Administer Categories

Settings > Administer Categories

The Administer Categories page allows you to establish categories that describe the types of assignments you will use in the selected semester and course section. An initial set of categories, defined by the campus, is set at the beginning of the year. If you have an assignment that falls under a category that is not included in the list, you can create a new category, if allowed by the campus. The category you create is added to the master list and will be available for all teachers to use. The list of categories will continue to grow as you and the other teachers add categories.

For your selected categories, you must specify the type of weighting to use for calculating averages (percent-based, point-based, or multiplier-based). You can also assign your own category colors to enable color-coding of assignments on the Assignment Grades page.

From this page, you can also copy categories from one course to other course sections.

Note:

If the course-section is part of a group, and the instructor for a course changes during the year, the new instructor will not be able to make changes to categories. The following message will be displayed: "This course belongs to a group for another teacher. No category maintenance may be done except by that teacher."

In order to resolve this issue so that the new instructor can maintain categories for the course, a txGradebook administrator must delete the course from the group. Then, the new instructor can create a new group if needed.

The administrative user must do the following:

      Log on to txGradebook and impersonate the new instructor.

      While impersonating the new instructor, go to Settings > Administer Courses page. Select the course section, and then click X delete button to delete the course from the group. Repeat for all applicable courses.

      Click Save.

This page is disabled for standards-based/skills-referenced courses, because categories are not used for these courses.

Notes for Apple mobile device users:

Set up categories:

1.        In the Semester field, click drop-down arrow to select the semester for which you want to set up categories.

2.        In the Course Section field, click drop-down arrow to select the course section for which you want to set up categories.

The available categories are listed under Available Categories, and your current category list for the selected course section is displayed under Selected Categories.

3.        Under Weighting Type, click radio button to select the weighting type you want to use for the categories. You must use the same weighting type for all cycles in a semester.

      Percentage - If you select percent-based weighting, you will assign percentages to each category. The percentages must total 100%.

      Point - If you select point-based weighting, you will provide point values for each category. The point values must equal the total number of points for the cycle. When using point-based weighting, the categories are only used for grouping similar assignments. The calculation is based on the total points, not weighting.

      Multiplier - If you select multiplier-based weighting, you will provide a multiplier number (between 1-9) for each category. For multipliers greater than one, the individual assignment grades are counted multiple times. Multiplier-based weighting is often used in elementary schools.

See the Calculate Averages How To guide (PDF) for an explanation of calculating averages for each weighting type.

Note:

·       You cannot change the weighting type if you have entered assignment grades for any category.

·       You cannot change the weighting type for the second semester of a two-semester course. The weighting type must be the same for all semesters of a course.

·       If you post an override cycle grade for a student even if there are no categories for the course, the weighting type is automatically set to percentage.

·       Each weighting type is only displayed if the campus allows the weighting type (or if the teacher has already started using the weighting type before the restriction was put in place). Any weighting types not allowed by the campus are not displayed.

If you are using a weighting type that the campus decides to disallow partway through the current year, the following applies:

      You can continue to use the weighting type until the end of the current year. After the current year, that weighting type will no longer be available.

      If you select another weighting type during the current year, you will not be able to reselect the disallowed weighting type.

·       (TxEIS only) If a category is specific to a particular weighting type (as specified in Grade Reporting on the Maintenance > Gradebook Options > Campus > Categories tab in the Weight Type field), the category is only displayed on this page if the appropriate weighting type is selected.

4.        Under Available Categories, the available categories are listed in alphabetical order.

      If a category weight is locked (as specified by the Lock Weight field on the campus-level categories maintenance page), a lock icon is displayed next to the category name. The weight specified by the campus must be used and cannot be changed.

      To add a new category to the list of available categories, click Add new category type. The Add Category section is displayed below the available categories. If the campus disallows teachers from adding categories, the Add new category type button is disabled, and you cannot add new categories; you must use the categories established by the campus.

o      In the Category Name field, type the name of the new category. You cannot type a name that is already included in the list of available categories. Please type carefully to avoid spelling errors.

Category names are not case-sensitive (e.g., if quiz already appears in the list, you cannot add Quiz).

o      In the PIN field, type your four-digit PIN.

o      Click Add. The new category is displayed in the list of available categories in alphabetical order. You can then double-click it or drag it to your category list.

