Weights are complicated, but they give you a lot of control over your gradebook. If you're someone who wants precise control over student scores, it's probably worth taking some time to learn the details about how they work. Here's the low-down:
- Unless you or your school has set up Custom Assessment Types, every assessment is created with a default weight of 1. This means that, for a given standard with multiple aligned assessments, all assessments are equal when calculating the mastery for that student (if you are using the weighted average calculation type). Other calculation methods may handle assessment weights differently, with more information available here.
- If, from the baseline of a weight of 1, you change one assessment's weight to a 2, this means that this assessment is now "worth" twice a much as the assessments with a weight of 1. (same goes for a weight of 5, or 10, or etc).
- You can assign weights by dragging the slider or by typing in the box. Decimals are okay, including decimals below 1 (such as 0.5).
- A weight of 0 (zero) tells JumpRope not to count the assessment at all in the overall score (though the scores will still be visible in reports). It can be useful to track formative assessments.
- You can change assessment weights at any time, even after you have entered scores for an assessment. The result will apply immediately (you'll just have to refresh a mastery report), so you can effectively "play" with weights to see how they affect student scores.
- Be default, assessment weights also contribute to the weight of standards. Since not all standards are created equally (some may be more important than others, and it's important to represent this in our mastery reports and calculations), JumpRope uses the following system to determine the weight of a standard with respect to other standards:
- The weight of a standard is determined by adding up the weights of the underlying assessments. For example, if a standard is assessed five times by assessments with a weight of 1 and once by an assessment with a weight of 3, that standard will carry a weight of 8. Other standard weights will be calculated this way as well, and then the unit and/or course grade is thus a weighted average of the scores on the underlying standards.
- Optionally if enabled by the school, users can override the weight of a standard in the advanced options for standards in step 2 of the planning tool. This will simply override the automatically calculated weight for the standard. If you plan to override the weight of a standard, we recommend overriding the weight for ALL standards because otherwise it will hard to keep things "in balance" as you add or change assessment weights (for any standard for which the weight is not overridden, even in the same unit, it will still "bubble up" the weight from the weights of the underlying assessments).
- If your account uses the "percent passed" feature of JumpRope (in theory, you should know who you are), all standards are treated equally and there's nothing you can do about it.
- The thinking behind standard weights "bubbling up" the weights of assessments is as follows:
- Not everybody wants to spend the time or mental effort manually determining standard weights, but most people would intuitively say that not all standards should count equally in the grade.
- If a standard is assessed often, it is a decent indicator that the standard is more important (lots of class time was spent on it).
- If a standard is assessed by important assessments that have a high weight, it is a decent indicator that the standard is more important.
- Therefore, the sum of the weights of the underlying assessments (which increases as more assessments are added and as the weights of those assessments are increased) is a decent way to determine the desired weight of a standard without you having to think about it.
- Don't buy it? Override it.
- Many people have had success giving formative assessments a weight of 0.1, which allows it to carry some weight but be quickly "overwhelmed" when summative scores are eventually entered. This is better than a weight of zero because if a standard has only zero-weighted assessments, it will calculate as a U for un-rated (which can be confusing to students).
- When calculating mastery for a particular standards ,weights only matter if you are using the Weighted Average or the Decaying Average calculation type. However, weights still matter for the Power Law, Most Recent, Max Value, etc. when determining which standards carry the highest weight.
- Similarly, the weight of a unit (if you use units in your reporting template) is determined by the sum of the weights of the underlying standards. No override here (yet), so you'll have to use the assessment or standard weights to manipulate the unit weight if you must. Remember: units typically aren't a crucial component of mastery-based reports - assessments and standards are.
Did that answer your question? Or raise more questions?