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Teachers spend a lot of time thinking about how to fairly grade their students. And students spend a lot of time thinking about how their work will affect those grades. But how does a teacher’s choice of a grading system affect how students are assessed?

In this lesson, students use averages and weighted means to examine some different grading schemes and decide what other factors ought to be considered when teachers assign grades.

Students will

  • Given a list of grades (as either percentages or raw scores), calculate the mean of a dataset
  • Investigate how using a weighted mean affects a grading scheme
  • Use computed averages to plot mean grade over time
  • Discuss what factors or considerations should be included in a grading system

Before you begin

Students should be able to calculate the mean of a dataset. This lesson also deals with weighted averages, but it assumes no prior knowledge of weighting and can serve as an introduction.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices