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Monday, August 4, 2014

Making the Grade with ESUP - New NR "grade" provides clarity, helps streamline process

After a term filled with assignments, tests, and class participation, the final step in assigning grades is entering the grade to post to students’ records. In order to submit these grades on the final grade roster, a grade must be assigned to every student.* Occasionally, a barrier arises in assigning a grade to a student. When that happens, the entire grade roster cannot be submitted and all students in the class don’t receive a grade and instead see a blank space. This can be confusing and frustrating for students who may experience negative consequences of not having a posted grade for their class work (e.g., delayed graduation, reduced financial aid, limits on athletic participation).

These blank grades will be eliminated and more students will have their assigned grade posted as a result of ESUP.

While the final grade roster must still be complete in order to be submitted by the instructor of record, those students with a grade assigned will have their grade posted to their record. The key for this to happen is a new administrative mark of “NR” (meaning Not Reported). 

Taking the place of a blank grade (and carrying all of the same consequences), the NR grading symbol clarifies that there was no report of the grade for the students who have it. The NR grading symbol will not be available for faculty and staff to enter into the grade roster. Rather, an administrative process will be initiated after the grading due date to assign this symbol to students on the roster without a grade assigned. This process will complete the roster that can then be posted. 

This new administrative process (that is in-line with the University’s peer institutions) will:

  • Enable students in classes where rosters were incomplete to view their grades more quickly (since they won’t have to wait for the entire class to be graded before grades are posted) 
  • Help advisers during academic progress reviews 
  • Help academic and student services when students ask why no grades are posted
  • Help clarify for financial aid and veterans affairs that there was no grade reported from the instructor

Read more about what is changing with final grading on the What’s Changing page. To learn more about the new Faculty Center (where all grade entry and approval takes place) see the Faculty Center sneak peek. If you have any questions or concerns, email esup@umn.edu

* Another system (called supplemental grading) does allow for submitting individual grades for students, but it is intended for grade changes, not the submission of the final grade roster. After the PeopleSoft upgrade is complete, all grade entry and submission (including mid-term grades, final grades, and grade changes) will happen in one place: the Faculty Center. 

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