If you type your PIN incorrectly, the system notifies you that you provided an invalid PIN. You must provide the correct PIN before you can continue.

o      To close the Add Category section without adding a new category, click Cancel.

      Once a category is added to the list of available categories, it cannot be deleted from the list. If you add a category by mistake, you must contact your campus administrator to have it removed at the campus level. The category cannot be removed if it has assignments associated with it.

5.        Under Selected Categories:

      All categories for the selected course section are displayed for all valid cycles in the semester.

o      To add one of the available categories to your category list, click on the available category and drag it to your category list. Or, double-click the available category. The category is displayed at the bottom of your category list. If there is a default or locked weight, it is copied to the open cycles.

o      To remove a category from your category list, click X delete button beside that category in the Delete column.

Note:

You cannot delete a category that has assignments associated with it. The X delete button is not displayed for those categories. If you need to delete a category and the X delete button is not displayed, check for grades and assignments for all cycles within the semester you are working with. All grades and assignments for the semester must be deleted first, including grades for withdrawn students. Note that all grades must be deleted before you can delete assignments.

o      If a cycle is closed, the column heading for the cycle displays (closed), and the data cannot be changed.

      The table changes according to your selection in the Weighting Type field. For each cycle, the column heading is % Weight, Points, or Multiplier, according to your selection. For each category you add to your list, enter the appropriate values.

o      If you select Percentage for weighting type, the percentages must total 100%.

o      If you select a category created at the campus level, and the campus entered a weight for that category, the weight is displayed in the % Weight field for the category. You can change the weight, unless the campus locked the weight for the category. If the weight is locked, the weight is displayed in the field and cannot be changed.

o      If you select Point for weighting type, you cannot enter the total point values in the Points field. The field automatically displays the sum of the total points entered for all assignments for the category. For example, on the Administer Assignments page, if you enter five quizzes in the Quiz category, each with total points set to 100, the field displays 500.

o      If you select Multiplier for weighting type, you must enter a value between 1-9 for the Multiplier field.

      In the Color column, click paint palette icon to select a color for the category. A dialog box opens allowing you to select a color. Click a color to select it.

o      The color is used to color-code assignments on the Assignment Grades page.

o      By default, no color is assigned to the category.

o      The color can be changed any time.

      In the # Drop column for each cycle, type the number of items to be dropped during a cycle. For example, you may want to drop the student's three lowest grades from the homework category. The student's category average will always reflect the dropped grades.

Warning:

If all assignments in the category do not have the same total points value (as entered on the Administer Assignments page), the calculations for dropping a specified number of assignments for the category may result in an average that is different than expected. If the total points value varies, the grade with the lowest number of points may not necessarily be the lowest grade.

o      Only non-excluded grades are dropped. If you exclude an assignment for a student on the Assignment Grades page, the assignment is not counted as one of the grades that will be dropped.

o      If you do not want to drop any grades from the category, type 0.

o      Note that you can specify on the Administer Assignments page if you do not want to drop a specific assignment within the category.

6.        After you enter the weighting type value and number of assignments to drop for cycle 1, you can click right arrows button to copy the values to cycles 2 and 3.

Save categories:

Before you leave the page, you must save your changes.

1.        In the PIN field, type your four-digit PIN. The field is disabled for inquiry-only users.

2.        Click Save.

      If your changes were saved successfully, the page reloads with a message indicating that the categories were saved successfully.

      If you typed your PIN incorrectly, the system notifies you that you provided an invalid PIN. You must provide the correct PIN to continue.

      If the cycle is closed, you cannot save any changes. The button is disabled; the button says All Cycles Closed. If you attempt to make changes, a warning message notifies you that changes were not saved.

3.        If you change any data on the page and then attempt to leave the page without saving the changes, a warning message is displayed. This includes attempting to change the Semester or Course Section fields before you save changes.

      Click Continue to leave the page without saving your changes.

      Click Cancel to return to the page and save your changes.

Copy categories to another course section:

Once you save the categories for a course, you can copy the categories to another course section.

1.        Use the Semester and Course Section fields to select the course section from which you want to copy categories.

2.        Click Copy categories to other course sections. The Copy Categories page is displayed. Review the Help for the Copy Categories page for additional instructions on copying categories.