Grading Scales

Grading scales are the levels of student performance. This article will show you how to create and edit grading scales.

Monica Burke avatar
Written by Monica Burke
Updated over a week ago

What are grading scales?

Consider grading scales as the different levels a student can achieve on a standard.

There are six default grading scales already built into your Main Admin account. These six grading scales are also available in free accounts:

  1. A, B, C, D, F

  2. Always, Usually, Sometimes, Rarely, Never

  3. Exceeds, Meets, Approaching, Not at Standard

  4. Mastery, Near Mastery, Approaching Mastery, Not at Mastery

  5. Yes, No

  6. Points

When are grading scales used?

  • Creating Assessments: When assessments are created, a grading scale must be selected. This will determine how the questions on the assessment will be graded - will they be graded based on a standards-scale, or the points scale? It will also determine where in the gradebook the results from this assessment will populate. Results from standards-based assessments are found in the standards gradebook, while the results of points-based assessments are available in the assessments gradebook. Note: The grading scale for the assessment will be locked, but you can clone the assessment to change the grading scale from points to non-points and non-points to non-points.

  • Filtering the Gradebook: Particularly in the standards gradebook, the grading scales are located in a filter. In order to see the performance on a particular assessment, the correct grading scale must be selected in the filter. 

  • Standards Analytics : When running reports in Standards Analytics, you can filter your search by grading scales.

  • Report Cards : When running report cards, particularly standards-based report cards, you'll have to select the grading scale to use to run the reports.

Build the Scale

Grading scales are created in the Control Center of the main admin account. Once you are in the Control Center, select Create Scale (see below).

  • Step 1: Give your grading scale a name.

  • Step 2: Determine the levels of the scale and label them.

  • Step 3: Include optional descriptions with each level. 

  • Step 4: To add more levels, select the Add Label button. 

  • Step 5: Choose what colors you would like to represent the levels. If you don't choose colors, the default colors will remain.

  • Step 6: When you are finished, select Save & Exit.

Grade Level Visibility

Choose which grade levels have access to this grading scale (optional). 

  • By default, the grading scale will be accessible to all grade levels unless specifically adjusted. 

  • To adjust, select the text in the Visible To column. 

  • Select the X next to a grade level you do not want to have access to this grading scale.

Grading Scale Usage

  • Checking Creating Assessments means the teachers will have access to that grading scale when building assessments

  • Checking Viewing Data means the teachers will have access to that grading scale when filtering the Standards Gradebook.

  • If the Points scale is not enabled for viewing data, the Standards Gradebook will be the default gradebook view and the Assessments Gradebook will be the second tab.

Term Conversion 

  • Term conversions are used to determine the numeric range for each term on the scale. It is important to make sure these term conversions are set accurately, as any inconsistencies can cause miscalculations and result in the wrong performance levels being given.

  • For more detailed information on how to set term conversions, click HERE .

Total Grade Conversion

  • Total Grade Conversion shows a "total grade" for each student in each class within the standards gradebook. If total grade conversion is set up by the Main Admin, users will see the student's overall mastery on individual standards as well as the "total grade."

  • For more detailed information on how to set total grade conversions, click HERE .

Edit or Delete Grading Scales

Select the ellipsis to the right of the grading scale.

  • To edit the title, performance level names, or performance level descriptions, select Edit.

  • To edit the term conversion, select Term Conversion.

  • To delete the grading scale, select Delete.

Not in the ellipsis menu: To edit the grade level visibility, select the text in the Visible to column.

Otus Live Video

Click to see a video from our Otus Live series on how to set up Grading Scales in the Control Center.

FAQ and Troubleshooting

Click to see FAQ and troubleshooting details

If the wrong grading scale is used to create an assessment, can it be changed?

While you can't change the grading scale of an assessment draft, you CAN clone the assessment and change the grading scale of the new copy. You can convert the copy of a points based assessment to a non-points based grading scale, and a non-points based grading scale to a different non-points based grading scale. However, you can not convert the copy from a non-points based grading scale to a points-based grading scale.

Can the colors of the grading scale be changed?

The colors of the grading scale are unable to be changed for consistency purposes.

If I edit the grading scale title, proficiency level names, or descriptions, what happens to the data that has already been collected using that scale?

Nothing - the data will not be affected. The titles, names, and descriptions will automatically update in the users' account without affecting the data.

If I add a performance level to a grading scale, what happens to the data that has already been collected using that scale?

We recommend reaching out to your Otus Client Experience Partner or Otus Support to discuss, as adding a performance level may cause inconsistencies in the data that was previously collected using that scale.

If I delete a performance level from a grading scale, what happens to the data that has already been collected using that scale?

To delete a performance level, you will need to contact your Otus Client Experience Partner or Otus Support, as deleting a performance level can only be done through our development team.

What happens if a grading scale is deleted?

You can only delete a grading scale that doesn't have any data attached to it. If you want to delete a scale that has data attached, you will need to contact your Otus Client Experience Partner or Otus Support.

What is the maximum number of performance levels you can have in a single grading scale?

You can have up to 10 performance levels in a single grading scale.

If a grading scale is turned off, what happens to the assessments that were created and data that was gathered with that grading scale?

The assessments will still appear in drafts and can still be assigned, but the grades for those assessments will not appear in the gradebook until that particular grading scale is turned back on. As for data that has already been gathered with that scale, the same concept applies; turning the grading scale off will "hide" the data from view, but the data will reappear if the grading scale is turned back on.

Why can't a teacher see a grading scale that is assigned to their grade level?

It may be that the teacher doesn't have grade levels assigned to their classes. In order for a grading scale to be visible, classes much have a designated grade level. Click here for more information on editing the grade level in the Class Info section.

Are grading scale filters available in parent and student accounts?

Yes - parents and students can toggle between any available grading scales in the gradebook.

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