Sapling Learning > Instructor Grading Policies for Flash-based Activities

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Apr 14, 2017
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Settings panel with Edit Settings button highlightedThis help document covers the Grading Policies that govern how your assignments appear and how scores are computed. For other assignment settings, see the help article Editing Activities.

Several policy settings are available for each activity in your course. You can create custom policies to use in your course, or use one of the five built-in policy sets. You can see which policy set is active and change policy sets through the Settings panel in the Activity Editor (reached by clicking the name of an assignment). If you do not see the Settings panel, you may need to first close the library by clicking the book icon. To edit the policy for several assignments at once, use the Activities and Due Dates page.

Warning: Do not change assignment grading policies after students have already started taking the assignment. Existing work will not be regraded, while new work will be graded using the new policy. In fact, the policy menu will be disabled once students have started to prevent you from accidentally making this type of change.

Built-In Policy Sets

Five built-in policy sets are available.

  • Homework: The default policy for new activities is called Homework, and is what we recommend for standard homework assignments. This policy set gives students feedback for their incorrect answers, and allows them to see the solution when they've finished the question. This policy set also includes a built-in calculator and periodic table, and allows students to print assignments. Students are allowed unlimited attempts at Homework assignments, and lose 5% of the available points on each question for each incorrect attempt.
  • Homework (no periodic table): Same as above but removes the periodic table link from assignments. This is typically used for economics or non-science courses.
  • Practice: A few of your assignments may be set to Practice mode. Practice mode is identical to Homework mode, except there is no penalty for incorrect attempts. We recommend this policy for assignments that teach students how to use the system since some of those questions may instruct them to get things wrong.
  • Test: In Test mode, students do not receive any feedback while they take an assignment and they do not have a Check Answer button. They can move back and forth through the assignment, changing their answers as often as they like, but they do not receive any feedback or information about which questions are right or wrong until the due date passes. Students only receive credit in Test mode for their final answers, but all responses are saved.
  • Practice Test: Practice Tests are like tests, but students can submit the assignment when they finish to receive feedback immediately about their score.

Settings panel opened to reveal Policies menu options

Custom Policies

You can also define a custom policy set, by choosing Custom in the Policies menu, or simply by changing the displayed settings and clicking Save (you will then be prompted to give your new policy a name). Once you have created a custom policy, you can apply it to any future assignments simply by selecting it from the Policies menu. We recommend that you check with your Client Success Specialist before using this option to make sure you understand how these policies will work. Once your students have started to view an assignment, you will no longer be able to edit the policy. 

NOTE: You cannot rename or delete a custom grading policy after you have created it.

Example custom policy with Show feedback, show periodic table, show calculator, print, guided solution, unlimited attempts, 5% deduction, and show solution after due dateIf you decide to set a custom policy, you can choose from several settings:

  • Name: Give the policy set a unique name, so you can find it and use it again for another assignment. Adding a space to the end of an existing policy name (e.g. "Homework ") does not create a unique policy name.
  • Show Feedback: If this option is checked, students have a Check Answer button. When unchecked, you must set the number of attempts to "unlimited" and the percent deduction to "none" because these settings are no longer applicable in the absence of a Check Answer button. Unchecking also removes the feedback and hint from each question.
  • Show Periodic Table: Make an interactive periodic table available through a link at the top of the assignment.
  • Show Calculator: Make a scientific calculator available through a link at the top of the assignment.
  • Print: Allow students to print the assignment to work on it offline. If unchecked, you will also be unable to print the assignment as an instructor (printing is done in student view).
  • Show Resources (if enabled for this course): Resources are helpful information, such as relevant video lectures or textbook sections.
  • Attempt Deduction for Multiple Choice: This settings only affects how multiple choice questions are graded. Choosing this option overrides the normal attempt deduction and grades more harshly depending on the number of choices. For example, with 4 choices, it will deduct 33% of the available points per attempt. In most cases, we do not recommend this setting because it does not behave properly for multiple-select questions.
  • Randomize Question Order: If this setting is on, each student will receive the assignment questions in a random order.
  • Guided Solution: Some questions have special Guided Solution tutorials, which walk students through the question. If this setting is on (recommended for multi-attempt assignments), students will receive a new version of the "main" question after completing a Guided Solution, allowing them to possibly receive full points if they can then answer the question without help.
  • Timed: Limit the time a student can spend working on an assignment, but still allow them to start the assignment any time within a larger time frame. For more info, see the help article Timed Assignments.
  • Number of Attempts: Set how many times your students can attempt to answer each question (unlimited by default in Homework and Practice modes, 1 in Test modes). Percent deductions, feedback, and guided solutions are not compatible with single-attempt assignments. We recommend allowing at least 4 attempts.
  • Percent Deduction per Attempt: Set what percentage of their total score for that question a student will lose for each attempt (5% by default in Homework mode). Set this to "None" for practice assignments
  • Show Solution: This policy determines when students can see the solutions to questions:
    • Upon Completion of each Question: Reveal solutions when the student gets the correct answer or gives up on each question. This setting adds a Give Up & View Solution button to allow students to indicate that they wish to forfeit further attempts and see the answer to the question.
    • Upon Assignment Completion: Reveal solutions when the student completes the assignment or the due date passes, whichever comes first. Prior to the due date, a student can "complete" the assignment in one of two ways: (1) they can get all questions correct or (2) they can click the Submit button to give up on on any remaining questions. Note that once submitted, the student cannot continue to answer, even if they have an extension on the due date. If you choose to use this setting, we advise you to warn your students against clicking Submit unless they are certain they want to forfeit the ability to increase their score.
    • After Due Date: Reveal solutions to a given student when the due date passes for that student.
    • After Extended Due Date: This option takes into account that some students may have later due dates than others because of extensions, or that late submissions may be allowed. Even if the due date has passed for a particular student, they cannot view solutions until the extended due date or late submission deadline has passed for all students.

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