bob uses an Excel spreadsheet to calculate grades and posts them on
BlackBoard periodically
(check Blackboard grades here).
Because the upload process from my Excel spreadsheet to BlackBoard is very
tedious (see below), it will not always be up to date.** It is your responsibility** to make
sure the grade entries agree with the grades on your paper quizzes and tests and
Maple HW.

Here is a copy of the Excel spreadsheet with the lettergrade cutoffs:

- U calculate your own Grade
(click to open Excel spreadsheet)

There are 9 weekly quizzes, 4 tests (including the final exam), a homework grade and a Maple grade, weighted:

Calculus: Homework Avg 25%, Quiz avg 10%, Test avg 65%.

DiffEqwLinAlg: Homework Avg 25%, Quiz avg 10%, Test avg 65%.

The lowest quiz grade is dropped, and the lowest of first two test grades is dropped only if the subsequent test grade is higher. The final exam will be weighted simply as a fourth test. Thus only when the three test grades decrease monotonically will no test grade be dropped, so increasingly poor performance is penalized, while improvement is rewarded.

The **weekly quizzes** are on material for which we have already discussed the
homework in class on a previous day and are graded in half points out of a
total of 10 points each. There should be no surprises on quizzes, which are
designed to assess a basic understanding of the key ideas following typical
homework problems. These are automatically recorded in BlackBoard.

The MAT2705 homework for the most part will be managed through the Pearson e-text online portal home work system and count for 25% of your grade. Not all interesting problems appear online, so some problems will not be graded but should be done for the insight they can give you. Grading is not why we learn math---achieving some understanding of the course material is the goal.

The MAT1500-1505-2500 homework will be done through WebAssign to provide some additional
incentive to actually do the homework, since doing the homework is the only way
for most students to engage the ideas and understand how they work in practice.
The WebAssign homework has a 25% weight---hopefully most of you will probably appreciate the immediate feedback and
opportunity to retry a similar problem with slightly different numbers. Problems
will be chosen from the textbook end of section exercises, although some of the
problems will have randomly changed parameter values in the WebAssign version of
a given textbook exercise. Note that the 25% weight in no way reflects the
importance of doing homework in this course. **Doing the homework
regularly is essential to good performance. **

This updating process is tedious. First one by one inside BlackBoard for each class, the 9 quiz grade columns, 1 homework column (if appropriate), 4 test columns (3 + final exam), a numerical cum and letter grade cum column must be set up with parameters. Then a primitive Excel file is downloaded to my computer with the classlist for each class. To update grades, each column in my master Excel spreadsheet (like the example one linked above) must be copied and pasted to the downloaded primitive file for each section, and from the separate exported WebAssign spreadsheet that must be exported from WebAssign to update, if appropriate, then uploaded through too many mouse clicks to BlackBoard, etc., plus scrolling since the needed buttons are offscreen initially. Really this is all a bit absurd. So I (= bob) am not very good at frequently updating grades.

To make matters worse the primitive spreadsheet file cannot be saved on exit because it then seems to request a new filename. So it must be saved before exiting, and NOT saved on exit, which occasionally leads to an unsaved updated file from having forgotten to save after copying one of the many columns needed to update those transfer files.

Thus it is important for students to check their BlackBoard grades against those on their test/quiz/maple grade emails.

If you made it this far, here is the boring history of bob's excel grading.