Q: When setting up a class in EMSTesting, what do the different “Grade Type Descriptions” mean?

A: In the “Grade Book” tab of a class, there are 5 default categories listed under “Grade Type Descriptions”. These are Quiz, Test, Module Exam, Final Exam, and Other. To the right of these categories are “Test Pass %”(which is the score students need to meet to count as “passing”) and “% of Grade”(which is the weight of that grade type as a percentage of their overall grade for the class).

Whenever you create a new test as an instructor in EMSTesting, you have the ability to decide if that test should be categorized in the gradebook as either a Quiz, Test, Module Exam, or Final Exam. This is how the program knows what the passing percentage on the test should be, as well as its weight when calculating the overall grade for the student.

When looking at the “Grade Book” tab of a class, you do have the ability to change the names of the categories from Quiz, Test, Module Exam, Final Exam, and Other to something else(ex. You might change “Test” to “Section Tests”, or “Quiz” might be changed to “Daily Quizzes”, etc.). However, it is important to note that changing the name of a category in the Grade Book tab does not change the name of the categories available when creating and categorizing a test. When creating a new test, these categories will still show up as Quiz, Test, Module Exam, or Final Exam.

The first line under “Grade Type Descriptions” will always match up to the Quiz test type when creating a test, the second line will always match up to Test, the third to Module Exam, and the fourth to Final Exam, regardless of what you change their name to in the Grade Book tab. This means that if you change the Quiz line to instead read “Midterm Exam”, you will need to remember when creating the Midterm Exam itself, that if you want it to be graded as you’ve set it up in the Grade Book tab, you will need to categorize it as a Quiz.

Essentially, if you rearrange the order of Quiz, Test, Module Exam, and Final Exam in the Grade Book tab(or rename them all), just remember that when creating a test if you create the test as a Quiz, in the gradebook it will display as and be graded as whatever the first line under “Grade Type Descriptions” says.

The Other category under “Grade Type Descriptions” is another story though. You cannot create a test in the program and categorize it as Other. Other is designed for assignments that you would manually enter into the actual gradebook itself, and then assign scores to the students for. This is the category that Instructors most often end up changing to something else(ex. Other often gets changed to “Homework”, “Offline Quizzes”, “Class Participation”, “Attendance”, etc.).

You can also add other “Grade Type Descriptions” in the line under Other. Just add in the description, the “Test Pass %”, and the “% of Grade”, and then select the green “+” button. This will add in the new category, allow you to add an additional category(you can keep adding as many of these types of categories as you’d like), and will alphabetize the new category below Final Exam. You will need to click “Save” to save these new categories.

From your Instructor home page, you can now select “View Gradebook” under your class, click “+ Add New Assignment”, and then add in the name of the assignment, the date it took place, and which Other-type category it should show up in the gradebook as. All students will start off getting a “0” on the new assignment, but if you hover your cursor over a student’s “0”, you can click “edit” and change to “0” to the grade they should actually be receiving.