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  1. Sakai
  2. SAK-42494

Gradebook > Excuse Empty Cells

    Details

    • Type: Feature Request
    • Status: Awaiting Review
    • Priority: Major
    • Resolution: Unresolved
    • Affects Version/s: 19.2, 20.0 [Tentative]
    • Fix Version/s: None
    • Component/s: Gradebook
    • Labels:
    • Test Plan:
      Hide

      In Trunk, navigate to a site that contains some students and Gradebook.

      1. Create a gradebook item.
      2. For that item, attempt to excuse an empty cell corresponding to the student (cell drop-down > Excuse/Include Grade).
      3. The calculator icon with a slash through it will populate in the cell, giving the false impression that the empty cell is excused.
      4. Refresh the Gradebook (or navigate to another tool and return to Gradebook), and you'll notice that the cell is no longer excused. 

      This procedure seems to show that excusing an empty cell is not allowed, despite first appearing to be the case. The description below, hopefully, highlights the usefulness of this feature request.

      Show
      In Trunk, navigate to a site that contains some students and Gradebook. Create a gradebook item. For that item, attempt to excuse an empty cell corresponding to the student (cell drop-down > Excuse/Include Grade). The calculator icon with a slash through it will populate in the cell, giving the false impression that the empty cell is excused. Refresh the Gradebook (or navigate to another tool and return to Gradebook), and you'll notice that the cell is no longer excused.  This procedure seems to show that excusing an empty cell is not allowed, despite first appearing to be the case. The description below, hopefully, highlights the usefulness of this feature request.

      Description

      As of now, Gradebook seems to expect that a score be first inputted into a cell of the corresponding activity before it can be excused. If you try to excuse a cell that contains a null (empty) value, it will appear to the instructor – briefly – that the activity for the student was excused as the calculator icon (with a slash through it) will display. But upon refreshing the Gradebook (or navigating back to Gradebook at a later time), the instructor will observe that the icon (and therefore the excuse action) didn't "stick" and the activity is no longer excused. 

      The current functionality seems to work well for excusing scores after-the-fact. That is, if a student scores poorly, and offers a valid explanation and/or asks for an alternative way to make up the score, the instructor can excuse the already recorded score and move forward. 

      But what about scenarios that arise when a student alerts the instructor ahead-of-time that he/she will not be able to participate in the graded activity?

      For example, assume an instructor creates Gradebook items for weekly participation, and a student informs the instructor that he/she will not be able to attend class next week. In this case, there is no need to input an arbitrary/unearned score that won't happen. The instructor simply wants to navigate to the empty cell corresponding to the student and mark it as excused.

      Now, it could be argued that the instructor could just leave the cell empty since an empty cell won't be calculated against the student's overall grade. And, optionally, the instructor could just simply input a comment in the empty cell clarifying that the cell is empty because the score is excused.

      But there are several problems with this approach:

      • The absence of the calculator icon (with a slash through it) does not make it immediately clear to instructors (or students) that the empty cell is not being counted against the student's overall score. The presence of this icon, at a quick glance, is reassuring that the score is, indeed, excused, and reinforces that the cell is not empty because the instructor missed inputting a score.
      • The instructor may find it burdensome to need to type in a comment for every single pre-excused activity. 
      • It promotes an inconsistent procedure for excusing scores. That is, recorded scores are excused one way (cell drop-down > excuse/include grade), unrecorded scores are excused another way (leave the cell blank). 

      This feature request will be particularly useful for larger class sizes (50+), where the instructor:

      • doesn't see the usefulness of first inputting arbitrary/unearned scores and then excusing them (it's just extra steps)
      • wants to be able to quickly glance at the Gradebook, and see that a score is excused. An empty cell does not make this immediately transparent, and the calculator icon (with a slash through it) already communicates that the score is excused in lieu of needing to type in a comment. 

      Thank you for considering!

       

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                • Assignee:
                  Unassigned
                  Reporter:
                  jbuckin2 John C Buckingham
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                  • Created:
                    Updated:

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