback. And if there’s enough demand, our engineers will build in a solution.

How should Gavin’s final grade be calculated in the absence of any Test scores?

  • Continue to display “I” for “Incomplete”
  • Remove the missing weight automatically, and display 100% (based on Assignments only in this case)
  • Treat the missing category as zero, making the final grade 60%
  • Give the missing category a provisional score of 50%, making the final grade 80%
  • Do something else entirely?

Come talk to us 🙂

5 Comments leave one →
  1. permalink
    October 18, 2011 11:06 am

    Provisional grades nor “I” grades are sufficient. When you have students that are not required to complete certain assignments due to IEP’s on varying assignment or when all students are not required to complete certain assignments for whatever reasons. Also, entering provisional grades requires more unnecessary effort on the part of the teacher, calculating what score to enter so that the grade still reflects student performance. Taking the time to calculate the grade to enter to ensure that the final grade is close to the actual student performance grade is quite a bit of extra work. Any “provisional” grade entered is not a true reflection of student performance.

    Parents are always uncomfortable with “I” grades, even at progress report time. “I” grades are never a sufficient response to student work or achievement. Parents need to have real time access to student grades and student performance. If a “provisional” grade is entered and a parent or student sees the grade there is the chance that they will automatically assume that that grade is an actual grade for that work.

  2. October 18, 2011 11:31 pm

    Hi Makeesha,

    Thank you for your comments, and for your continued support.

    We have actually received a lot of similar feedback from schools via email and chat. It seems that the best way forward is to remove the missing weight/category and renormalize to 100%. So in the case above, Gavin’s grade would be 100% (based solely on Assignments in the absence of Tests).

    We have submitted this enhancement request to our engineering team, and we’ll keep you guys informed of when a solution is released.

  3. Maria permalink
    October 19, 2011 1:06 am

    If a student has an excused absence for an assignment or test, then an E should be able to be used in lieu of a grade. If I give a zero that equals an F which is not correct, and to give a grade for an assignment not completed would not be ok (what grade would I give!!). This is an issue I wish could be corrected.

  4. November 1, 2011 5:10 am

    We’ve update the Gradebook module, and you can now configure the Gradebook so that it re-normalizes the calculation. See:


  1. Say goodbye to Gradebook Incompletes « Blog

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