Ian Holder

Representing Grade Progression

Discussion created by Ian Holder on Jun 27, 2018
Latest reply on Jun 28, 2018 by Ian Holder

Hello to you all. Hope you're well. Winter has its icy grip on me down here, so nothing better to do of a cold evening than analytics.     Not strictly A4L, but it involves data so I'm calling it little-A analytics.


My manager asked me to produce a graph showing grade progression for a course.  The reason I am telling you this is I'd seriously like your views before I approach faculty with my idea.  There is much wisdom and expertise here, and I'd love to get your thoughts on the mad ideas we come up with.


First, we do grades somewhat different down here: in ascending order they are Fail [FL], Pass [PS], Credit [CR], Distinction [DI] and High Distinction [HD].  Secondly, what did my manager mean by grade progression?  Showing the number of students by grade for each assessment and also showing how students moved between grades in the assessments and the final grade.  So, for example, of the students who got HDs in the first assessment, where did they end up in the second assessment -- HD? CR? Fail?  Of the students who failed the first assessment, where did they end up in the second assessment -- HD? CR? Fail?  And so on...


Question 1: does the idea of a grade progression within a course have any appeal whatsoever?  Could you see it being useful?  I'm made of hardy stock so don't worry about offending me - you won't. I'm genuinely interested in the community's thoughts.


Question 2: my attempt is below.  What are your thoughts?  What works?  What doesn't?  What is so horrid my computer should be set on fire so it can never be used again after this travesty?   [I've just realised my DI for Assessment 2 is the wrong colour - I'll fix that.


To give some context, the width of the lines indicates the number of students.  You can see that most students who got a HD in Assessment 1 also got one in Assessment 2.  For those who got a HD in Assessment 2 it looks evenly split between those who then got a HD in Assessment 3 and those who got a DI, with the rest getting lower grades.  You can also see a significant proportion of students who got a CR in Assessment 1 got a Pass in Assessment 2.  And it's clear the fail rate in assessments increased as the assessments progressed in this course.


And for any tech boffins wondering how I did this...  I downloaded the Grade Centre for the course, added formulas to convert marks to grades and visualised it in Tableau.


Thanks for your time and any thoughts/comments/suggestions you may have.