Reduced Scoring

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WeBWorK has a Reduced Scoring feature. This allows instructors to, on a set by set basis, fix a "Reduced Scoring Date". After the Reduced Scoring Date, additional work done by the student counts at a reduced rate. This can be used to encourage students do assignments by setting the Reduced Scoring Date, and then allowing a further grace period (up to the Due Date) during which their work counts at a reduced rate. It can also be used to extend the due date for an assignment for an individual student, but only give them reduced credit on the assignment. Or it can be used at the end of the semester to encourage students to work on problems they did not get completely correct.

How the Reduced Scoring system works

There are three parameters which relate to how the Reduced Scoring system works. All can be found in the "Optional Modules" section of the Course Configuration page.

  • Enable Reduced Scoring - This turns the Reduced Scoring system on and off. When it is off no options relating to Reduced Scoring will be shown on any of the instructor or student pages. When it is turned on you will be able to enable reduced scoring for your homework sets on a set by set basis.
  • Value of work done in Reduced Scoring Period - This parameter determines the value of work done after the Reduced Scoring Date but before the Due Date.
  • Default Length of Reduced Scoring Period - This option sets the default length of the reduced scoring period. When creating a set for the first time the Reduced Scoring Date will be set to the Due Date minus this number of minutes. Changing this value will not change the Reduced Scoring Date for any sets which have already been created.

Once you have enabled and configured the Reduced Scoring system you need to activate it for a set. This can be done via the Problem Set Detail page. When visiting this page you can change the following two set options.

  • Reduced Scoring Enabled - This set option turns on reduced scoring for a particular set.
  • Reduced Scoring Date - This date should be between the Open Date and the Due Date. After this date, if Reduced Scoring is enabled for this set, student work will be worth the "value of work done in the Reduced Scoring period" set in the Course Configuration menu. Note: The homework set will close on the Due Date. If you want to give extra time for reduced credit on a set you will need to set the Reduced Scoring Date to be the old Due Date and then set a new Due Date.

If you have enabled reduced scoring for a set and set the reduced scoring date, and the value of work done in the reduced scoring period is 50% then on the page listing the problems, the student will see a message like:

This assignment has a Reduced Scoring Period that begins 11/08/2009 at 05:00am EST and ends on the due date, 11/10/2009 at 05:00am EST. 
During this period all additional work done counts 50% of the original.

(If the Reduced Scoring Date is equal to the Due Date then no message is displayed.) Before the Reduced Scoring Date everything is exactly like a normal problem.

For example if a student does 6 parts of a 10 part question correctly, they see

You received a score of 60% for this attempt.
Your overall recorded score is 60%.

After the Reduced Scoring Date the student sees the message (assuming the avg_problem_grader is being used)

Note: You can earn partial credit on this problem.
You are in the Reduced Scoring Period: All additional work done counts 50% of the original.

Suppose during the Reduced Scoring Period they attempt the problem again and get 9 of the 10 parts correct. They see

You received a score of 90% for this attempt.
Your overall recorded score is 75%.

Finally if they go back to the problem and get all 10 parts correct they see

You received a score of 100% for this attempt.
Your overall recorded score is 80%.

The reduced scoring system works with Gateway Quizzes as well. Students will receive reduced credit for all of the problems for a Gateway when they submit their tests.

Using Reduced Scoring in a Course

To use Reduced Scoring in a course go to "Course Configuration", click on "Optional Modules", choose "Yes" for "Reduced Scoring Enabled" and fill in the values you want for "Default Length of Reduced Scoring Period in minutes" and "Value of work done in Reduced Scoring Period". Then you have to enable Reduced Scoring for whatever assignments you want to use it for. To do this go to "Hmwk Sets Editor", view the "Problem Set Detail" for a set, choose "Yes" for "Enable Reduced Scoring", and set the Reduced Scoring Date. (You can also enable reduced scoring for a set directly from the Hmwk Sets Editor and it will automatically use the default Reduced Scoring Period.)

Reduced Scoring only works with the avg_problem_grader (this is the default grader) or the std_problem_grader (the all or nothing - no partial credit grader). If you want to use Reduced Scoring with a custom grader, you will have to implement it in the custom grader using the above graders as guides.

Common Techniques

In addition to just enabling reduced scoring for a set, this system can be used to do the following.

  • Extend a Due Date for a single student with Reduced Scoring - To do this edit the set and enable Reduced Scoring. Now set the Reduced Scoring date to be equal to the Due Date. This will prevent students from seeing the Reduced Scoring message and will effectively disable the feature. Next, edit the individual set data for the student/s you wish to extend the due date. For these students set the due date to be the desired future date. The set will now be open for these students but for reduced credit.
  • Open all Sets at the end of class for Reduced Scoring. - To do that, go to each set in the course and enable Reduced Scoring. Set the due date to be the last day of class (or the day before the final) and the Reduced Scoring date to be the original due date (or the current date).