Best Grading Practices using MyCourses

From a student’s viewpoint, a well-structured and transparent grading system plays an important role in shaping their perception of the assessment’s clarity and fairness in evaluating their achievements. Additionally, from a teacher’s perspective, the process of grading is a multifaceted undertaking that often involves the collaborative efforts of multiple individuals.

MyCourses should be prioritized as a tool for grading

At Aalto University, teachers have the autonomy to design their own grading strategies for their respective courses, leveraging the tools provided by Aalto to facilitate this process. However, to foster greater transparency and enhance communication among teachers, it is highly recommended to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Centralized Grade Storage: Grades should primarily be stored within the MyCourses Grades platform.
    • This ensures a centralized and easily accessible repository for all grading-related information. Both activities conducted within MyCourses and those externally graded should be documented within MyCourses Grades.
    • Whenever possible, MyCourses Grades should also be preferred as the tool for calculating the course total.
  • Transparency Among Teachers: The grading process must be transparent and accessible to all other course teachers, including those who will be in charge of the implementation in the future.
    •  If you employ specific grading formulas or methodologies, these should be made visible and comprehensible to other teachers in that course.
    • In cases where alternative software tools, such as Excel, are used for grading, it is recommended to create a restricted access area within the corresponding course’s MyCourses workspace to store external grading files. Additionally, access to this area should be granted to the other course teachers.
  • Secure Data Management: Grading data should not be retained on an individual teacher’s computer.
    • Once grading data has been uploaded back into MyCourses or Sisu, all files containing student data and grades must be promptly deleted to ensure the security and privacy of student information.
  • Clearly Defined Assessment Criteria: The criteria for assessment must be explicitly outlined in the course syllabus and communicated to students at the outset of the course.
    • This practice ensures that students have a clear understanding of the expectations and standards against which their performance will be evaluated.
    • If retakes are possible in the implementation, this information must also be available in the course syllabus.